Premier League grades: Liverpool maintain perfect record, West Ham win
Last Updated: 17/09/18 12:34pm
Which team tops the shop with an 'A' and who has come bottom of the class with an 'E' for their performance in the latest round of Premier League fixtures?
Liverpool and Chelsea maintained their perfect start to the season, with West Ham also picking up their first win of the season. Watford, though, were subject to their first defeat after a 2-1 loss to Manchester United.
Here's how we graded each side this weekend...
West Ham - A
A perfect remedy to a difficult start to the season was finally delivered by West Ham, who had a performance and a result at Goodison Park. Putting three in midfield allowed them to take the initiative, and their front three of Marko Arnautovic, Filipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko were magnificent. The defensive concerns remain to a degree, but this is a real step in the right direction.
Bournemouth - A
Bournemouth were clinical in their display against Leicester. Out of their five shots on target, four of them hit the back of the net. An excellent individual display from Ryan Fraser lifted Bournemouth to a very impressive win while Asmir Begovic made some vital saves to keep Bournemouth ahead when they were 1-0 up.
The only sour note was conceding two goals in the final two minutes of the match. Nevertheless, Eddie Howe will be delighted with the way his side performed. (James Kilpatrick)
Liverpool - A-
An impressive victory from Liverpool as they maintained their perfect start to the season. Liverpool looked much sharper and more threatening than Tottenham, and the only negatives from the display were the late goal conceded in injury-time and the fact the result was not completely beyond doubt by then, as the visitors spurned several presentable chances. However, that should not take away from a win that was more convincing than the scoreline suggests. (James Walker-Roberts)
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Manchester United - B+
It was a much-needed win for Man Utd with the shadow of defeats to Brighton and Tottenham still lingering, and to dip into the book of football cliches, it was certainly a game of two halves. Jose Mourinho summed it up best in his post-match press conference: "I feel a bit frustrated because we had everything in the first half to kill the game... In the beginning of the second half, we let the game go down in intensity, we stopped being aggressive with and without the ball."
It's the dip in the second half that stops them from edging into the 'A' category and credit must go to Marouane Fellaini, who came in for praise from his manager after having a hand in both goals: "He gives us quality and simplicity. He is playing simple and well. I am really happy for Marouane."
Paul Pogba - whose future continues to be subject of speculation - also played some inspired passes to help his team-mates up front and seriously tested goalkeeper Ben Foster on three occasions in the first half. (Charlotte Marsh)
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Arsenal - B+
The Gunners are still not at their best but they are getting the job done. Victory at Newcastle means Unai Emery's side have won consecutive Premier League away games for the first time since May 2017 and it's a result that will build confidence at the Emirates Stadium.
"The result gives us confidence but there are things on the pitch, individually and collectively, that we can improve," Unai Emery said.
The improvement Emery is talking about must come at the back. Arsenal have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their first five games to a top-flight season for the first time since the 1988-89 campaign and it's an area Emery must address heading into next Sunday's clash with Everton, which is live on Sky Sports. (Oliver Yew)
Chelsea - B+
It sounds odd after a 4-1 win, but Chelsea weren't entirely convincing in beating a hard-working but limited Cardiff side. When Chelsea were at their one-touch best, they were unstoppable, but it's still a work in progress. Until Cardiff threw away any hope of a comeback in the final 10 minutes they were very much still in the game, and the Blues need to be more consistent across 90 minutes. (Ron Walker)
Wolves - B+
Wolves picked up a second straight Premier League victory and their first home win of the season against Burnley, but the 1-0 scoreline did not reflect their superiority. They had 30 shots in the game - the most they have ever produced in a Premier League match - and had 59 per cent of the possession as they bossed the Super Sunday clash.
Joe Hart made three excellent first-half saves, James Tarkowski twice cleared off the line and Raul Jimenez missed a sitter before finally scoring the winner after an hour. The impressive Matt Doherty and substitute Leo Bonatini wasted further chances and the margin of victory really should have been much wider. Nuno Espirito Santo will be aware that his players will need to be more clinical in future. (Stephen Mills)
Manchester City - B
Nearly perfect marks for the Premier League champions, who were at their silky best in their simple victory over Fulham. They rarely had to get out of second gear the moment Leroy Sane opened the scoring in the first 90 seconds. The only downside was City's finishing. Raheem Sterling and the otherwise-excellent Bernardo Silva were both guilty on that front. (Lewis Jones)
Crystal Palace - B
It was job done as far as Roy Hodgson and Crystal Palace were concerned but they certainly didn't make things easy for themselves. Huddersfield put them under severe pressure but the visitors just about held firm with young right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka again delivering a promising performance.
Despite finding themselves hanging in for much of the second half, Crystal Palace did look extremely dangerous on the counter-attack, with Wilfried Zaha, Andros Townsend and Jordan Ayew, all taking the opportunity to spring forward at pace.
Following three successive defeats it was a big three points for Hodgson and his men and the goalscoring return of Zaha made it all the more sweeter. (Oliver Young-Myles)
Cardiff - B
Cardiff's defeat at Chelsea was as much of a free swing as they will get all season, and they won't be overly demoralised by the way they performed. They're the first team to take the lead at any point against them this season, and had chances to level at 2-1 before giving away a silly penalty in the last 10 minutes. These aren't the games that will define their season. (Ron Walker)
Huddersfield - C+
It was difficult to find too many things wrong with Huddersfield's performance. They passed the ball around well, delivered good crosses into the box from wide areas, restricted Crystal Palace to a handful of chances and largely dominated proceedings throughout.
Yet they ended up losing again, therefore extending their run of games without a victory to five and the reason behind that was their profligacy in front of goal. David Wagner labelled it Huddersfield's best performance of the season yet he will be acutely aware that if they can't turn their chances into goals, they are in for a long campaign ahead. (Oliver Young-Myles)
Watford - C+
Javi Gracia's side suffered their first defeat of the Premier League season, and it mostly comes down to being second best to Man Utd in the first half, with both of the visitors' goals coming within three minutes.
But they matched their opponents in the second half with Andre Gray scoring in the 65th minute, and nearly forced a result in the final few minutes as David de Gea denied Abdoulaye Doucoure and Christian Kabasele. It may be their first loss of the season, but it should not worry Watford too much. (Charlotte Marsh)
Leicester - C
Although Claude Puel's side conceded four goals and went down to 10 men, Leicester still had some bright moments in the game and had some chances which could have altered the entire course of the match.
Leicester's backline had a disappointing afternoon, but the frontline of Jamie Vardy and James Maddison did cause Bournemouth problems. Leicester's two late goals were fully justified in a game where the result perhaps did not reflect the full story of the match. (James Kilpatrick)
Newcastle - C-
It was yet another case of so near but so far for Newcastle this season. It's another slender defeat for Rafael Benitez's side against one of the top sides but it's a defeat that sees them slip to an unwanted record. One point from five games represents Newcastle's joint-worst start to a Premier League campaign (also 1999-00) but there are positives - the first-half display against the Gunners for instance - for Benitez and his side to take into next week's clash at Crystal Palace. (Oliver Yew)
Everton - D
Wow, their season has swung. A solid start is looking a lot more shaky after a really poor performance against West Ham. They could have scored enough goals to get something out of the game with the chances they had, but their defending deserved nothing - Kurt Zouma and Mason Holgate were especially shaky. A tough trip to Arsenal next week doesn't look like helping matters either. (Ron Walker)
Fulham - D
This was a bit of a reality check for the Londoners. They tried to take on City at their own game of playing out from the back and pressing high. It was a brave but ultimately naive tactic that presented City with too much space to work in. Easier tasks than this await but they'll need to be more tactically aware to pick up points in the Premier League. (Lewis Jones)
Tottenham - D-
"The result does not flatter Liverpool, it flatters Tottenham," said Graeme Souness after seeing Spurs beaten by Liverpool at Wembley. It was a second straight defeat for Spurs and, just like at Watford last time out, another below-par performance. Spurs looked sluggish, lacked spark going forward and were fortunate not to lose by more goals. Mauricio Pochettino must pick his side up quickly if they are going to stay in touch with the front-runners. (James Walker-Roberts)
Burnley - E
The 1-0 defeat at Wolves means Burnley have picked up only one point from their first five matches - their worst start to a top-flight season since 1927/28 - and Sean Dyche's side were flattered by the scoreline. They only created one meaningful chance in the match when Matej Vydra flashed a volley across goal that Jack Cork could not convert and the starting strikers Ashley Barnes and Sam Vokes were both hooked by Dyche after having little influence.
Things aren't much better at the other end of the pitch. They have now conceded 10 goals in their opening five league games this season (it took them 13 matches to concede their 10th goal of 2017/18) and they allowed their opponents an astonishing 30 attempts during the 90 minutes. The optimism of a European campaign has faded and this could be a real season of struggle on this showing. (Stephen Mills)