Premier League grades: Liverpool top as Man City stutter, tough start for Ralph Hasenhuttl
Premier League clubs rated after busy weekend in the top flight
By Sky Sports Football
Last Updated: 10/12/18 9:24am
Which team produced a performance "full of grit, defensive brilliance and clinical finishing"? Who showed "a blend opportunism, determination and confidence"? Read on to find out...
It was another dramatic weekend in the Premier League as Manchester City lost their unbeaten start to the season at Chelsea, while Liverpool thrashed Bournemouth to go to the top of the table.
There were also excellent wins for Tottenham and Manchester United, while Arsenal, West Ham, Wolves, Burnley and Cardiff picked up important victories.
But from that bunch, and the rest of the Premier League, who impressed, who needs to do more, and who "plenty of cause for concern"?
Liverpool - A
Even against a Bournemouth side without Callum Wilson, for Liverpool to dominate in the way they did was some achievement.
From minute one the Cherries couldn't get near them, were pushed well back, and Liverpool's defensive quality meant any threat at a counter-attack were quickly extinguished.
And then there is Mohamed Salah. There had been concerns over his form this season, but this hat-trick was a blend opportunism, determination and confidence. The title race is on. (Gerard Brand)
Manchester United - A
A first-half A+ and second-half B means it is only fair for United's opening 45 minutes to take precedence. Mourinho called the first half "beautiful" and "perfect", as goals from Ashley Young, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku saw them take a 3-0 lead at half-time.
And with United on a four-match winless run in the Premier League going into the game, it was also perfect that they found themselves up against a hapless Fulham side who offered little despite scoring from the penalty spot after the break.
It's Valencia up next in the Champions League for United, but having already qualified for the last 16, Mourinho will already be eyeing Sunday's clash against Liverpool at Anfield, live on Sky Sports. (Michael Hincks)
Tottenham - A
With a crucial Champions League encounter against Barcelona just around the corner, things couldn't have gone better for Tottenham.
Mauricio Pochettino started with Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen on the bench at the King Power Stadium with the trip to the Nou Camp on Tuesday in mind. But Heung-min Son and Dele Alli helped make light work of the pair's early absence as Spurs wrapped up a routine win.
Pochettino's side are back up to third and now six points behind leaders Liverpool. Spurs' tally of 36 points from 16 games is now their best start to a Premier League season. Only twice before have they had a better total after 16 matches in a top-flight campaign (46 in 1960-61 and 37 in 1956-57 - based on three points for a win). (Oliver Yew)
Cardiff City - A-
Cardiff put in an impressive display to emerge victorious against Southampton as their strong home form continues. Their fourth win in five Premier League home games was fully deserved with Neil Warnock's side looking dangerous on the counter-attack throughout the 90 minutes.
Southampton struggled to deal with the pace of Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Josh Murphy down the flanks, while goalscorer Callum Paterson regularly got the better of Jan Bednarek and Jannik Vestergaard aerially. Defensively, Warnock will also be pleased to see his side register another clean sheet. (James Kilpatrick)
Chelsea - B+
It wasn't the prettiest of victories but it was a performance full of grit, defensive brilliance and clinical finishing. Manchester City dominated the ball but Chelsea, led by the magnificent Cesar Azpilicueta, were resolute at the back which enabled the forwards to produce match-winning moments when they came about. Like Eden Hazard setting up N'Golo Kante for the opener. After the defeat at Wolves this was the perfect response by Maurizio Sarri's men. (Lewis Jones)
West Ham - B+
A poor first half was soon remedied once the much-improved Robert Snodgrass struck three minutes after half-time against Crystal Palace.
Some of West Ham's football was a joy to watch against a Palace side who generally defended well, and even a strong performance from Aaron Wan-Bissaka couldn't stop Felipe Anderson terrorising him down the left all night.
West Ham are far from the finished article, but there is plenty to be excited about now they are beginning to click. (Ron Walker)
Wolves - B
It's been a week to remember for Nuno Espirito Santo, who has overseen back-to-back wins to ease any doubts about the direction Wolves were heading in. At St James' Park, they were their usual organised self and took their chances when they needed to, plus, riding their luck at times. This sixth win of the season has already surpassed the club's total of five wins in their last Premier League season in 2011/12. (Lewis Jones)
Huddersfield - B
For a manager who had just seen his side beaten for the third time in a week, David Wagner was surprisingly upbeat after Huddersfield's defeat at Arsenal. The reason was clear: his side had gone to the Emirates and, for the most part, nullified one of the Premier League's 'big six'. Not only that, they competed with Arsenal across the pitch.
They rode their luck on a couple of occasions in the first half but, equally, could have gone in 1-0 up at half-time had Alex Pritchard done better from eight yards out and, in the second period, Arsenal created nothing of note before Torreira's goal seven minutes from time. It was an impressive defence display and despite the result, Wagner's positivity was certainly warranted with home games against Newcastle and Southampton to come before Christmas. (Sam Drury)
Burnley - B
Finally, Burnley ended their eight-game winless streak on Saturday and hauled themselves out of the relegation places. You knew it was their afternoon when a touch of luck - that had been lacking in recent games - saw a cross from Solly March turned into Joe Hart's hands by Ben Mee's knee.
Burnley saw the better of the chances going forward and looked to be back to their defensive best as they survived a late onslaught from Brighton to keep a clean sheet on Hart's 400th English league appearance. (Charlotte Marsh)
Arsenal - B-
Unai Emery's side were a long way from their best and there was little evidence of the flowing, passing moves that we saw against Tottenham last weekend but they did not lack fight. Huddersfield made sure Arsenal knew that were in a game but where in previous seasons, the Gunners may have been found wanting, here they stood up to the challenge.
Lucas Torreira typified the new-found grit, showing a willingness to get stuck in and a determination to keep coming back for more after finding himself on the receiving end of a number of robust challenges. The Uruguayan also provided the moment of quality that finally broke Huddersfield's resistance, scoring an overhead kick from close range. (Sam Drury)
Brighton - C+
It was a frustrating afternoon for Brighton, who came up against a Burnley side due for a victory. In testing conditions at Turf Moor, Brighton did not have their usual flow going forward with Pascal Gross and Florin Andone offering little in attack.
But despite conceding, they did well at the back with Lewis Dunk, in particular, putting in a good shift without his usual centre-back partner, Shane Duffy. Special mention must also go to Solly March who is playing with bags of confidence - and rightly so. Their recent performances and general good results should give them plenty of hope and little cause for concern. (Charlotte Marsh)
Manchester City - C
For the first 44 minutes this was vintage City, who produced a performance that had everything apart from a goal their play deserved. However, from the moment N'Golo Kante smacked Chelsea in front, City were out of ideas. David Silva was out of sorts before being replaced with a hamstring injury and City's full-backs didn't provide any attacking outlet. Pep Guardiola will be looking for a reaction. (Lewis Jones)
Newcastle - C
A seventh home defeat doesn't read too well on paper - but Rafa Benitez's men were unfortunate to be on the losing side against Wolves. After falling behind early, the Toon responded bravely in front of a prickly home crowd and looked the more likely winners, even after DeAndre Yedlin was sent off with over half an hour left. (Lewis Jones)
Leicester - C
Since they returned to the Premier League in 2014-15, Leicester have conceded 22 goals against Tottenham in the competition, more than they have against any other opponent.
Claude Puel has also had his struggles against Spurs and the Leicester manager has now lost more Premier League games against Spurs (four) than any other opponent.
It was an evening to forget for Leicester, who lost their sixth game of the season following goals from Son and Alli. Clear-cut chances were few and far between for Puel's men, who are missing the cutting edge of the injured Jamie Vardy. (Oliver Yew)
Crystal Palace - C-
This game was Palace's to hold onto, and Roy Hodgson did himself few favours by pointing the finger at referee Anthony Taylor after full-time - as they were far more to blame for throwing away their lead so limply than any arguable refereeing errors.
Hodgson's men look devoid of confidence, none more so than Wilfried Zaha, who saw plenty of the ball but was well below-par at the London Stadium. That will be the biggest of a number of concerns for the manager, because otherwise Palace could be the latest team 'too good to go down' who end up in the bottom three. (Ron Walker)
Bournemouth - D
Although Liverpool's quality would have eventually shone through regardless, all four goals were down to individual mistakes, something Eddie Howe picked up on after the match.
Steve Cook, in particular, had a moment to forget, and though the effort was there from Howe's side, the quality certainly wasn't.
Howe was right to pick up on an offside first goal, saying it was a vital decision which pushed the game in Liverpool's direction, but the visitors always looked comfortable defensively. (Gerard Brand)
Fulham - D
The 4-1 loss at Old Trafford means Fulham have now conceded 40 league goals after 16 games - only Barnsley in 1997-98 (43) have been more porous at this stage since the Premier League began.
Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri summed it up best, saying his side "didn't turn up" in the first half, and this no-show cost them dearly.
Ranieri was also disgruntled by the decision to show Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa a second yellow, one minute after Aboubakar Kamara's penalty reduced the deficit to 3-1, but 11 men, 10 men, it mattered little - they were thoroughly outplayed on the day. (Michael Hincks)
Southampton - D
Ralph Hasenhuttl experienced a tough start to his tenure as Southampton boss. Although he made six changes to his side and elected to play a narrow 4-3-2-1 system, costly errors defensively will give him plenty of cause for concern.
The entire backline struggled to contain Cardiff's front three while, going forward, the Premier League's 19th- placed side did little to threaten Neil Etheridge in goal as their winless run stretches to 14 matches. (James Kilpatrick)