All News & Analysis

Premier League Team of the Week: Liverpool demolish Manchester United, Brighton dismantle West Ham

2P3NJWF Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (right) celebrates scoring their side's fourth goal of the game as Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea looks dejected during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Sunday March 5, 2023.

There is no time for Manchester United to stew over their capitulation at Anfield as Thursday brings almost a welcome distraction of playing Real Betis in the Europa League.

The defeat to Liverpool was the heaviest in the history of meetings between the two rivals, worse than the previous 7-1 record scoreline which dated back to 1895, and brought United back down to earth after their Carabao Cup final triumph the previous weekend.

As for Liverpool, their hopes of Champions League qualification were boosted as were Brighton's hopes of reaching the Europa League next season with their own convincing victory over West Ham.

Unsurprisingly, those two teams together with Arsenal, following their high-octane 3-2 win over Bournemouth, form the bulk of this week's Premier League XI based on PFF's grades and data.

Goalkeeper: José Sá, Wolves

Sá has come to the fore in home games versus teams that are in the hunt for Champions League qualification, conceding only one goal in 298 minutes against Newcastle, Liverpool, and Spurs.

Another clean sheet helped Wolves to move a step closer to guaranteeing their Premier League status, with Sá stopping all six of the shots on target he faced at Molineux.

Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool

Early chances for Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford showed United’s intent in exposing Alexander-Arnold defensively, but he withstood the test to generate his second-best challenge grade of the season at 82.9.

On top of successfully defending three of the four dribbles he faced, the Liverpool defender also caused problems going forward with an 80.2 crossing grade and creating two goal-scoring chances via his passing range.

Center-back: Kalidou Koulibaly, Chelsea

Chelsea boss Graham Potter praised Koulibaly for his ‘leadership and calmness’ as the Blues claimed their first win in six league games at home to Leeds United.

While center-back partner Wesley Fofana scored the winning goal, it was Koulibaly who kept things locked up at the back on a busy day where he contested 16 challenges and earned an 80.8 – a better grade than Fofana (76.0) and Benoît Badiashile (64.0) and worthy of the fifth-best rank at his position.

Center-back: Adam Webster, Brighton & Hove Albion

If it was not for Liverpool’s shellacking of Manchester United, we might all be talking more about Brighton’s 4-0 dismantling of West Ham.

Webster may have been involved in only seven challenges, earning a 76.1 grade, but it was his passing ability which allowed Brighton to take total control, and this showed in Webster and Lewis Dunk finishing as the one-two top-graded players at their position in our passing grades – Dunk, 85.9, Webster, 84.3.

Left-back: Oleksandr Zinchenko, Arsenal

The chaotic scenes of celebration at the Emirates Stadium at the end of the dramatic 3-2 win over Bournemouth were underlined by the cool, calm, and collected performance of Zinchenko.

So integral has Zinchenko been to Mikel Arteta, back-up left-back Kieran Tierney has featured in just 21 minutes of Arsenal’s last seven games. Once again, the Ukrainian was productive for Arsenal with a challenge grade of 84.0 and a passing grade of 78.2 – both ranked top five at his position.

Furthermore, Zinchenko also created four chances which was the joint-second most by any player in the Premier League.

Midfielder: Martin Ødegaard, Arsenal

Arsenal’s 26 chances created was the joint-highest recorded in a single game all season, far higher than the Premier League average of 9.8, and Ødegaard was at the heart of this assault on the Bournemouth goal as they sought to launch a comeback having trailed 2-1.

His 84.8 passing grade was the highest of any midfielder and he, together with Bukayo Saka, peppered the Bournemouth penalty area with a combined 27 crosses – Ødegaard’s share of 12 earned a 72.2 grade.

Midfielder: Alexis Mac Allister, Brighton & Hove Albion

Mac Allister was central to Brighton cementing their credentials as a team who could be playing in Europe next season, as West Ham could do little to halt the Seagulls.

Brighton midfielder Alexis Mac Allister
2P2CG4Y Brighton, UK. 04th Mar, 2023. Alexis Mac Allister of Brighton and Hove Albion celebrates his penalty goal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and West Ham United at The Amex on March 4th 2023 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Jeff Mood/ Credit: PHC Images/Alamy Live News

The Argentinian scored his first goal since returning as a world champion from the FIFA World Cup and provided the pass which allowed Joel Veltman to put Brighton two goals ahead. His 75.7 passing grade ranked top 10 at the position as well as his shooting grade of 73.5 from four shots on goal.

Right wing: Mohammed Salah, Liverpool

Two assists, two goals, and the new record-holder for the most goals in Premier League history for Liverpool – Salah will not be forgetting Sunday’s result anytime soon.

In passing Robbie Fowler’s previous record of 128 goals, Salah was at his creative best and finished with a passing grade of 87.4 and shooting grade of 78.0.

Attacking midfielder: James Maddison, Leicester City

Defeat to Southampton bore many frustrations for Leicester as they failed to record a single shot on target from a total of 12 attempts, but Maddison was not at fault for this. His five chances created was the highest of any player in the Premier League this past weekend.

This is reflected in his elite passing grade of 93.6, Maddison’s best all season, which is only the 11th time a player at his position has earned a grade over 90.0 in 2022/23.

Left wing: Reiss Nelson, Arsenal

As super sub appearances go, no other may prove as significant as the 30 minutes Nelson turned in for Arsenal in their bid to keep Manchester City at an arm’s length in the title race.

Nelson entered the pitch with the league leaders losing to Bournemouth. His impact as the provider of the cross which saw Ben White score the equalizer was immediate, just one minute after coming on, and he still saved his best for last as he claimed the match-winning goal in the 97th-minute to send Arsenal fans and his teammates into ecstasy.

The weight of his contribution may extend beyond grades, but they were still nonetheless impressive, an 80.8 shooting grade and a 76.5 passing grade.

Striker: Cody Gakpo, Liverpool

We explored Liverpool’s triumph over Manchester United in greater detail in the aftermath Sunday’s rout, but in short Gakpo was clinical at Anfield. As the scorer of two goals, the quality of his goals was mirrored in his 91.2 shooting grade – the best of any player.

All Featured Tools


Unlock all tools and content including Player Grades, Fantasy, NFL Draft, Premium Stats, Greenline and DFS.

$9.99 / mo
$79.99 / yr