Premier League Grades: Matchday 26

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After delays due to the winter break and Storn Ciara, the Matchday 26 games have finally been completed and have made the race for Europe and relegation battle extremely tight and set up big stand-offs for the last 12 games of the season. No one is truly safe...except Liverpool who remain on course for a record title win. Here are the results:

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

Here are the grades:

EVERTON 8.5/10
Their attackers saved Jordan Pickford for his huge error and Ancelotti gets another positive result. It will show how far they have come under him at the Emirates next week.

CRYSTAL PALACE 4/10
They are in trouble as they aren't getting the results they should and the next two games against Newcastle and Brighton are must win games.

BRIGHTON 6.5/10
Solid draw but seems more disappointing based on their bright start to the season. Tough game to come against Sheffield United but may have enough to nick a point. They are in trouble and need to win soon to dispel the fears of relegation.

WATFORD 6/10
Four games without a win in a relegation battle is not where you want to be and with United at home and Liverpool away, it doesn't get any easier. They may fancy their chances against United but will have to put in a 10/10 performance to do so with Bruno Fernandes adding so much quality to the side's attacking play against low blocks.

SHEFFIELD UNITED 8/10
Their push for European football continues and a solid win for the Blades. Their next four games are not against the top six and with United to come on Matchday 31, they will want to win the prior four to prevent this game from being a must-win for European football.

BOURNEMOUTH 5/10
They are just out of the relegation zone and the game against Sheffield United could have pushed them further away but threw them back into the mix. A tough set of matches against Burnley, Chelsea and Liverpool and will want at least four points from these matches to keep momentum.

WOLVES 6/10
Probably should have won but cancelled each other out. Failed to capitolise on the ten men of Leicester. They should beat Norwich at home but after playing a full-strength side against Espanyol and winning well, they may rest players with the second leg to come. 

LEICESTER CITY 6/10
Silly red card to get but kept in the game. They will want to beat Manchester City and show their good form has not dipped. 

SOUTHAMPTON 4/10
At home they should be winning these games and their inconsistencies. A big game against Aston Villa at home and a win will do them the world of good.

BURNLEY 8/10
They continue their resurgent 2020 with Tottenham and Man City to come in the next few matches, they will want to continue their good run and nick points off these big teams and show they are back in business.

NORWICH 6.5/10
They held off the storm for 82 minutes but inevitably caved in to this monstrous Liverpool side. These kind of performances should have happened earlier on in the season and they wouldn't be where they are now.

LIVERPOOL 7.5/10
Just got over the line and Henderson and Mane did the business for Liverpool this time. Henderson has transformed from a squad player that would not even play for Klopp despite being the club captain to an irreplacable piece of the midfield. Player of the Year for me. 

ASTON VILLA 5/10
Defensive errors cost a good attacking performance. Engels came in for Mings and cost them the game despite getting them back into it.

TOTTENHAM 7.5/10
Lucky. Fortunate win but Mourinho gets the results for Spurs and back at the Bridge this week he will want revenge for the 0-2 win at White Hart Lane. Bergwijn is a quality player but without Son they will struggle in attack.

ARSENAL 9/10
Massive win but it will be all for nought if they lose points to Everton. Pepe had a good game and Lacazette and Ozil ended their droughts. They may not be out of the top four race but they remain in tenth so they shouldn't get carried away.

NEWCASTLE 3/10
After holding them off for 54 minutes, they caved in and conceded two goals in three minutes. They have a good run of games and can get points in all of them.

CHELSEA 4/10
Outclassed for the most-part and two bits of quality saw them off. The Maguire decision was a bit contentious but not reviewed by the FA nor decided to be given by VAR. The other two calls were almost undeniably correct and so the other problems were their inability to take their chances. Abraham is a massive miss and Kante going off didn't help. They have to beat Tottenham and without Son, they should be boosted by it. 

MANCHESTER UNITED 9/10
Massive win as they drag themselves kicking and screaming back into contention. A treble over Lampard's Chelsea and the first double over Chelsea in the Premier League era. Bruno Fernandes and Aaron Wan-Bissaka provided magnificent assists and the whole defensive line performed outstandingly. Matic's return was the unsung hero of this match but this win will all be for nothing if Watford take points at Old Trafford and Fernandes will be key if United are to win on Sunday.

MANCHESTER CITY 8/10
Comfortable and easy win for City as De Bruyne stars for them yet again. Leicester will be a challenge but they have to win as every step in the wrong direction brings Liverpool closer to the title and more humiliation at the gap between the sides.

WEST HAM 5/10
It's just not going their way and their next set of games is rough. In their run in, they still have to face United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Wolves and next up is Liverpool. They will need to win the other games and hope for a few points in these matches or they could face the prospect of Championship football. 

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