Ian Darke's Premier League team-by-team season grades

Are Manchester City the greatest team in English football history? (1:24)

Julien Laurens believes it's hard to look past Manchester City as the greatest team in English football after they won their fourth Premier League title in a row. (1:24)

Manchester City and manager Pep Guardiola are insatiable. Six out of the last seven Premier League titles, including an unprecedented four in succession, and you know that by August, they will be hungry for more. How does Pep do it? Not even he can explain it.

But City did not have things all their own way in what was a thrilling season featuring a record number of goals. So how did your team rate? Here are my end-of-season grades.

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First place, 91 points

Manchester City can lay claim to being the greatest Premier League team ever after winning four in a row.

Erling Haaland won the Golden Boot again despite missing two months with injury, Phil Foden was Footballer of the Year, and Rodri has gone 50 league matches unbeaten. But the clincher in City's faultless final stretch was the return to fitness of pass-master Kevin De Bruyne.

City are in line for more history on Saturday if they defeat Manchester United and complete a league and FA Cup double. However, the 115 financial charges issued to the club by the Premier League in February 2023 remain as the elephant in the room. GRADE: A


Second place, 89 points

A magnificent effort to total 89 points -- their best since Arsene Wenger's "Invincibles" 20 years ago. Declan Rice's signing from West Ham United was inspired, and Kai Havertz silenced his doubters. However, not even a run of six straight wins at the end of the season was quite enough. GRADE: A-


Third place, 82 points

The bombshell news on Jan. 26 that Jurgen Klopp would be leaving at the end of the season came with Liverpool five points clear at the top of the table. But while winning the League Cup and always looking dangerous in attack, the Reds' defending was often less convincing. Despite an initial boost in form following Klopp's announcement, Liverpool seemed to run out of stream in costly defeats by Crystal Palace and Everton. GRADE: B+

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Fourth place, 68 points

Aston Villa will be deliriously happy at a top-four finish and a place in next season's UEFA Champions League. Unai Emery's team was lethal at times at Villa Park, with Ollie Watkins developing into an elite striker with 19 goals and 13 assists. The Villans were less convincing on the road, however, and the 6-2 aggregate loss to Olympiacos in the Europa Conference League semifinals was a reality check. GRADE: A-


Fifth place, 66 points

Fifth place in a first year without Harry Kane, the team's talisman who left for Bayern Munich, was no calamity, but disappointing in the context of their early-season charge to the top with 26 points from the first 10 games. Manager Ange Postecoglou's adventurous and attractive style of play made him an instant hit with supporters, but the apparent absence of a Plan B means the honeymoon is probably over. GRADE: B-


Sixth place, 63 points

Assessing Man United's worst-ever Premier League finish

The ESPN FC Live team grade a Premier League season to forget for Manchester United, who finish way outside a Champions League spot in eighth.

Mauricio Pochettino's departure by "mutual consent" comes as a big surprise after the club's excellent finish to the season. It looked like he had found a winning blend after months of erratic form, but his exit -- apparently amicable -- suggests either he and owner Todd Boehly see the future rather differently. Or Pochettino has other plans. GRADE: B-


Seventh place, 60 points

Eddie Howe's side finished strongly to claim seventh place, but they need Man City to win the FA Cup on Saturday in order to clinch a European place. A long injury list and a less-than-watertight defence away from home meant the Magpies could never hit last season's heights despite 21 goals from Alexander Isak, third-top scorer in the league. GRADE: C+


Eighth place, 60 points

It was Manchester United's worst finish of the Premier League era, and as a result, the Red Devils will need to beat Man City in the FA Cup Final to salvage a berth in continental competition next season. Injuries in defence certainly played a role in the team's lackluster performances, but United lacked shape or identity with opponents storming through a vacant midfield. Head coach Erik ten Hag will do well to survive the winds of change sent blowing through Old Trafford by new minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe. GRADE: F

Pickford: Everton kept fighting as a team after the points deductions

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Ninth place, 52 points

Eye-catching wins as at Arsenal and Spurs coupled with fearful beatings in four other London derbies meant this was a topsy-turvy season for West Ham. Manager David Moyes leaves memories of some great European nights and lofty finishes in the league. But despite the menace of Mohammed Kudus, Jarrod Bowen and Lucas Paqueta, the Hammers' form was patchy, with no clean sheets since Jan. 2. GRADE: C+


10th place, 49 points

New boss Oliver Glasner inspired an electric finish to the season, guiding Palace to six wins in their final seven games to sneak into the top half of the table. The Eagles were a different side after gifted duo Eberechi Eze and Michael Olise finally got fit and firing, while Jean-Philippe Mateta was a revelation with 16 goals. Can they keep these stars together at Selhurst Park for another go next season? Given the interest from bigger clubs, it will be a challenge. GRADE: B+


11th place, 48 points

Roberto De Zerbi's reign ended with one win in his final 10 games. Injuries did not help, but there is no hiding from the fact that a talented team regressed this season -- having finished sixth in 2022-23 -- and the restless De Zerbi tinkered too much with his starting XI, which ultimately cost them. GRADE: C-


12th place, 48 points

A triumph for Spanish tactician Andoni Iraola in his debut season, especially after a poor start that had observers wondering if the Cherries had made a mistake bringing him in to replace Gary O'Neil. Pleasing football, 48 points, a comfortable midtable finish and 19 goals for Dominic Solanke. GRADE: B+


13th place, 47 points

You feared for them after losing top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic to the Saudi Pro League but, despite fading into 13th place, Marco Silva's team was never in trouble. The emergence of Rodrigo Muniz to fill the boots of Mitrovic was important. Some top displays included a 2-1 win at Arsenal.

Overall, there will be no complaints at Craven Cottage. GRADE: B


14th place, 46 points

One of the few teams to beat Manchester City, Wolves might have finished higher in the table if the speedy Pedro Neto played more often alongside Hwang Hee-Chan and Matheus Cunha. Manager Gary O'Neil kept them well clear of the relegation zone, but one win from the last nine games rather spoiled the upbeat mood. GRADE: C+


15th place, 40 points

Three home wins in a week -- including a terrific display in the Merseyside derby -- clinched the Toffees' survival in the Premier League. That was quite an achievement for Everton boss Sean Dyche in the face of a points deduction after an independent commission found the club had breached Profit and Sustainability Rules, a dearth of goals, and ongoing doubts about Everton's alleged takeover. The blue half of Liverpool desperately needs some calmer times. GRADE: B-


16th place, 39 points

You know Brentford and their supporters are happy the club stayed up after a difficult season blighted by a long injury list and the suspension that ruled out top striker Ivan Toney until January. He will likely move to another club during the summer transfer window, giving likeable manager Thomas Frank a chance to refresh his squad. GRADE: C


17th place, 32 points

One stat above all others sums up Forest's struggles: They kept only one clean sheet in the last six months of the season. But they kept their heads just above the relegation zone thanks to a trifecta of attacking talent, Chris Wood, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Morgan Gibbs-White. They were just enough to compensate for a bloated squad, VAR rows, and a change of manager from Steve Cooper to Nuno Espirito Santo. GRADE: C-


18th place, 26 points

A fairytale with an unhappy ending as the Hatters return to the English Championship. Head coach Rob Edwards and his team won lots of friends, but not enough points, and ran out of road with only one win after January. GRADE: C


19th place, 24 points

Teams like to copy Pep Guardiola's tactic of playing out of the defense, but it isn't easy -- unless you have City's caliber of players -- which is exactly what Burnley discovered this season. Indeed, it all looked a little naive from manager Vincent Kompany and his players. After winning the Championship at a canter in 2022-23, the Clarets were expected to do better but went straight back down. GRADE: D


20th place, 16 points

A shadow of the team who were promoted, Sheffield United conceded a whopping 104 goals this season. One of the weakest teams in Premier League history, the Blades need a major reset. GRADE: F