Premier League grades: Top marks for Chelsea, 'job done' for Manchester United and Tottenham
Manchester City, Cardiff and Wolves also score highly
Last Updated: 04/02/19 12:36pm
There are top marks for Chelsea, but who was "inept and lacklustre"? We mark each side in the latest Premier League grades.
Maurizio Sarri's side blew bottom side Huddersfield away on Saturday with a 5-0 win, while Tottenham, Manchester United and Manchester City also picked up wins.
With nine of the games already played this weekend, we mark each performance along with the top scorer in Sky Sports' Fantasy Football competition.
Chelsea - A+
Having suffered a damaging 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth in midweek, Chelsea responded in perfect style, albeit against obliging opponents. Gonzalo Higuain's early goal was exactly what Chelsea needed to settle any nerves and Huddersfield looked out of it after Eden Hazard's penalty late in the first half. There will be far tougher tests ahead but this was a welcome win for Chelsea, as well as a timely reminder of Hazard's quality as he produced a fine individual display. (James Walker-Roberts)
Cardiff - A
It was a truly emotional evening at the Cardiff City Stadium and the Welsh club once again stepped up to show their support, respect and love in the most tragic of circumstances. This time, it was one of their own as they beat Bournemouth 2-0 in their first home game since the disappearance of club-record signing Emiliano Sala.
Manager Neil Warnock was bursting with pride and emotion after a performance that was full of guts, confidence and most importantly, goals. Warnock said he believed Sala was with them throughout the game and Cardiff certainly showed the character and class that would make the striker proud. (Charlotte Marsh)
Wolves - A
The visitors produced a near-faultless performance at Goodison on Saturday afternoon, controlling proceedings from start to finish as they stretched their lead over eighth-placed Watford to four points.
Their defence was barely troubled throughout the game, while they were a constant threat on the break, as demonstrated by their third goal scored by Leander Dendoncker. (Richard Morgan)
Manchester City - A-
Bursting out of the traps, City were wonderful for the first 10 minutes on Sunday, and their common aim of blitzing opposition early on looked to be working again.
They did however show defensive weaknesses for a large chunk of the first half as Arsenal exploited the flanks, but their man for the big game came up trumps again.
Aguero's amazing record
Sergio Aguero was the hero yet again for Manchester City as he scored a hat-trick in their 3-1 win over Arsenal.
To think that Sergio Aguero's future at City looked in major doubt just two years ago seems so farfetched as he notched his 19th, 20th and 21st goals of the season, and another few goals against big opposition.
City's second-half showing was disciplined yet still entertaining, restricting Arsenal to no shots on goal, and securing a vital win to throw pressure back on Liverpool. (Gerard Brand)
Manchester United - B+
Job done is probably the kindest way Manchester United's performance at Leicester can be described. They looked like they were hungry to avenge Tuesday's draw with Burnley early on, and scored one of two glorious chances they created in the first 10 minutes. But after that they dropped off, and never really recovered. Still, no-one can argue with another win, United's recent form and Rashford's Midas touch… but they will need to improve from this display with a challenging run of fixtures coming up. (Ron Walker)
Tottenham - B
Job done again for Spurs, who are starting to enter conversations once again regarding their title credentials. After defeat at home to Manchester United, the north Londoners have now won their last three Premier Leagues games, all by one goal, all with late strike. Isn't that a sign of champions?
They'll need slip-ups from the two ahead of them but all they can do is keep picking up maximum points. This was their 29th league game in a row without a draw - a Premier League record run. (Lewis Jones)
Brighton - B
Chris Hughton was unsurprisingly pleased his side showed their commitment had not dipped despite a 4-2 defeat to Fulham in midweek. They just lacked the killer touch to beat Watford at the Amex Stadium, and came up against a goalkeeper in Ben Foster who is bang in form.
There was evidence of nerves among Brighton's players as they looked tentative at times but this was a platform to build on, even if it was not one for the memory banks. (Ron Walker)
Leicester - B-
Leicester's second-half performance probably should have earned them a point against Manchester United. They had a few decent chances, with Jamie Vardy the guiltiest party of a profligate bunch. But by that point they hadn't been able to shake off the old skeletons in the closet, and conceded inside the opening 15 minutes for the 11th time this season. That ultimately cost them and is such a concern hanging over Leicester's season. (Ron Walker)
Crystal Palace - C+
Despite the 2-0 victory over Fulham, Roy Hodgson admitted his Palace side were sloppy in the first half and fortunate to go in at the break leading.
Without talisman Wilfried Zaha the Eagles generally struggle but the old adage is that you can only beat what is in front of you - and Fulham were poor.
The brief cameo of Michy Batshuayi, who showed real quality to assist Jeffrey Schlupp's late goal, was one bright spot in what was an otherwise drab affair. (Blake Welton)
Southampton - C+
The better side for much of their match against Burnley, and they were unlucky to lose striker Danny Ings to injury early on.
A wonderful goal by Nathan Redmond, however, is not enough to redeem Southampton's performance towards the end of the game. The Saints sat back and invited pressure and sure enough, Burnley equalised late on. (Freddie Clayton)
Newcastle - C
This was a typical Rafael Benitez away performance on the road. The Toon - after a morale boosting week which saw them beat Manchester City and break their transfer record - played with little attacking spark but almost left Wembley with a point after a determined defensive showing. They rode their luck in the first-half but a Tottenham winning goal didn't look likely until Martin Dubravka's big mistake. (Lewis Jones)
Bournemouth - C
After an impressive 4-0 win at Chelsea in midweek, Bournemouth continued their struggles on the road in the Premier League as they lost at Cardiff. The Cherries have now lost each of their last seven away league games and have conceded at least twice.
Eddie Howe pointed to Bournemouth's inconsistencies after the game and the last few days are certainly a testament to that. There could still be time to be slung into the relegation dog fight and they need to start finding some guts away from home to pick up the points. (Charlotte Marsh)
Watford - C
A point at Brighton is not a bad result for any side, but Watford failed to register a single shot on target throughout the afternoon and it's not like they were banging on the door either.
Their defensive sturdiness was chalk and cheese with their toothless attack and the absence of Roberto Pereyra is not an excuse for their performance with Troy Deeney, Gerard Deulofeu and Will Hughes all anonymous going forward. (Ron Walker)
Arsenal - C-
There is little doubt Unai Emery has improved Arsenal's defensive discipline, exemplified by Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang playing far deeper than they're used to, but there are still signs of weakness.
Alex Iwobi was needlessly robbed for City's first and the defence fell asleep as Ilkay Gundogan dinked a ball over the line for the second. There is still work to be done, but this was always going to be a tough afternoon. (Gerard Brand)
Burnley - C-
There was very little creativity going forward for Burnley, who relied largely on the sheer willpower of Ashley Barnes to win them a point. However, they dominated Southampton during the final 20 minutes and their stoppage-time equaliser was ultimately deserved. Dyche made the right call by bringing on Deadline Day signing Peter Crouch late in the game, with the big man causing the Southampton defence all sorts of problems. (Freddie Clayton)
Everton - D
Marco Silva's side suffered their fourth Premier League defeat at home of the season after going down 3-1 to Wolves on Saturday.
There were boos at the final whistle, and understandably so after another lacklustre display at Goodison Park by Everton. All of which means the Toffees have now won just one of their previous six league games in front of their own fans. (Richard Morgan)
Fulham - D
For a side in the bottom three you would expect the Cottagers to be fighting for their lives to get out of it. But they were inept and lacklustre throughout the encounter with Crystal Palace and did not muster a single shot on target - despite having an incredible 63 per cent possession.
They have also conceded the most away goals of any other Premier League side (32) with Palace's 25th-minute penalty a gift - ones they will have to stop giving if they have any chance of survival. (Blake Welton)
Huddersfield - E
"We can't compete with Chelsea. We can't compare our clubs at the moment."
Jan Siewert acknowledged Chelsea were at a different level to Huddersfield in their 5-0 win at Stamford Bridge, and the new Terriers boss won't take too many positives from the display. Huddersfield occasionally threatened on the break but, as they have all season, they lacked any cutting edge. Siewert now has a first free week to work with his squad and will be hoping for improvement next time out. (James Walker-Roberts)