Premier League grades: Everton and Liverpool impress, Chelsea slump
Everton, Liverpool, West Ham and Leicester earn victories over weekend
Last Updated: 18/03/19 9:06am
Only half the Premier League teams were in action over the weekend, but who showed a new-found resolve and whose "ineptitude in both boxes cost them dear"?
Liverpool and Everton both won on Sunday while there were goals aplenty on Saturday as Bournemouth and Newcastle shared four in a 2-2 draw and West Ham beat Huddersfield 4-3.
Who got top marks for their performance and who has work to do? Read on for our weekend grades...
Everton - A
Everton's wretched record at home looked set to take a turn for the worse after spending the majority of the first half on the back foot against a Chelsea side in full flow. Captain Seamus Coleman admitted after the game that the Toffees were fortunate to reach half-time on level terms, but there was nothing fortunate about the second-half revival the hosts produced.
Marco Silva has endured a tough time at the helm in recent months but the nature of the victory over Chelsea - Everton's first over a 'top-six' side since 2017 - was an illustration of the tenacious yet technical brand of football he wants to employ. Everton were excellent in the second half and took their chances when they arrived, the Goodison faithful will hope for more of the same between now and the end of the season. (Jack Wilkinson)
Newcastle - B+
Newcastle stuck with it, even after going 2-1 down in the 81st minute, and Matt Ritchie's goal was simply sublime. Their battling defensive qualities was perfectly encapsulated by Paul Dummett's remarkable acrobatic clearance to deny Callum Wilson's neat header when it was 1-1.
Newcastle lacked spark going forward, but they were unfortunate to be on the receiving end of what looked like a soft penalty decision when Federico Fernandez was adjudged to have brought down Nathan Ake in the box. Had that not been given, the result may well have swung in Newcastle's favour. (James Kilpatrick)
Liverpool - B
Back on top of the Premier League, but Liverpool made hard work of it at Fulham. Jurgen Klopp summed it up well afterwards by saying it was an "average game" but a "sensational result".
Liverpool always looked to be in control of the game but they didn't put the Premier League's worst defence to the sword as might have been expected. There was slack passing in the final third and Mohamed Salah's struggles in front of goal continued as his scoreless streak extended to seven matches in all competitions.
An uncharacteristic error from Virgil van Dijk (although James Milner took the blame) for Fulham's equaliser somewhat summed up Liverpool's display in the second half, but they managed to respond and secure the win.
This might not be a performance that Liverpool will remember fondly at the end of the season, but the result could be significant. (James Walker-Roberts)
Bournemouth - B
Eddie Howe alluded to the fact his side have "work to do" after Newcastle grabbed a dramatic draw at the Vitality Stadium and he's got a point.
Although Bournemouth did well to go 2-1 up after being a goal down at half-time, Howe referred to defensive frailties in both goals conceded. The first came from a free-kick and the second saw Ritchie left unmarked at the back post.
Nevertheless, they still looked dangerous in attack with Joshua King, Ryan Fraser and Dominic Solanke - off the bench - proving particularly useful. (James Kilpatrick)
West Ham - B
West Ham were heading for an F with 15 minutes to go, trailing Huddersfield 3-1 after an inept display. But they turned it around and showed plenty of mettle to get back into the game and pick up three points late on.
Javier Hernandez is a lethal finisher and he took his chances well, meaning West Ham are just two points behind Wolves in seventh and one behind Watford in eighth. The comeback victory made it three Premier League wins in a row at the London Stadium for the first time too. It's starting to feel more like home. (Matt Storey)
Leicester - B-
Even if Brendan Rodgers has not been at Leicester long enough to implement his famed passing game, the team do now have a resolve they did not possess under Claude Puel.
Upon Harry Maguire being dismissed they managed the game superbly, which should be no surprise really given the top-level manager they have at the controls.
Though victory was rather fortuitous, it highlights the current spirit within the Foxes camp and a top-seven finish and a return to Europe cannot be ruled out. (Nick Howson)
Fulham - C
A seventh straight defeat means Fulham's situation is looking bleak, but there were some positive signs against Liverpool. As in their previous home match against Chelsea, Fulham managed to hang in the game with only a one-goal deficit and this time they took their chance to equalise when it was presented to them in the second half.
Fulham rarely threatened otherwise and probably would have been fortunate to escape with a draw, however they do look better organised under caretaker manager Scott Parker, who said afterwards that he saw enough "to suggest we're moving in the right direction". (James Walker-Roberts)
Huddersfield - C
Any other club guilty of throwing away a lead like that may get a lower grade, but Huddersfield were so good for 75 minutes. They forgot their plight, battled hard, played some neat football and deservedly led.
Eventually they succumbed to the norm and gave away three soft goals, all avoidable if it were not for individual mistakes. (Matt Storey)
Chelsea - D
Chelsea were insatiable at times in the first half at Goodison Park but their ineptitude in both boxes cost them dear. Everton, on a miserable run at home in the league, were there for the taking but a stunning second-half performance snatched a gift-wrapped away victory out of Chelsea's grasp.
The switch between that and the drastic downturn which followed after the interval left Maurizio Sarri with yet another post-mortem to conduct, with the initial findings described as a "mental block" by the Italian. Chelsea's top-four hopes could ill-afford the untimely setback on Merseyside, but neither could Sarri as his ability to motivate his players was called into question yet again. (Jack Wilkinson)
Burnley - D
If the Clarets do indeed lose their top-flight status, they will look back on this game as a key moment in their slip towards the Championship. As Sean Dyche observed, the home side failed to react to Leicester going down to 10 men and looked pedestrian in attack at times.
The lack of creativity from the hosts will be the manager's central concern in fact, with long aimless balls to Chris Wood and substitute Peter Crouch rarely succeeding. (Nick Howson)