September 22, 2020, 3:21

Stuart Pearce’s Premier League grades including an A+ for ‘sensational’ Huddersfield

Stuart Pearce’s Premier League grades including an A+ for ‘sensational’ Huddersfield

Did your Premier League team live up to expectations this weekend?

We’ve asked Sky Sports Now pundit Stuart Pearce to give each side a grade, based purely on their weekend performance.

So, how did your team fare? Did they get a stunning A+, an awful F, or something in between? Read on to find out…

Weekend results West Ham 0-3 Brighton Chelsea 4-2 Watford Huddersfield 2-1 Man Utd Man City 3-0 Burnley Newcastle 1-0 C Palace Stoke 1-2 Bournemouth Swansea 1-2 Leicester Southampton 1-0 West Brom Everton 2-5 Arsenal Tottenham 4-1 Liverpool Huddersfield – A+

An absolutely sensational result for the club, for the team, for the manager and right across the board. It looked like the certain result of the weekend – United getting a win there – but credit to them, they learnt their lessons from playing Tottenham a few weeks ago when they played very openly but got a hiding.

To win a game like that and to arrest a run of form that’s been pretty poor as well just recently, with all the things in the bag, it doesn’t get better than that.

Watch match highlights of Huddersfield 2-1 Man Utd Manchester City – A-

They’re rolling along just nicely and they look unstoppable. It was always going to be a tougher game this one because Sean Dyche has got Burnley very well organised so you’ve got to break them down, but City do look unstoppable at the moment. They were expected to win and they did so comfortably.

They also aren’t shipping goals which was the big question mark in the summer. Could they keep enough clean sheets? Can they defend well? Are the goalkeeper and central defenders good enough? Well, they are answering the questions with clean sheets.

Tottenham – A-

Tottenham 4-1 Liverpool

It was an absolutely incredible performance from the first minute until the last. To score that amount of goals against a major rival is huge and they didn’t have a player who played badly in their ranks.

I’ve sort of been playing down Harry Kane’s ability but I think even for myself, that likes to keep talented, young England players’ feet firmly on the ground, he went up another notch at the weekend in my eyes. While you’ve got a front man leading the line like he is and the rest of the team pitching in then it is onwards and upwards for Tottenham. Maybe playing at Wembley isn’t a bad thing!

Brighton – A-

If you keep a clean sheet and score three goals on the road as a newly promoted side then it’s the perfect result really for a team that, in general, are not free scoring.

Bournemouth – A-

A brilliant result for them. It was a game where I thought the best they would come away with was a point. They are on a bad run of form at the moment and to go away from home and get a result against a major rival is a fantastic result. They came out of the blocks and they defended stoutly.

Stoke 1-2 Bournemouth

I think Eddie [Howe] had a look at the way the team played and maybe thought they played too open. He needs a combination of good, flowing football but a good defensive display and I think he found that at Stoke.

Chelsea – B+

It was a mixed bag for Chelsea really. It was a fantastic result at the end of it, scoring four goals at home, but there are a lot of question marks. Watford played very well and were probably the better side over 90 minutes and maybe should have won, so you take the result and move on, but there are still questions all the same.

Arsenal – B+

Was winning away at Goodison a surprise? Not overly. They showed some fantastic composure in front of goal and there was some great finishing. To score five goals on the road also takes some doing.

Newcastle – B+

A great result for Newcastle. The key driver for this one is more the result than the performance. To beat a team that are going to be in and around you at the end of the season was massive. The performance wasn’t great but you take three points and move on.

Leicester – B+

Swansea 1-2 Leicester

A great result on the road. A change of manager might have given them a slight uplift, who knows. A win alleviated a lot of the pressure on them and a lot of problems. I think they’ll be safe this year, there’s no doubt in my mind about that, the squad is good enough, but they have got to deliver performances more regularly and winning on the road at Swansea is a good result.

Southampton – B+

This is a game I covered and it was a very average game. Two teams who were playing very cagily and nervously, but Southampton showed more oomph to go and win the game than West Brom did.

The goal that won it by Sofiane Boufal could be the goal of the season. To pick the ball up 40 yards from your own goal with your back to the opposition’s area, turn and go past three or four players down the length of the pitch and then have the composure to stroke it in, it was worth the admission price alone.

Watford – C+

They did a lot of good things but they never put Chelsea to bed when they had a good opportunity to do so. They should have come away with at least a point. That is the downside. They came away with nothing for some good play and creating good opportunities. You have to come away with something to show for it and they didn’t.

Burnley – C

They were in the game for a long period of time and made it very, very difficult for Manchester City but the bottom line is they were just outclassed over 90 minutes.

Man City 3-0 Burnley Crystal Palace – C

It was a game where they would have been looking forward to after the confidence booster against Chelsea last weekend and would have been hopeful of going there and nicking a point, maybe even more of a smash and grab. There wasn’t much in the game and they will be a little bit disappointed.

The performance was an improvement once again but they have still lost three points to a team that will be near them in the table, I think.

Liverpool – C-

They will be really disappointed. Some of the goals they gave away were absolutely horrific and I’ve got to say, almost amateurish defending. The defenders were playing with fear in their heart, you could tell that. Dejan Lovren was the main culprit and I think Simon Mignolet has to look at himself for the first goal at least. It was poor. They were ripped apart by an outstanding Tottenham performance but they got well and truly beaten and the manager will come away scratching his head.

West Brom – C-

They probably played well enough to get a point out of the game. They looked better when they changed the formation to a 3-5-2 in the second half and looked to chase the game with some more offensive players on the pitch but their whole afternoon’s work was undone by a wonderful goal so they’ll be disappointed to get nothing from the game. They’re on a really bad run of form at the moment.

Southampton 1-0 West Brom Manchester United – D

It was a really horrible result for them. Maybe playing in Europe had a detrimental effect this week, but I don’t want to make excuses for them because they should be going to Huddersfield and getting a result.

Even the manager came out and said the performance lacked oomph, lacked energy so Jose [Mourinho] really said it all for me. That summed it up really, it was an awful result.

Everton – D

It’s no surprise to be beaten at home by Arsenal because they have the capabilities of doing that. They started well in the game, Wayne Rooney got his goal but they didn’t build on it at all and looked so open to the counter-attack against a team like Arsenal who can look after the ball and pass it very well. It was a real stinker for them.

I think Ronald Koeman has invested a lot of money in Everton. Three months ago, he was coveted as one of the best managers in the league and I don’t think that changes. I think what he needs to do is to get a result very quickly for the team. I would still stick by him if I was Everton on the grounds that they have invested a lot of money in him and the squad, and it might need time to settle in and bed down.

Everton 2-5 Arsenal

In his defence, they’ve played nine matches now and five of those are teams who finished in the top six last season so I think you’ve got to bear that in mind as well. They are probably three points away from being halfway in the league and it can change very quickly. Most teams are very compact at this moment in time.

West Ham – D

Losing to a team that are nearby and around them is a bad result, especially at home. The fans are looking for an uplift and it wasn’t forthcoming. The level of performance was disappointing as well.

Stoke – D-

They’ll be really disappointed that they were beaten at home. There were key head-to-head games this weekend and Stoke v Bournemouth was exactly one of those – two teams in and around each other. If you end up losing three points to one of your major rivals at this moment in time, it is an awful result.

I don’t think the performance was great. Stoke took about half an hour to get going and get into any sort of rhythm in the match and by then, Bournemouth were 2-0 up and had won the game.

Swansea – D-

It was an awful result for them. They would have been looking at this game and identifying it as a key game to get three points against a Leicester team who have not been playing particularly well lately and not getting results.

I fear for Swansea a little bit. They’re on the slide a little bit and the only thing that is keeping them from the bottom of the table is three teams who are slightly worse than they are, rather than anything they are doing particularly well. They will be disappointed with the weekend and need to start picking up points at home. They are key to their survival this season.

Source: skysports.com

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