Premier League grades: Chelsea held, Burnley win first game
Last Updated: 23/09/18 9:52pm
Which teams are top of the class and who will be sat on the naughty step for their performances in the latest round of Premier League fixtures this weekend?
Liverpool are the only remaining team with a 100 per cent record after they beat Southampton and West Ham held Chelsea to a draw, while Burnley finally registered their first victory with a thumping result against Bournemouth.
Here's how we graded each side this weekend...
Man City - A+
City pass with flying colours having responded to their Champions League defeat to Lyon in style. Cardiff made it difficult for the opening 30 minutes, but there was no looking back after Sergio Aguero scored the opener on his 300th appearance for the club.
The 5-0 win was hardly flattering for Pep Guardiola's side, who were simply on another level, with Ilkay Gundogan instrumental in attack. Opposing manager Neil Warnock called it before the match, and summed it up best after: "It was always going to be tough. That quality just shone though. One lapse and Aguero does what he's good at." (Michael Hincks)
Burnley - A
Burnley have endured a difficult start to the campaign but the win over Bournemouth and the manner in which it came will give Sean Dyche and his players a massive boost. They had a slightly nervy start but once Matej Vydra opened the scoring, the confidence came flooding back into the team.
That Vydra and another striker, Ashley Barnes, were both on the scoresheet will be a huge relief to Dyche considering how his team have struggled for goals of late - those four goals in the space of 59 minutes were more than Burnley had managed in their first five league games combined. (Oliver Young-Myles)
Liverpool - A-
The 3-0 win over Southampton was as routine as they come. A change of formation wasn't without its difficulties, Southampton were given slightly more encouragement going forward than Jurgen Klopp would have liked, but it didn't prevent them having the points wrapped up by half-time.
Reverting to 4-3-3 in the second period gave them the organisation Klopp was after and although they may have been slightly irked at not extending their lead further, a sixth league win on the bounce, and seventh in all competitions, should mean any disappointment at Anfield is short-lived. (Sam Drury)
Leicester - B+
What a difference a win makes!
The pressure was beginning to rise after Leicester recorded two straight Premier League defeats by Liverpool and Bournemouth, but they are into ninth in the table after victory against Huddersfield.
It wasn't all straight forward after Huddersfield had taken a fifth-minute lead but they responded well with goals from Kelechi Iheanacho, James Maddison and Jamie Vardy inspiring them to what was, in the end, a comfortable win. (Oliver Yew)
Newcastle United - B+
Newcastle had no intention of taking the game to Crystal Palace, but got exactly what they wanted. It wasn't pretty to watch, but they kept Martin Dubravka relatively untroubled until the final 10 minutes, and frustrated Palace to earn their first point in four games.
Their lack of ambition is a little troubling, as Palace are not world-beaters, but you can't ever argue too much with a point on the road. (Ron Walker)
Tottenham - B+
After a tricky few weeks, Spurs put in a solid showing on the south coast which centred around Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele. The pair controlled proceedings, helped by an early injury to Brighton's Dale Stephens, refusing to let Brighton through midfield.
Mauricio Pochettino's men were made to sweat late on, but with Harry Kane ending his mini goal drought, this was a good day all-round for Tottenham. (Gerard Brand)
Wolves - B+
Week by week, Wolves are getting better and better. In truth, they really could have won the game at Old Trafford, having bettered Manchester United in all departments for much of the contest, but they could not take their chances, thus depriving the newly-promoted side an A grade.
They were exceptionally well organised, and a real threat on the counter. Nuno Espirito Santo really has found a perfect formula, as he never changes his starting XI. The only way is surely up for this Wolves side. (Pete Hall)
Arsenal - B
On paper this was a routine 2-0 victory, but it was anything but easy for Unai Emery's men. The pace of Richarlison and Theo Walcott caused Arsenal's defence all sorts of issues in the first 55 minutes, and it took an Alexandre Lacazette stunner against the run of play to break the deadlock.
To his credit, Emery did recognise his side couldn't find their rhythm until then, and there were positives thereafter. They began to control the game, despite a clear offside goal by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and the performance of Petr Cech was a huge plus. Can the feared strike duo at the other end fire them into the top four?
Fulham - B
The home side responded well after being outplayed by Watford before the break at Craven Cottage.
And the west London club fully deserved their second-half equaliser that rescued a point after a spirited second-half display. (Richard Morgan)
Crystal Palace - B
Roy Hodgson's side were a goal away from a strong performance. They dominated possession and play against Newcastle, but they never looked too likely to cut them apart.
Wilfried Zaha's quiet performance didn't help, and neither did Mamadou Sakho's inexplicable late miss, but they needed more to break down a Newcastle side who maybe wanted it a little more. (Ron Walker)
Watford - B
The visitors bossed proceedings in the first half and fully deserved to be leading at the interval - in fact they could, and should, have been further ahead.
And while they did eventually have to settle for a point, the Hornets' impressive start to the new season continues. (Richard Morgan)
West Ham - B
Things are looking up in east London. Four points from their last two games has eased fears of another relegation battle this season. The Hammers were well disciplined in across the back as they delivered their game-plan to stop Eden Hazard with brilliant execution. If Andriy Yarmolenko had headed home a wonderful chance late on, Chelsea could have had few complaints.
If West Ham play with this sort of organisation and sharpen up their finishing slightly, then a top-10 spot is well within their grasp. (Lewis Jones)
Southampton - B-
Mark Hughes admitted that it was a case of damage limitation for Southampton in the second half at Anfield. That came after they walked off 3-0 down at half-time, despite playing reasonably well for much of the first 45 minutes.
Cedric Soares and Ryan Bertand had some success down the flanks but with Danny Ings ineligible, they lacked any sort of cutting edge up front and when combined with conceding what Hughes dubbed "easy" goals, a positive result was never going to be likely.
The Saints' season won't be defined by their results at places like Anfield though, and there was enough to offer some encouragement despite what the scoreline might suggest. (Sam Drury)
Cardiff - C
Despite shipping in five goals against the Premier League champions, Neil Warnock will be able to draw on some positives from Cardiff's home display, particularly in the opening half-hour which saw City fail to record a single shot.
Warnock treated the City game as a free hit, and though it turned into a heavy defeat, the Cardiff boss will not be deterred. They must forget their losses to Arsenal, Chelsea and City and focus on Sunday's match against Burnley - live on Sky Sports - a home tie which presents the Bluebirds with a great opportunity to get their first win of the season.
And with trips to Tottenham and Liverpool to come in October, it already feels like a must-win. (Michael Hincks)
Chelsea - C
Maybe this was a well-timed reality check for those pondering whether Chelsea could keep tabs on Manchester City and Liverpool this season. On this showing, there is a gap between the west Londoners and the early pacesetters. With Eden Hazard suffocated by West Ham's midfield, Chelsea looked clueless at times in the final third.
Alvaro Morata, N'Golo Kante and Willian were all guilty of being wasteful in front of goal while Hazard's decision-making was unusually poor. Meanwhile, at the other end, the Hammers looked a threat despite not having much of the ball as the Chelsea defence looked suspect when called into action. (Lewis Jones)
Everton - C
Marco Silva was right: Everton did deserve something from The Emirates. If it weren't for Cech, the visitors would have headed back to Merseyside with at least a point.
Pros? Richarlison is back, and Silva looks to be getting the best out of Walcott. Cons? They need to be more incisive in front of goal, a trait also evident in the defeat by West Ham last Sunday.
Nevertheless, this feels like an Everton moving in the right direction.
Brighton - C-
With Spurs recently looking vulnerable at set pieces and fielding a goalkeeper who hadn't played since last November, Brighton were expected to load the visitors' box with regularity from the off.
Surprisingly, they sat back, registering just 21 per cent possession in the first half, and only got going in the final half an hour.
They did cause problems when they found their rhythm, and could have even nicked an undeserved point as Spurs got nervy late on, but this felt like a chance missed for Chris Hughton's men. (Gerard Brand)
Manchester United: C-
After a disappointing 1-1 draw with Wolves, Manchester United have dropped six points from seven Premier League games at Old Trafford against newly-promoted opposition under Jose Mourinho; more than United had dropped in 10 seasons in the top-flight between 2006-07 and 2015-16 (5).
What was most painful for United fans as their side laboured in attack against a very impressive Wolves was that the draw came on the back of three successive wins in all competitions.
It appeared United had turned the corner after back-to-back defeats at the end of August, but now it is back to square one for Mourinho and his faltering side. (Pete Hall)
Bournemouth - D
Eddie Howe stated after the game that Bournemouth's performance didn't warrant their 4-0 defeat and in some respects he was right. Bournemouth enjoyed 62 per cent possession and had their chances to score, particularly at 0-0.
However, Bournemouth were sloppy defensively and wasteful in attack and that combination isn't likely to get you anywhere in the Premier League, especially against a hungry Burnley side desperate for a first victory.
Bournemouth could play worse and win this season and Howe will put it down to being one of those bad days at the office. (Oliver Young-Myles)
Huddersfield - D
David Wagner's side remain without a win this season and are bottom of the Premier League after squandering an early lead to lose at Leicester.
It's shaping up to be a long old season for Huddersfield, who are lacking in confidence after picking up just two points from their first six matches.
Things are not going to get any easier either with matches against Tottenham and Liverpool on the horizon. (Oliver Yew)