Premier League grades: Which club should have been given a ‘B for beach’?

There are just a few games left of the Premier League season but one team should be given a ‘B for beach’ after their performance this weekend.

The Run In is in full swing with Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United all winning over the weekend, although there were some less than stellar showings as well.

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One team at the bottom of the pile have even been described as needing a ‘B for beach’ after their defeat. Scroll down to see who it is as well a the remaining grades for each Premier League team…

Liverpool – A

The pressure was on Liverpool after Man City’s victory, and against something of a bogey team in Chelsea, and boy did the produce. They never looked nervous or anxious despite taking 51 minutes to break the deadlock, and were more than worthy winners.

Apart from a ten-minute spell after they went 2-0 up, the victory was never in doubt. Mohamed Salah looks back to his best, while Jordan Henderson is on fire, and those two influential players coming into form at this time could prove crucial in the title race. (Matt Storey)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Virgil Van Dijk (12 points)

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Southampton – A

Nathan Redmond inspired Southampton’s win over Wolves with two first-half goals, but manager Ralph Hasenhuttl deserves credit for getting his tactics right.

By playing with a front three he caused Wolves plenty of problems, particularly in the first half, and he then introduced Oriol Romeu and Shane Long to great effect around the hour-mark.

Saints looked sharp in attack throughout and also did well to restrict Wolves to few clear sights of goal.

The win is their eighth from 18 Premier League games under Hasenhuttl, which is as many as they’d won in 52 games under their two previous permanent managers combined. If they maintain this form they should soon be guaranteed Premier League survival. (James Walker-Roberts)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Nathan Redmond (21 points)

Bournemouth – A

This was the Bournemouth we all know and love. After a nervy start, they were back to their fluid best in attack once Dan Gosling opened the scoring. With Brighton leaving space, especially after going down to 10-men, the Cherries front four were like a fat kid with chocolate cake. Ravenous. Ryan Fraser ran the show as the Cherries could have scored 10 in the second half. (Lewis Jones)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Ryan Fraser (16 points)

Manchester City – A-

After losing 3-2 to Crystal Palace at the Etihad in December, City had a far more comfortable afternoon at Selhurst Park as they eased to victory.

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Raheem Sterling’s early goal set City on their way and from then on it was a masterclass in controlling possession as Palace struggled to lay a glove on the champions, with Kevin De Bruyne impressing in the middle.

There was a tense spell after Luka Milivojevic struck from a free-kick in the 81st minute, but even then Palace didn’t really threaten and Gabriel Jesus’ late third made sure of victory.

City have now won nine Premier League games in a row and look to be hitting top form ahead of a tricky run of fixtures. (James Walker-Roberts)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Raheem Sterling (19 points)

Tottenham – A-

Seven changes, three points, job done. Criticism of Spurs’ squad depth over recent years may need to be revised after a perfect day for Mauricio Pochettino.

Lucas Moura’s hat-trick will give him confidence in the absence of Harry Kane, but in truth, all of those who came in following the midweek win over Man City deserve credit.

It looked like they’d have to be patient early on as Huddersfield sat in, but full-backs Ben Davies and Kyle Walker-Peters were given free rein to pile forward, and a special mention must go to Moussa Sissoko, who ran the game from midfield.

Spurs have proved they can cope without Kane in the past, and this will have delighted Pochettino as they prepare for the Champions League quarter-final second leg with City on Wednesday. (Gerard Brand)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Lucas Moura (27 points)

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West Ham – A-

Considering how many injuries and absences West Ham had to contend with, they put in a mightily impressive performance against Manchester United and showed them up on their home turf. Indeed, West Ham had 18 shots on goal – their most in a Premier League away game since December 2016 (24 vs Leicester).

And they really should have drawn, if not won. Two contentious first-half decisions by the officials did most of the damage – a Felipe Anderson goal incorrectly ruled out for offside and questionable penalty decision – and West Ham have now lost their last three Premier League games.

But Manuel Pellegrini said he was proud of his side for “playing with the personality and mentality of the big team” and if they keep playing like they did on Saturday, the result will start to come. (Charlotte Marsh)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Felipe Anderson (8 points)

Fulham – A-

Fulham had conceded at least twice in their previous 14 league games, with only Manchester United having been on a worse run in top-flight history back in 1930.

But they kept only a third clean sheet of the season in their win over Everton, and it was just reward for a collective effort that restricted their in-form opponents to very few chances.

You wouldn’t have known which side were already relegated and which was pursuing a European position, but a mark of Fulham’s struggles was that World Cup winner Andre Schurrle was an unused substitute.

While Everton perhaps felt the pressure after playing themselves into contention for seventh spot, Fulham freely expressed themselves and were good value for a win that provided shoots of recovery at the end of a disappointing campaign. (Ben Grounds)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Aleksandr Mitrovic (12 points)

Burnley – A-

Burnley were on top against a Cardiff side and, as Sean Dyche alluded to himself after the game, they could have scored more had Ashley Westwood converted his two good opportunities.

Chris Wood’s two goals proved pivotal, but neither would have been possible without Dwight McNeil. The 19-year-old put on another brilliant display on the left flank and provided assists for both goals. (James Kilpatrick)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Chris Wood (19 points)

Newcastle – B+

A classic Rafa-Benitez-side-away-from-home performance will surely be enough to ensure Newcastle are playing Premier League football again next season. Ayoze Perez scored the only goal of the game at Leicester and the win was no more than the visitors deserved. They defended as resolutely as you would expect of a Benitez team, barely giving Leicester a sniff in the first half and keeping the chances to a minimum after the break too.

Even putting aside the goal, Perez was impressive and alongside Salomon Rondon and Miguel Almiron, ensured that Newcastle always carried a threat on the counter. A good night at the office for the Toon. (Sam Drury)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Ayoze Perez (12 points)

Cardiff – B

Cardiff put in another hard-fought display against a Burnley side who were resilient defensively.

They may have gone a goal down just after the half-hour mark, but they pushed hard for an equaliser in the second with Junior Hoilett failing to capitalise on a big opportunity to pull Cardiff level in the 63rd minute.

And, of course, the result may have been entirely different had Mike Dean not reversed his decision to award a Cardiff penalty. (James Kilpatrick)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Neil Etheridge (3 points)

Manchester United – B-

Man Utd needed to win ugly at the weekend – and that is exactly what they did. Just like the game against Barcelona in midweek, they looked bereft of a finishing touch and were ultimately saved by two penalties awarded by referee Graham Scott and Paul Pogba’s finishing.

Even Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted it was a tough performance to watch, saying: “We were lucky to get away with the three points, even a draw at one point we would have taken. Luckily it wasn’t Barcelona on the other side, but West Ham played well, played better than us, created chances.”

But it will give them a confidence boost ahead of their crucial Champions League quarter-final second leg at the Nou Camp on Tuesday as Man Utd hope their long injury list does not begin to derail an impressive 2019 so far. (Charlotte Marsh)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Paul Pogba (19 points)

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Chelsea – C

There will be frustration at Stamford Bridge that they didn’t spoil Liverpool’s day again. They weren’t in any great trouble in the first half and at 2-0 down Eden Hazard passed up two glorious opportunities to get them back into the game. Had Maurizio Sarri not decided to employ Hazard as a false-nine for an hour, it might have been a different story and that is a tactic that must be put away for good. (Matt Storey)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: N’golo Kante (4 points)

Crystal Palace – D+

Wilfried Zaha had said beforehand that Palace needed to “suffocate” Manchester City and not let them play, but that proved easier said than done.

Palace were on the back foot for almost the entire match and created very few openings as Zaha and Christian Benteke were starved off service.

Roy Hodgson said that his side gave it their “best shot” but that didn’t prove to be good enough against City, who were largely comfortable. (James Walker-Roberts)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Luka Milivojevic (8 points)

Wolves – D

Wolves were unable to bounce back from their painful FA Cup semi-final defeat as they produced a below-par showing against Southampton.

They had more of the ball (69 per cent possession) and more shots (17 compared to 13), but rarely tested goalkeeper Angus Gunn. Raul Jimenez was not at his best and Wolves were uncharacteristically sloppy in possession at times.

Manager Nuno Espirito Santo dismissed suggestions that the performance was related to the FA Cup defeat, but acknowledged that Wolves “didn’t perform well”.

They will quickly need to get back into their stride if they are going to clinch seventh spot. (James Walker-Roberts)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Willy Boly (11 points)

Huddersfield – D

Already relegated, shackles off, but for 75 minutes Huddersfield played to keep the score down. Sitting in early on, Spurs had a whopping 90 per cent possession after 12 minutes, and even after two quickfire goals put the hosts in control, Huddersfield still refused to come out.

As the game reached the latter stages, Jan Siewert’s side did decide to take some risks, and could have equalised as Steve Mounie’s header went inches wide, but it was too little too late as Spurs then picked them off for a late double.

Siewert said 4-0 was harsh, but having registered one shot on goal until the last 15 minutes, not too many would agree. These experiences will help Huddersfield rebuild as they look for an instant return to the top flight. (Gerard Brand)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Jan Stankovic (3 points)

Leicester – D-

Leicester found it hard going against a well-organised Newcastle side.

They didn’t move the ball quickly enough, played too narrow and created very few scoring chances. Jamie Carragher summed up Leicester’s struggles in attack by saying on Sky Sports that it “always felt like Newcastle had an extra man defensively”. James Maddison and Youri Tielemans failed to impact the game while Jamie Vardy had no service until a late chance that he scooped over the bar.

Leicester might not face this kind of test again this season as three of their last four fixtures are against Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea, but Brendan Rodgers will be hoping his side can perform better next time they are asked to break down a compact defence. (James Walker-Roberts)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Wes Morgan, Ben Chilwell, Harry Maguire and Wilfred Ndidi (5 points)

Everton – E

Everton should really be handed a B, of course. B for Beach. You wouldn’t have known they had won their last three games without conceding, a run of results that had propelled them to within a point of seventh place.

Marco Silva admitted to being in a state of puzzlement after seeing his side unpicked, bedraggled and bullied by a team often ridiculed for their displays this term and already planning for next season in the second tier.

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Everton were second best in all departments at Craven Cottage, and Silva could now face a challenging summer if he is unable to provide the carrot of European football to dangle at a number of his better performers.

He will be keen to nail down Kurt Zouma and Andre Gomes on permanent deals while the Europa League would also help in trying to convince Idrissa Gueye to commit his long-term future – but they remain outsiders after this insipid performance. (Ben Grounds)

Sky Sports Fantasy Football top points scorer: Idrissa Gueye and Bernard (4 points)

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