Premier League Grades: Matchday 25

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Image from Culture Trip

As Liverpool stretched their lead at the top of the table to a whopping 19 points against West Ham midweek, Manchester City faced Spurs at White Hart Lane and Leicester hosted Chelsea in a bid to prevent it being further extended this weekend. At the bottom, Bournemouth had a must-win game against Aston Villa to tackle, while Watford and Norwich knew anything other than wins against Everton and Newcastle respectively could hamper their survival bid. Here are the results:

Leicester City vs Chelsea 2-2
Liverpool vs Southampton 4-0
Bournemouth vs Aston Villa 2-1
Newcastle vs Norwich 0-0
Crystal Palace vs Sheffield United 0-1
West Ham vs Brighton 3-3
Watford vs Everton 2-3
Manchester United vs Wolves 0-0
Burnley vs Arsenal 0-0
Tottenham vs Manchester City 2-0

Here are the grades:
Did well to earn a comeback but failed to hold on to their lead. Overall looked more dangerous as the game grew but as vulnerable as Chelsea are, they should have put the game to bed. Harvey Barnes was the most culpable for not winning the game. 
They were poor defensively and despite Kepa’s poor form, Caballero inspired zero confidence and paid for a poor mistake. Abraham was playing through the pain and it truly showed as he struggled for chances. Manchester United and Spurs next and they will need all six points to keep in the Top Four it would seem. 

Easy win despite the contentious VAR call with Danny Ings. Not sure whether it was a penalty or not personally but after that, Liverpool cruised and Firmino and Salah starred in the absence of Mane. Six wins maximum for Liverpool to win the Premier League and the run they have to do it. I doubt whether they will do it in six games…in fact it will probably be quicker as City keep slipping up and with Leicester, United and Chelsea to host them, I don’t doubt they’ll drop points.   

Unfortunate with the penalty call but had a call go for them with Firmino being brought down so evened out. Southampton are on track again and are a dangerous side. They’ll want to progress in the FA Cup and certainly could pose a threat to Spurs. After that they have a relatively easy February and could win all their games. 

Big win for Bournemouth as they rise to 16th. They are not out of the woods but are going in the right direction. Their defence needed to improve and it has. 

Must win game. It’s all good to get to the Carabao Cup Final but they will probably get battered by Man City. Grealish can’t carry this team out of the dropzone alone and the rest of them need to perform as it is so tight at the bottom and they have to persevere or they will get swallowed up.

Wasteful but a point is a point. Steve Bruce is taking this challenge in his stride. While they are not done and dusted, they are the stronger of the sides in the relegation battle and should be safe.

Wasteful as well but needed the win more. Five point gap from 19th and seven from survival. I think they are done. They have been spirited but to no avail. Just enjoy the football and keep fighting but they are likely to get carved apart by a rampant Liverpool next.
Poor from Guaita but they failed to take their chances. They are starting to sink again and they desperately need Zaha to wake up as he is their best player by far.
Massive win and they are defending exceptionally and Dean Henderson continues to shine. They have a decent set of February fixtures with no Big Six teams in sight and so could maintain their chase for Europe. 
They did so well to get the lead but failed to keep it and cost two points which would have taken them to sixteenth. They have some seriously tough games to come and will need to summon everything to get points or they will sink further. 

Good comeback for Brighton but need to wake up as they should never have conceded those goals. They need to win some games and fast and a big game against Watford could put some space between them and relegation. 

They had to win and keep their lead but they failed to do either. Poor defending from set pieces and a bit of misfortune with a rebound did it for them but they had to keep the 2-0 lead and they failed. Massive game against Brighton which could push them closer to survival and is a tough game to predict the score for. 

EVERTON 8.5/10
Big comeback for Everton and they deserve the win. Despite the ten men they held their ground and won the game late on. Walcott needed the goal too. 
Excellent defensively and controlled Wolves’ dangerous counter-attack well and Shaw handled Traore expertly. On the attacking side, they needed help. With Matic and McTominay unavailable, there was no anchor and so Pereira was the second defensive midfielder in the first half and Bruno Fernandes in the second. While Pereira offered nothing in either half, Bruno was quality in the heart of midfield but meant there was limited creation in the final third. Dalot, Mata or Greenwood could have won the game but failed to take their chances. 
Poor performance as they were smothered in attack and only had one decent chance. In defence they were just as drilled and robust as United and so cancelled each other out. 
Had good chances but defended well overall. Solid. Three must-win games against Southampton, Bournemouth and Newcastle before big matches against Spurs and City. They will need 3/3 from the first set of games if they are to remain safe and are capable of doing so. 
While Arsenal had the same chances to win the game as Burnley, you have to expect more from Arsenal’s forwards and Ozil had to be pivotal but was awful. They are where they are in the league because of these kinds of performances and have to be better at home to Newcastle. 
Massive win for Tottenham and they were perfect all over the pitch. I said at the beginning of the season that any team that beats Manchester City should recieve a 10/10 but the way City are playing, they don’t have to play at their best. Nevertheless, a Mourinho masterclass outdid Guardiola and brought Tottenham kicking and screaming back into the race for Top Four. Great start for Bergwijn I have to say, shame United didn’t try and get him. 

Woeful performance, from the sloppy penalty to the silly red card. The defending for the goals were woeful and Ederson should have saved Son’s goal in my opinion. They are in crisis and will have to find a successful season by winning the Champions League as just the Carabao Cup and/or FA Cup is not good enough for this Manchester City team and that manager. 

Author: TUD Author