Premier League grades: Man City and Man Utd shine, but Chelsea and Everton slump – SkySports


Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea lost, but Liverpool and Tottenham claimed victories

Five of the top six sides in the Premier League won over the weekend, but who looks “transformed”, who “stumbled to victory” and who looks to be in “free fall”?

Relegation-threatened Cardiff and Burnley also claimed victories but Chelsea, Huddersfield, Brighton and Fulham lost.

Our reporters have graded every team’s performance from A to F…

Manchester City: A+

Manchester City took their game to another level against Chelsea with Sergio Aguero producing perfection in attack. He could even afford to miss an open goal from three yards out and still gain a 10/10 rating in the Sky Sports player ratings. With him at the forefront and the quite magnificent Bernando Silva setting the tone in midfield, City were unstoppable at the Etihad Stadium. If they continue to hit these levels, the rest could be playing for second place. (Lewis Jones)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Sergio Aguero (24 points)

Manchester United: A

Eleven unbeaten and well in the race for a top-four spot, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has transformed the mood around Manchester United, and in Paul Pogba in particular.

Pogba ran the show at Craven Cottage, while Anthony Martial was devastating on the left flank, and United never once took their foot off the gas.

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Manchester United’s Paul Pogba made one young supporter’s day by giving him his shirt following the 3-0 win at Fulham

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba made one young supporter’s day by giving him his shirt following the 3-0 win at Fulham

It was wave after wave of attacks, just what the fans wanted after a challenging first half to the season, and the travelling support reacted by singing Ole’s name from minute one to 90.

A perfect result and performance going into a huge set of fixtures against PSG, Chelsea and Liverpool. (Gerard Brand)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Paul Pogba (19 points)

Burnley: A

Results earlier in the day meant that Burnley slipped into the relegation zone before their trip to Brighton, but they boosted their chances of survival with a vital win at the Amex Stadium. Goalkeeper Tom Heaton played a key role in the first half with a couple of sharp stops, before Chris Wood took advantage of a slip from Lewis Dunk to open the scoring.

The Clarets were the better side after the break and held on comfortably to extend their unbeaten run to a club-record seven Premier League games. On recent evidence, Burnley might not be involved in the relegation battle for too much longer. (James Walker-Roberts)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Chris Wood (17 points)

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Tottenham: A-

Tottenham showed they’re still fighting for the title by overcoming a Leicester side who had more shots on target (9) than the hosts (5).

Hugo Lloris made a string of crucial saves, denying Demarai Gray, Harry Maguire and Harvey Barnes, while his penalty stop against Jamie Vardy – when Tottenham were 1-0 up – proved to be a pivotal turning point in the match.

Christian Eriksen, Heung-Min Son and Davinson Sanchez all put in strong performances, while Oliver Skipp was deservedly credited by Mauricio Pochettino after an assured display in just his second Premier League start. (James Kilpatrick)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Christian Eriksen (16 points)

Liverpool: B+

This was more like the Liverpool we have seen over the past season. Full of spark, creativity and quality finishing. Led by the returning and inspirational Georginio Wijnaldum, the blunt performances against Leicester and West Ham were a distant memory from the moment Sadio Mane netted for the fourth game running. Usually when Liverpool click, Roberto Firmino has a big say and he was outstanding in the second half. This was a reminder to the doubters. (Lewis Jones)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Georginio Wijnaldum (13 points)

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Watch highlights from Liverpool’s win against Bournemouth

Watch highlights from Liverpool’s win against Bournemouth

West Ham: B+

West Ham produced a solid first-half display against Palace and looked good value for their lead after a string of dangerous counter-attacks with Felipe Anderson causing the Palace defence plenty of problems.

As Manuel Pellegrini noted himself post-match, West Ham dipped in the second half and allowed Palace to have numerous shots on goal, but nevertheless, they defended resolutely in the most part and will feel a bit downhearted by the slightly fortunate manner of Wilfried Zaha’s equaliser. (James Kilpatrick)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Michail Antonio (10 points)

Leicester: B+

Claude Puel made a big call in dropping Jamie Vardy amid reported tension between player and manager in the aftermath of Leicester’s defeat to Manchester United last weekend, but the team he selected gave a very good account of themselves at Wembley.

Tottenham were very fortunate in this latest demonstration of being able to grind out wins, and while Vardy would come on to show the clinical edge that his team-mates lacked in his absence, his replacement Demarai Gray, along with Harvey Barnes and James Maddison, carved out their own opportunities.

It is now five games without a win for Leicester, their longest run without a three-point haul since May last year, but Youri Tielemans’ debut offered signs of encouragement. Not many visitors will muster as many as nine shots on target at Wembley and Puel’s men will now not face a top-six side until the final three games of the season. (Ben Grounds)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Wilfried Ndidi (4 points)

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Watch highlights from Tottenham’s win over Leicester

Watch highlights from Tottenham’s win over Leicester

Crystal Palace: B+

Palace started slowly against West Ham but improved considerably in the second half as Wilfried Zaha’s attacking influence grew in the game and the introduction of Michy Batshuayi off the bench appeared to energise his team-mates.

James McArthur and Batshuayi were both guilty of squandering glorious chances, and Roy Hodgson would surely have wanted to see his side be more prolific in front of goal after having 25 shots, but Palace did show plenty of grit and determination to grind out a point against a resolute West Ham side. (James Kilpatrick)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Wilfried Zaha (10 points)

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Crystal Palace missed two excellent chances against West Ham

Crystal Palace missed two excellent chances against West Ham

Cardiff: B

It was another performance full of character from Cardiff and to score a winner two minutes after conceding an equaliser epitomised the grit and determination Neil Warnock has instilled in his side. While the manager did not go as far as to say the tide has turned for Cardiff, they have certainly hit a good period of form at the right time.

Cardiff have had a lot of attention on them over the last three weeks after the tragic disappearance of Emiliano Sala and they have responded with some brilliant performance. (Charlotte Marsh)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Sol Bamba (13 points)

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Watch highlights from Cardiff’s win over Southampton

Watch highlights from Cardiff’s win over Southampton

Huddersfield: B

Huddersfield showed class and quality to produce their best performance of the season, but probably picked the wrong time to do it and just fell short against Arsenal.

It was the same old story as their final ball let them down but they generally defended well. Adama Diakhaby looks a real player and Jan Siewert did well to get his players to bounce back from their hammering at Stamford Bridge so confidently. (Ron Walker)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Jonathan Hogg (6 points)

Watford: B

Watford’s hopes of earning European football gathered momentum after a deserved victory over a desperately poor Everton, a result which will have brought as much satisfaction as any other this season for the home supporters.

That Marco Silva had his head turned by the Toffees last campaign is now proving a blessing in disguise with his successor Javi Gracia guiding his side to within a point of seventh-placed Wolves.

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Everton defender Kurt Zouma was shown two yellow cards followed by a red after the final whistle by referee Lee Probert during the 1-0 defeat by Watford

Everton defender Kurt Zouma was shown two yellow cards followed by a red after the final whistle by referee Lee Probert during the 1-0 defeat by Watford

Key to this success was his decision to introduce Andre Gray at half-time, a move which breathed life into this contest, as the striker latched onto Will Hughes’ cross to score his fourth goal of the season.

Watford were defensively sound, with Craig Cathcart dominating Cenk Tosun as a third clean sheet in four Premier League games was registered with relative ease, as many as they managed in their previous 21 games in the competition. (Ben Grounds)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Craig Cathcart (12 points)

Arsenal: B-

Arsenal stumbled to victory against Huddersfield. This had the same hallmarks as some of the unconvincing performances during their unbeaten run, but for this weekend they will be happy to shake off their losing run on the road.

Their decision making in the final third was poor and they don’t look comfortable playing with three at the back, giving Huddersfield far too much room in wide areas. A better team would have punished them. (Ron Walker)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Alex Iwobi (8 points)

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Watch highlights from Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Huddersfield

Watch highlights from Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Huddersfield

Southampton: C+

It was another disappointing late showing for Southampton, who thought they had secured a point, but had it snatched away again two minutes later. Despite seeing the better of the attacking play, they offered very little going forward and look like they will struggle without Danny Ings over the next three weeks.

Shane Long is clearly lacking confidence and Charlie Austin is out of favour, with Southampton’s most potent goal threat being Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. They now have a two-week break and they will need every minute out on the training field to get back to their best as a relegation battle looms. (Charlotte Marsh)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Jack Stephens (10 points)

Fulham: D

This was more of the same from Fulham. Relatively threatening in attack, but extremely poor in defence. Denis Odoi and Maxime Le Marchand had horrible afternoons attempting to deal with Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, and the feeling around the club seems to have hit a new low.

Claudio Ranieri was roundly jeered for taking off Andre Schurrle and bringing on Cyrus Christie, and there were huge cheers for the late introductions of Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon, with some bemusement as to why neither are starting regularly.

Fulham had two early chances which may have changed the course of the game, but with 12 games remaining, they need a miracle to stay up. Ranieri is capable of those… (Gerard Brand)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Jean-Micheal Seri (5 points)

Claudio Ranieri has plenty of work to do at Fulham

Claudio Ranieri has plenty of work to do at Fulham

Bournemouth: D

This was an eighth straight Premier League defeat on the road for Eddie Howe’s men. Only Fulham have lost more away games (11). It was an encouraging start at Anfield as Ryan Fraser tested Alisson with an early strike but they didn’t build on that opening as Liverpool outclassed and outran them in every department.

Bournemouth now have a two-week break. Their season looks to be fizzling out. (Lewis Jones)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Artur Boruc, Dan Gosling, Andrew Surman, Jordon Ibe, Ryan Fraser, Jefferson Lerma, Joshua King (2 points)

Brighton: D

Brighton’s poor run of form continued with a home defeat to Burnley. Chris Hughton’s side had their chances, particularly in the first half, but failed to convert until they were 3-0 down.

They did have reason to be aggrieved after being denied a clear penalty and then seeing Burnley counter and score from a penalty of their own. However, the regular groans of frustration around the stadium as Brighton slowly played out from the back and struggled to find a spark told their own story.

Without a league win in 2019 and only three points above the relegation zone, Brighton need to stop the rot soon. (James Walker-Roberts)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Shane Duffy (7 points)

Everton: D

Everton have been in free-fall ever since their 96th-minute defeat to Liverpool, all the way back at the start of December.

It’s hard to see what direction this club is heading in, with the starting XI against Watford a mixture of signings from the past three managers, and this will have hurt Marco Silva on his return to his former club.

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The Telegraph’s chief football correspondent Jason Burt believes Everton need to decide on their identity and says that Marco Silva’s time in England will be over if he is sacked at Goodison Park

The Telegraph’s chief football correspondent Jason Burt believes Everton need to decide on their identity and says that Marco Silva’s time in England will be over if he is sacked at Goodison Park

In defeat to the Hornets, they produced another disjointed display and patience is running out among supporters. The turnover of managers is probably all that is keeping Silva in his job, with Ben Foster not forced into a save of note despite the woodwork being struck twice.

Silva has started making excuses too, with Andre Gray’s winning goal coming a full minute after Jose Holebas’ shot was deemed to have been flicked past the post by Jordan Pickford. (Ben Grounds)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Michael Keane, Idrissa Gueye (4 points)

Chelsea: E

Where do we start? Sarri-Ball? More like Sorry-Ball.

This was Chelsea’s heaviest defeat in any competition since losing 7-0 to Nottingham Forest in April 1991. They’ve now lost four consecutive away games without scoring, their worst run on the road since 1981.

Yes, Manchester City are Manchester City but the lack of fight, cohesion and motivation in this team is starting to become a huge worry.

It was an embarrassing result. There is no let up for Sarri either – his next two domestic fixtures read: Manchester United in the FA Cup and Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final. Ouch. (Lewis Jones)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Pedro, Ross Barkley, Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante, Gonzalo Higuain (2 points)

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