Premier League grades: Liverpool, Chelsea and Watford stay perfect
Last Updated: 03/09/18 11:44am
Which manager will be "over the moon" and who had another "chastening afternoon" in the latest round of Premier League fixtures?
Liverpool, Chelsea and Watford maintained their perfect starts into the international break, while Manchester United got back to winning ways to ease the pressure on Jose Mourinho.
Here's how we graded each side this weekend...
Watford - A
Despite defending resolutely, Watford were not great in the first 45 minutes of Super Sunday. But to their credit, after going behind they pressed 10 yards further up the pitch and put genuine pressure on the Spurs goal.
The two goals were not hit-and-run; Watford were winning every 50-50 for half an hour, and few will say they did not deserve to come away with three points. Their 100 per cent start to the season continues, after many had tipped them to struggle this season. (Gerard Brand)
Wolves - A-
If you had have offered Nuno Espirito Santo a point before kick-off I'm sure he would have taken it, but to nick all three in the manner they did, he will be over the moon with his side.
Adama Traore's last-gasp strike ended Wolves' longest ever winless run in the top flight, having previously gone 17 games without a win in the Premier League.
It was a massive result for the newly-promoted side and one that will fill them with confidence. "It feels good," Nuno said. "Even if we didn't win I would be happy because we worked hard. We are happy and for our fans, it's massive, to come here and get three points." (Oliver Yew)
Arsenal - B+
Alexandre Lacazette really got Arsenal out of trouble at Cardiff, because their defending was very poor against a side who had not scored in three games beforehand. They still have a lot of work to do with playing out from the back, but they deserve credit for having the character not to crumble and grind out the victory. (Ron Walker)
Chelsea - B+
Chelsea were made to work hard for victory against Bournemouth. The Blues had the majority of the possession but did not fashion too many clear chances and were fortunate Callum Wilson and Nathan Ake failed to finish from excellent positions. However, Chelsea played with good intensity and their persistence was rewarded as Pedro and Eden Hazard struck late on. There are still details to work on and things to improve - as Maurizio Sarri admitted afterwards - but four wins from four is a decent platform to build from. (James Walker-Roberts)
Huddersfield - B+
Having conceded six goals in their one other away outing this term, albeit against far superior opposition, this was a marked improvement from David Wagner's disciplined side.
Huddersfield frustrated Everton with their time-wasting at throw-ins, but they looked dangerous at set pieces and were good value for their second point of the season.
This was far from a backs-against-the-wall display. Defensively resolute when they needed to be, Everton offered very little attacking threat in the second period, with Huddersfield's six attempts on goal indicative of their bullish approach to the encounter. (Ben Grounds)
Spurs' set-piece problem
Tottenham undone by two set-pieces at Watford and must solve recurring problem
Liverpool - B+
It would have been an 'A' for Liverpool, but for a slack performance after going 2-0 ahead on the stroke of half-time when the visitors appeared to be cruising towards all three points.
However, a terrible gaffe from new £67m goalkeeper Alisson allowed Leicester back into the game and Jurgen Klopp's team were made to sweat late on, before securing their best top-flight start to a season since 1900. (Richard Morgan)
Man Utd - B+
Anybody watching United's victory at Burnley would not have had a clue of the problems that have gripped the club over the past fortnight. But from first minute to last, United controlled every aspect of their game at Turf Moor to relief the pressure on beleaguered boss Jose Mourinho. How much the improved display had to do with Burnley's energy levels is up for debate, but the fact United won 2-0 after Paul Pogba missed a penalty and Marcus Rashford was sent off is testament to their performance. (Jack Wilkinson)
Southampton - B+
Southampton started the game slowly but got off to a fast start in the second half with Danny Ings' opener setting the tone for an improved performance.
Aside from some glaring misses from Palace's Christian Benteke, Southampton looked assured and could have won 3-0 had Charlie Austin not missed from the spot. (James Kilpatrick)
Cardiff - B
Really, this is as much as Cardiff could have realistically expected against Arsenal. They had the chances to grab a draw against the Gunners but they can take a lot of positives from the way their team attacked. Neil Warnock is not known for trying to take the game to more talented opposition - but he did it here, and it almost worked. (Ron Walker)
Fulham - B
It was also a mixed result for Fulham on the south coast. Yes, it was their first point on the road against a side known for their strength at home, but having been 2-0 up, mistakes cost them rather than any Brighton pressure.
An in-form Aleksandar Mitrovic is key to survival, and they have real quality in Jean Michael Seri, but time will tell whether these two points dropped will be costly. (Gerard Brand)
Leicester - B
Leicester's impressive display at the King Power deserved more, especially after a strong second-half showing that almost saw the home side earn a point against the Premier League leaders.
Claude Puel's side may have started slowly on Saturday lunchtime, but the manner in which they pushed their more-fancied opponents back after the break, resulting in Rachid Ghezzal's debut goal for his new team, could on another day have seen them produce a stunning fightback. (Richard Morgan)
Arsenal defence must match attack
Arsenal have thrilling attack but defensive errors in danger of holding them back
Man City - B
The champions were not at their brilliant best but they had a measure of control throughout their victory over a well-organised and determined Newcastle defence. However, their class told in the end as first-class finishes from Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker and flashes of brilliance across the pitch. (Jack Wilkinson)
Despite looking brightest early on, Pascal Gross' missed penalty had a psychological impact on Chris Hughton's side, and it took them a while to recover.
They look energetic at home this season, but there are still defensive frailties, exposed by Fulham during rare attacks. Glenn Murray saved them again, and you cannot sniff at a point having been 2-0 with 25 minutes remaining, but this was a day of mixed emotions. (Gerard Brand)
Bournemouth - B-
On another day Bournemouth could have won at Stamford Bridge for the third time in the last four seasons. They were defensively compact and restricted the home side to few clear chances. However, Bournemouth failed to take the two clear chances they created as Callum Wilson shot over the bar and then Nathan Ake scooped over from inside the six-yard box. Those misses proved costly, but overall it was an encouraging display from Bournemouth. (James Walker-Roberts)
Crystal Palace - C
Another disappointing result for Palace who looked good in attack at times, but the absence of Wilfried Zaha was clearly felt as they failed to capitalise on some good goalscoring opportunities with Jordan Ayew and Christian Benteke not at their best.
Although the team performance could have been better, there was still some fine individual displays from Wayne Hennessey, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and James McArthur. (James Kilpatrick)
Everton - C
This was a disjointed performance from Everton which leaves manager Marco Silva with plenty to consider heading into the international break.
A dearth of creative options on the bench following a spate of injuries limited what he could do to inject greater life into this languid display - but on this evidence, Richarlison cannot come back from his suspension soon enough.
Lucas Digne and Kurt Zouma both impressed on their first Premier League starts for the club, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin was full of endeavour, but more far more quality will be needed if they are to improve upon last season's finish of eighth. (Ben Grounds)
Newcastle - C-
After the week in which Rafa Benitez was forced to defend his tactics, the Magpies once again prioritised defence at the home of the champions. This time, however, there was a drastic improvement in their approach and application. DeAndre Yedlin's strike - Newcastle's first away from home in the league this season - gave the travelling faithful something to cheer about, and City a challenge to deal with. After the disappointing showing against Chelsea, Newcastle's players deserved credit for the fight they showed at the Etihad. (Jack Wilkinson)
West Ham - C-
It was another chastening afternoon for the Hammers. They looked on course to pick up their first point of the season and they even had chances to take all three but for a couple of fine saves from Rui Patricio to deny Michail Antonio and Mark Arnautovic.
However, another mistake, this time from Carlos Sanchez, proved costly as Traore's injury-time strike sent West Ham to their fourth straight league defeat this season.
It only the second time in the club's history that West Ham have lost their first four league games in a season and the first time since 2010-11, when Avram Grant's side went on to be relegated. (Oliver Yew)
Reasons for Mourinho to be cheerful
Cause for optimism for Jose Mourinho after Manchester United's victory at Burnley
Burnley - D
Manchester United had won their last 23 Premier League games in which they had scored first, and when Romelu Lukaku fired them ahead at Turf Moor, Burnley showed little sign of ending that run. With their midweek Europa League exploits weighing heavy in their legs, Sean Dyche's side will have been pleased to hear the final whistle, which ushered in an opportunity to regroup in the forthcoming international break. (Jack Wilkinson)
Mauricio Pochettino was visibly fuming with his side after the game, and mentioned that the first half felt like a friendly. He's not wrong; Spurs simply played football with no real aggression and without the quality their starting XI permits. Worryingly, their options on the bench at 1-1 and 2-1 were thin.
After getting a fortunate lead, they continued in a relaxed manner, and Watford pounced. Not the sign of title contenders, and their manager knows it. (Gerard Brand)
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