Premier League grades: Tottenham crash and burn against Arsenal, Manchester City dominate Chelsea


Premier League Matchday 6 concludes on Monday, but 18 of the 20 teams have already played their sixth match of the league season with some intriguing results on Saturday and Sunday. Manchester City won the rematch of the UEFA Champions League final, Manchester United were stunned at home, and Arsenal destroyed Tottenham, among other results. 

Here are our grades based on their games this past weekend:

Manchester City 1, Chelsea 0 (xG: 1.45-0.22)

Manchester City
Despite the lack of scoring, it was as convincing of a result as we’ve seen from them as of late. They were absolutely dominant on the ball, gave Chelsea nothing and were by far the better side from start to finish. The way they were able to neutralize Romelu Lukaku, mainly with Ruben Dias, was impressive.
Grade: A

Chelsea
That was a poor performance that they will want to soon forget. They could get nothing going in attack, they struggled to react to City’s passing, and they are lucky the scoreline wasn’t worse. Plenty to improve upon, but they’ll view this as a hiccup. 
Grade: D

Aston Villa 1, Manchester United 0 (xG: 1.35-2.12)

Aston Villa
Fully deserved. What a courageous win, which needed a late winner and for Emiliano Martinez to perform his sorcery before the penalty kick. That is a signature win for them that can really build momentum moving forward, showing them that, even after losing Jack Grealish, they can beat anybody.
Grade: A+

United
That’s three losses in their last four games and don’t let the inflated xG number deceive you, they’re not getting much in attack, especially from those not named Cristiano Ronaldo. Don’t let the xG fool you, take away the penalty and that’s 1.31 xG from 27 shots, or an anemic 0.048 xG per shot. Predictable, sloppy and just having a hard go of things as of late. And it might not get much better. Their upcoming matches: Villarreal (Champions League), Everton, Leicester, Atalanta (CL), Liverpool, Tottenham, Atalanta (UCL), Manchester City. Yikes. 
Grade: C-

Everton 2, Norwich City 0 (xG: 1.99-0.67)

Everton
Even without their big guns in attack, this was the expected result. Though they didn’t put it away until late so it felt like maybe a stroke of luck could have seen them drop points. They had done enough up to that point to win and managed to kill the game off. Don’t look now, but we’ve reached the point where we debate whether they are going to be top-six material.
Grade: B+

Norwich City
No team has scored less, and no team has conceded more. A recipe for a one-way ticket to relegation. At this point, they need something to change. They went with two strikers in Teemu Pukki and Josh Sargent, and that resulted in just two shots on goal. A complete dumpster fire. 
Grade: F

West Ham 2, Leeds 1 (xG: 2.17-1.07)

West Ham
Amazing what Michail Antonio continues to do. He’s the hero here with his late winner to boost the Hammers up the table. They deserved the victory, looked electric as usual and continue to surpass expectations. This was a match that would really test their defense, and they’ve been sharp. Kurt Zouma continues to make all the difference.
Grade: A+

Leeds
Marcelo Bielsa will forever be viewed as a God to the Leeds United supporters, and I’m not saying it is time for him to go, because it isn’t, but they need to start putting points on the board soon. No wins in their first six Premier League games, and their defense plays like my local high school’s. They allowed a lot of goals last season with 54 in 38 games. They are on pace to allow 88. 
Grade: D

Leicester 2, Burnley 2 (xG: 2.18-0.45)

Leicester
Just frustrating. They still haven’t won a league match in September. They gave up very little but shot themselves in the foot with an own goal and needed Jamie Vardy’s magic to rescue a point. They are creating so many opportunities but really should have more than four goals in their last three league games. 
Grade: C+

Burnley
A point is a point. While they look like relegation contenders, and they know they had the three points in their hands, a road point is still a fine result. Still, they don’t look sharp enough in attack even by Burnley’s standards. They have just six total shots on goal in their last two matches, and they aren’t looking like threats in the air. Maxwel Cornet’s goal was incredible, but they can’t expect a lot of goals like that. It’s a result they will take though.
Grade: B+

Watford 1, Newcastle 1 (xG: 0.73-1.71)

Watford
They were fortunate to get something from this game, and needed Ismaila Sarr to come up big in the second half. They are in a decent position, but have to find ways to play smarter balls on the ground in attack. Defensively, they are bending and not breaking, but they need reinforcements. 
Grade: B

Newcastle
Outplayed Watford, outshot Watford but did not outgain them in terms of points. This is one of those matches I think we look back on if they are in that relegation battle come season’s end. They can’t get Callum Wilson back soon enough.
Grade: C

Brentford 3, Liverpool 3 (xG: 3.10-2.65)

Brentford
What a joy to watch. They are arguably the new Leeds in terms of just pure entertainment. Their defense was pushed more than it had been in any game, but they were able to fight back time and time again to earn a well-deserved draw. They outplayed Liverpool for stretches and look like a lock to stay up. It’s not just the three goals, but that they were fully deserved with the xG backing them up.
Grade: A

Liverpool
They let one slip. Brentford gave them everything they could handle, but the opportunities were there in the final moments to take the win. Despite drawing, they are still atop the Premier League table as the league’s only undefeated team.
Grade: B-

Wolves 1, Southampton 0 (xG: 0.87-0.94)

Wolves
What a moment for Raul Jimenez to get what was a filthy goal to give his team their second win of the league season. While it wasn’t their best match in terms of creativity, it now means they have won two of three and are getting themselves into a comfortable spot in the table after a horrible first few weeks. It’s somewhat ironic that after weeks of piling on the chances and the xG with nothing to show for it, they walk away from this one with all three points despite their attack getting held largely in check.
Grade: A

Southampton
One of five teams without a win. I like what the defense is about, but without Danny Ings, they just don’t offer a whole lot in front of goal. They have to take advantage of their set pieces or they’ll be towards that bottom three at the end of the season.
Grade: D

Arsenal 3, Tottenham 1 (xG: 1.45-1.00)

Arsenal
Let’s not get carried away and say Arsenal are back. They still have plenty of holes and even more things to work on. But, that was some performance. Emile Smith Rowe looked like a superstar, they played with a connectivity that is rarely visible, and they’ve found some form. It’s a momentum builder for a team that needed it, along with some breathing room for Mikel Arteta.
Grade: A+

Tottenham
They had their doors blown off in the first half and never recovered. A consolation goal late made the score seem a bit more respectable, but they were thoroughly dominated. Harry Kane wasn’t given a second to do anything, and the defenders were like sloths out there when reacting. That strong start to the season feels like months ago.
Grade: D





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