John Stones is proving key in both boxes for Manchester City, Luke Shaw’s Man United renaissance continues and Emile Smith Rowe helps Arsenal blast away Tottenham… but who comes out on top in this week’s Premier League POWER RANKINGS?
- Manchester City responded to a derby defeat with back-to-back victories
- After Manchester derby win, United maintained momentum against West Ham
- Arsenal dominated Tottenham to come out on top in the north London derby
- Chelsea’s impressive clean sheet record continued with a draw at Leeds United
LAST WEEK’S TOP 10
1. Bruno Fernandes
2. Jesse Lingard
3. Gareth Bale
4. John Stones
5. Ilkay Gundogan
6. Luke Shaw
7. Andreas Christensen
9. Harry Kane
10. Harrison Reed
Each week throughout the 2020-21 season, Sportsmail brings you a Power Rankings table, listing the top 10 hottest players in the Premier League.
As the stories of the season unravel, the rankings will provide a form guide with players moving in and out of the top 10 depending on both their performances in the previous fixtures and also in recent weeks.
Having suffered derby defeat, Manchester City got back to winning ways with a 5-2 midweek victory at home to Southampton before following it up with a 3-0 triumph at Fulham as they edged closer to the Premier League title.
Their closest rivals Manchester United also won again following their derby win over City by seeing off West Ham 1-0 at Old Trafford.
Chelsea’s defence continues to impress with yet another clean sheet in the draw at Leeds, while fellow Champions League chasing side Leicester thumped rock bottom and manarger-less Sheffield United 5-0.
Arsenal took north London bragging rights with a 2-1 win over Tottenham and in a south-coast derby Brighton inflicted more pain on an out of sorts Southampton via the same scoreline.
There were many excellent individual performances once again in the top flight – but which players from last week’s list will drop out and who will come out on top this time around?
10. Adam Lallana (Brighton – new entry)
It’s taken a while for Brighton to mine the experience and leadership from the former Liverpool midfielder but it might just be starting to emerge at a crucial point in the season for them.
The 32-year-old was outstanding against his former side as Brighton edged out south coast rivals Southampton to claim a 2-1 victory at St Mary’s as they seek to pull clear of a relegation battle.
Although neither on the score sheet nor creating an assist, the former England midfielder was arguably the best player on the pitch and he did play the killer pass that led to Leandro Trossard sealing all three points.
Having also scored last week, it’s back-to-back 90 minutes for the first time since November for Lallana and he is showing just how important and influential he can be when he plays.
Adam Lallana has struck form for Brighton after their south coast derby win at Southampton
9. Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal – new entry)
On derby day, teams typically need their experienced stars to set the tone on the pitch but it was Arsenal’s young playmaker who was the real star in the win at home to Tottenham.
The Gunners dominated their north London rivals and he set the tone for the 2-1 win with a commanding performance, going close to scoring a sensational long range effort that bounced off the crossbar.
Smith Rowe has gradually worked his way into the first team at Arsenal and although he has blown hot and cold, he is now showing he can perform at his best in the biggest of matches.
The 20-year-old is sure to be a key component of Mikel Arteta’s plans as they look to end the Premier League season on a high as well as chase European glory in the Europa League.
Emile Smith Rowe (left) sparkled for Arsenal in their north London derby win over Tottenham
8. Edouard Mendy (Chelsea – new entry)
It’s been a long time since a goalkeeper managed to gatecrash the power rankings but Edouard Mendy is an excellent candidate to be one of the signings of the season so far.
Although Chelsea laboured to a draw at Leeds on Saturday, the Blues stopper was excellent as he tipped a Tyler Roberts chip on to the crossbar while also denying Raphinha to protect Thomas Tuchel’s now 12-game unbeaten record since taking charge in January.
Already he has 14 clean sheets this season, with only Manchester City’s Ederson having more with 16 and the City stopper has played five more games.
While the Blues look more solid under Tuchel than they did with Frank Lampard, it cannot be underestimated how much Mendy’s introduction this term has stabilised the backline of the Stamford Bridge outfit.
Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy makes a save to deny Leeds forward Raphinha (right)
7. Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur – down four)
Sunday was a big test for Gareth Bale to show that he could still produce his best form in the biggest games for Tottenham and sadly it was one he never looked like passing before he was replaced just before the hour by Moussa Sissoko.
In fairness to the Welshman, none of Spurs’ typical star men stepped up in the 2-1 derby defeat at Arsenal as once again they choked on the big occasion.
Jose Mourinho accused his big players of ‘hiding’ but there is no hiding from the power rankings, and as a result Bale tumbles down the order.
In a game Spurs fans could take little from, they can only hope that the defeat at the Emirates Stadium was a minor blip and that Bale will be back on form at Aston Villa on Sunday.
Gareth Bale was one of many Tottenham star names that went missing in defeat at Arsenal
6. Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City – new entry)
Now that is how you make an impact in the power rankings. Iheanacho has bulldozed his way into the top 10 thanks to his first Premier League hat-trick.
Granted, it was against a Sheffield United side in total disarray following Chris Wilder’s exit but this is looking like more than just shooting fish in a barrel for the Nigerian striker.
Before February, the 24-year-old had not scored a Premier League goal since July but he has now netted six times since the start of last month as he continues to strike a rich vein of form.
With Jamie Vardy happy to help him with his scoring exploits, setting up two of the goals, Brendan Rodgers might be seeing his attack come into form at the right time as they look to secure a Champions League spot.
Kelechi Iheanacho scored his first Premier League hat-trick in a victory over Sheffield United
5. Jesse Lingard (West Ham United – down three)
This was never going to be a good week for Jesse Lingard who, after going close to topping the rankings in recent times, has now slid down to mid-table.
But this was entirely out of his hands as the nature of his loan move to West Ham means he was ineligible to face parent club Manchester United as the Hammers wilted to a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford.
What the loss did do for the in-form midfielder was underline his importance to David Moyes’ team as they continue a surprise bid for a Champions League place.
With his six direct goal contributions since his February arrival, you can be sure he will among Moyes’ first picks when West Ham face another tough encounter at home to Arsenal next week.
Jesse Lingard was ineligible to face his parent club Manchester United due to his loan deal
4. Andreas Christensen (Chelsea – up four)
It can be amazing just how much of an improvement a player can make by playing under a different manager and Christensen is the perfect example of that at Stamford Bridge right now.
Effectively frozen out by Lampard, the Dane has now arguably transformed into Chelsea’s best defender inside two months following another clean sheet in the draw at Leeds.
In the seven Premier League games he has played under Tuchel, he has been part of a defence that has conceded just one goal in a 2-1 win at Sheffield United.
Whether it has been in a back three or a centre-back pairing, the 24-year-old is now showing confidence again and it is helping Chelsea march clear in the race to secure a Champions League spot.
Andreas Christensen (left) has emerged as arguably Chelsea’s best defender recently
3. Luke Shaw (Manchester United – up three)
There was once a time when Luke Shaw looked washed up and finished at Manchester United, especially under Jose Mourinho.
But now the left-back is in the form of his life at Old Trafford as his renaissance starring in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side continues.
The 25-year-old has always shown the talent to be an attacking threat for United but he seems to have improved his game at the back too.
As part of a defence that has now kept four consecutive clean sheets, he proved he could put his body on the line too in the 1-0 win over West Ham after blocking a goal-bound shot from Tomas Soucek in the latter stages of the victory.
Luke Shaw has proven effective in attack and defence for Manchester United recently
2. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United – down one)
He was not at his glittering best in the win over West Ham, but neither did he play poorly as Manchester United limped over the line at Old Trafford.
Still he was busy, forcing Lukasz Fabianski into a smart low stop in a game where he often dropped deep to collect possession and start attacks.
Overall he can be satisfied with his performance in what has been a marvellous first full season for him at the club.
Accolades are surely beckoning for the Portuguese star but for this week at least, he won’t be topping the power rankings.
Bruno Fernandes failed to add to his goal contributions but performed well against West Ham
1. John Stones (Manchester City – up three)
The defeat in the Manchester derby managed to shake Stones off the top of the tree but he has climbed back once more, after helping resume normal order at the Etihad Stadium.
With an England recall surely on the way for the 26-year-old, it was another clean sheet in the bank after returning to a defence that had conceded twice in a mid-week win over Southampton.
It wasn’t all about keeping his 13th Premier League clean sheet of the season though as he proved effective in the other penalty box after converting a Joao Cancelo free-kick two minutes after the break to set City on their way to a 3-0 win at Fulham.
As City storm towards a third Premier League crown in four seasons, the impact of Stones on the back four cannot be underestimated.
With a goal and a clean sheet, John Stones has made it business as usual again for Man City
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