Premier League grades: A+ for Arsenal, F for Watford
By Sky Sports Football
Last Updated: 08/10/18 6:37am
It has been another busy weekend of Premier League action, but who tops the class and who sits bottom of the pack?
On Saturday, an under-pressure Manchester United came from two goals down after just 10 minutes of their game with Newcastle United to seal a dramatic 3-2 victory at Old Trafford, with Alexis Sanchez heading home a last-minute winner.
Earlier in the day there were also wins for Wolves, Everton, Tottenham and Bournemouth, who thrashed 10-man Watford 4-0 at Vicarage Road.
On Sunday, Arsenal caught the eye with a hugely impressive 5-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage, Chelsea maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Southampton, before Liverpool and Manchester City played out a goalless draw at Anfield.
We take a look at how each side got on over the weekend, and grade them on their performances...
Arsenal - A+
"We've got our Arsenal back", was the chant from the away end after Aaron Ramsey finished off a brilliant team move against Fulham. Arsenal might have won their previous eight games in a row in all competitions, but this was the best performance so far under Unai Emery. With Mesut Ozil not in the squad due to a back problem, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck took their chances and added speed to the attack. There will be tougher tests ahead but the signs are encouraging for Arsenal, particularly in the way they carved Fulham apart in the second half. (James Walker-Roberts)
Bournemouth - A+
How do you improve on a 4-0 win away from home? The Cherries produced a masterclass at Vicarage Road, albeit helped by Christian Kabasele's first-half red card, to record their biggest top-flight away victory.
Nathan Ake was a rock in the heart of the Bournemouth defence. The Netherlands international won 100 per cent of his ground and aerial duels, and made eight clearances. David Brooks, who scored his first Premier League goal last week, made it two in two while strikers Callum Wilson and Joshua King both got on the scoresheet. Ryan Fraser was a menace down the left, while Jefferson Lerma and Lewis Cook look to have formed a strong partnership in the middle of the park. (Liam Grace)
The Maurizio Sarri era continues to tick along nicely. Chelsea didn't need to be at their full-flowing best to beat a stodgy Southampton side who gave their visitors too much respect for long periods. After 20 minutes, Chelsea had enjoyed nearly 85 per cent of possession, therefore it was only a matter of time before the probing turned to goals. Eden Hazard and Ross Barkley were the star men with the England man revelling in the confidence shown to him by Sarri. Defensively, they were a little lucky to walk away with a clean sheet as they allowed Southampton numerous chances to score. A slight negative on what was nearly the perfect away performance. (Lewis Jones)
Everton - A-
Having been dumped out of the Carabao Cup at home to Southampton, the trip to the King Power Stadium to face in-form Leicester looked a daunting prospect for Marco Silva and his side. But there was freshness and a bullishness to the visitors from the very first minute.
Bernard shone in the early exchanges as he set up Richarlison for the opener, but it was Gylfi Sigurdsson who took the game by the scruff of its neck when the Foxes were reduced to 10 men.
Silva still has one or two first-team players to come back and, on this evidence, he is getting closer to finding the right balance in his side. (Ben Grounds)
Wolves - A-
Wolves' win at Crystal Palace was built on another strong defensive display. Palace had 67 per cent of the possession but they struggled to fashion many clear-chances against a well-organised backline. Goalkeeper Rui Patricio was solid - producing a fantastic double save in the second half - and the clean sheet was Wolves' fourth in their last five Premier League matches. While fellow newly-promoted side Fulham rank bottom in terms of goals conceded this season, Wolves' defence means they look well set for life in the top flight. (James Walker-Roberts)
Man Utd - B+
While one cannot forget United's stunning second-half comeback that earned them a first home victory in the league since beating Leicester City in the opening game of the season, one must also not forget the first 45 minutes that preceded that.
The home team were a shambles before the break, with boos ringing round Old Trafford at half-time as the home fans saw their side concede twice in the opening 10 minutes of a home Premier League game for the first time.
The fightback, though, was equally impressive and showed just how fluently the team can play when push comes to shove. (Richard Morgan)
Brighton - B+
This was a much-improved display, as well as a much-needed return to being hard to beat, especially at home, for Chris Hughton's side.
And what will no doubt most please the Brighton boss was that having reverted to the tried-and-tested defence that served him so well last season, they responded by paying him back with a first clean sheet of the season, and a first league win since August. (Richard Morgan)
Liverpool - B
After a relentless opening 10 minutes of their table-topping clash with Manchester City, Liverpool looked on course for a third consecutive Anfield win over the champions - and what would have been their fourth in a row in all competitions. Mohamed Salah had two glimpses of goal in the opening exchanges, but as the chances decreased, the Reds' defensive prowess came to the fore, with City's chances few and far between. The champions steadily grew into the game, and things could have been different had Riyad Mahrez converted his late penalty, but they were unable to prevent Liverpool from registering a ninth consecutive clean sheet at home in the league. (Jack Wilkinson)
Manchester City - B
Man City have now failed to win at Anfield in 18 games - a run stretching back to 2003 - but there were plenty of positives from the champions' display against one of the challengers to their crown. Granted, it will feel like two dropped points after Riyad Mahrez's late penalty, but the manner in which City wrestled the initiative in the game after Liverpool's frenetic start would have pleased Pep Guardiola. City arrested a three-game losing streak in all competitions to Liverpool with this resilient, dogged goalless draw; evidence the champions are capable of overcoming one of the fiercest tests of their title defence. (Jack Wilkinson)
Newcastle - B
You have to feel for the Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez and the club's fans, who must have been in dreamland at half-time at Old Trafford on Saturday.
However, the fact remains that this is the club's worst start to a top-flight campaign and with the Magpies still to win in the Premier League season, it may get worse before it gets better. (Richard Morgan)
Tottenham - B-
This international break seems to have come at the perfect time for Mauricio Pochettino as his team looks extremely disjointed with so many key players missing through injury.
Although Spurs carved out plenty of chances, there was a real lack of fluidity and cohesiveness in attack, that perhaps one or both of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli might have remedied.
Nevertheless, it was a win and therefore, a positive response to Wednesday's disappointment against Barcelona. (Oliver Young-Myles)
Huddersfield - B-
A result at an in-form Burnley looks good on the face of it, but the story of the game will leave David Wagner feeling they dropped two points.
Huddersfield looked an established Premier League side in the middle third, but were not clinical enough with their final pass or finish, wasting several chances in both halves. They pushed for a winner after a second-half leveller, but this was a point neither side really wanted.
Still winless, Huddersfield did get their first goal from open play, but they'll need that first victory on the board sharpish or risk being cut adrift. (Gerard Brand)
Burnley - C-
A point is not a disaster, but Burnley looked lethargic and lacking in ideas against a Huddersfield side without a win. Despite scoring against the run of play, Burnley continued to fall into the same traps, and if it were not for some shoddy play in the final third, Huddersfield would have three points.
Burnley's positive was their defence, again, with another heroic display from James Tarkowski at the heart of it. But for Sean Dyche, this winnable game was flat from the off. (Gerard Brand)
West Ham - C
Having beaten Manchester United and drawn with Chelsea in their previous two games, West Ham would have been expecting to build on those impressive performances by beating Brighton at the Amex on Friday night.
However, the visitors were wasteful in front of goal and made to pay for that profligacy with a seventh defeat in their last 10 away games in the Premier League. (Richard Morgan)
Leicester - C
After back-to-back wins in the Premier League over Huddersfield and Newcastle, this was a good opportunity before the international break for Leicester to move to within two points of the top four.
But they paid the price for a poor start against Everton, and although they hauled themselves level, ill-discipline led to Wes Morgan's second red card of the season.
In the captain's absence, the Foxes sank deep and were deservedly punished for showing a lack of ambition. Daniel Amartey nearly got them out of jail at the death, but his miss capped an off-day for Claude Puel's side. (Ben Grounds)
Cardiff City - C
Huddersfield's point at Burnley meant that Cardiff dropped to the foot of the table despite offering a promising display at Wembley.
Cardiff possibly gave their opponents too much respect at the start with Eric Dier punishing them with what proved to be the winner after eight minutes.
However, the manner in which they responded to that setback will encourage Neil Warnock. Had Josh Murphy scored in the first half, things could have been different. (Oliver Young-Myles)
Crystal Palace - D
It was another frustrating afternoon for Palace at Selhurst Park as they failed to score for the fourth home game in a row. Palace enjoyed plenty of the possession but, with Wilfried Zaha largely kept quiet, they lacked a cutting edge, and Roy Hodgson said afterwards there is no "magical solution" to their scoring struggles. Christian Benteke should return from injury after the international to give Palace a focal point up front and Hodgson will be hoping that can spark a much-needed improvement in form. (James Walker-Roberts)
Southampton - D
Southampton played like a team with only one win in their last 14 home games as their performances at St Mary's continue to be well off the required standard. They lacked intensity in their play and stood off Chelsea for long periods. That said, Danny Ings missed a glorious opening in the first half at 0-0 which could have sent the game in a different direction.
Mark Hughes' side have now taken just 15 points from their last 20 league games, which is a league-low for that period. That is relegation form - improvement is needed otherwise they will be dragged into a scrap once again. (Lewis Jones)
Fulham - E
It's not difficult to see where the problems lie for Fulham. They have conceded 21 goals in their eight Premier League games and were constantly exposed down the right side against Arsenal. Yes, Fulham can play the ball around nicely - and they even had 21 shots compared to nine from Arsenal - but they surely need to sort out their defensive issues if they are going to avoid being in the relegation battle at the end of the season. The defence will likely be top of the agenda over the international break. (James Walker-Roberts)
Watford - F
Saturday's 4-0 home defeat to Bournemouth means Javi Gracia's side are without a win in four Premier League games, and the Hornets are slowly starting to slip down the table as a result.
Gracia admitted after the match that it was Watford's first poor performance of the season after a blistering start to the campaign - and the side must now pick themselves up and dust themselves off before they travel to Wolves on October 20.
Christian Kabasele was sent off in the 32nd minute, while Craig Cathcart was booked early on and missed a golden chance to equalise when the Hornets were trailing by one goal. Jose Holebas picked up his fifth yellow card of the season, meaning he will miss the trip to Molineux. Definitely a week to forget. (Liam Grace)