Reece James and Joao Cancelo move up after excellent weekends but Arsenal duo Emile Smith Rowe and Aaron Ramsdale slip after Anfield loss… so will Mohamed Salah’s goal take him top again? Our Premier League POWER RANKINGS after a thrilling weekend
- Sportsmail brings you the top 10 hottest Premier League players each week
- Liverpool thrashed Arsenal 4-0 while Man City and Chelsea also recorded wins
- But there were setbacks for West Ham, Southampton and Brighton on Saturday
- Premier League saw two six-goal thrillers during an entertaining weekend
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fired by Man United after humiliating loss to Watford
- But who tops our Power Rankings this week, and who has made the list?
It was certainly another dramatic weekend in the Premier League as the club action returned following the final international fixtures of the year.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was put out of his misery and sacked less than 24 hours after Manchester United’s absolutely dismal 4-1 defeat to Watford.
As United ended the weekend managerless and down in eighth, their main rivals all underlined their class yet again.
Liverpool showed their class once again with a 4-0 dismantling of Arsenal on Saturday
THE TOP 10 LAST TIME
1. Declan Rice
2. Emile Smith Rowe
3. Mohamed Salah
4. Wilfried Zaha
5. Aaron Ramsdale
6. Reece James
7. Joao Cancelo
8. Jarrod Bowen
9. Conor Gallagher
10. Adam Armstrong
Liverpool crushed Arsenal’s recent revival in a 4-0 win at Anfield which saw Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp clash on the touchline.
Chelsea swept aside Leicester to preserve their three-point lead at the top of the table but Manchester City remain in hot pursuit after a 3-0 win over Everton.
West Ham saw their good form dented by Wolves, while there were great starts for Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa and Dean Smith over at Norwich.
Antonio Conte racked up his first Premier League win as Tottenham manager, a 2-1 success over Leeds on Sunday.
And we witnessed not one, but two six-goal thrillers with honours even between Burnley and Crystal Palace as well as Newcastle and Brentford.
Every week, Sportsmail will be bringing you a Power Rankings table, listing the top 10 players in the Premier League after each weekend’s action is completed.
As the season continues to unwind, 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 fixture and also in recent weeks.
So, with all of that taken into account, how have Sportsmail’s latest batch of Power Rankings taken shape?
10. Jarrod Bowen (West Ham, down two)
West Ham are enjoying a fine season but it just wasn’t their afternoon on Saturday as they went down 1-0 at Wolves.
Winger Jarrod Bowen was one of their better performers at Molineux but the Hammers were unable to follow up that landmark 3-2 win over Liverpool just before the internationals.
Bowen had set up two of West Ham’s goals in that game but Raul Jimenez proved the match-winner on Saturday as they lost their first game since the start of October.
He remains just about in our top 10 despite sliding a couple of positions from eighth last time out.
Jarrod Bowen attempts to get clear of Ruben Neves during West Ham’s defeat to Wolves
9. Conor Gallagher (Crystal Palace, no change)
Nobody can complain about the entertainment being served up by Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.
They shared six goals with Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday, making it 22 goals in six matches on their travels this season.
Christian Benteke may have scored twice but, as he always seems to do, on-loan Chelsea midfielder Gallagher, fresh from winning a maiden England cap, did well in midfield, including brilliantly setting up one of the goals.
Gallagher is already being backed to compete for a starting place when he returns to Chelsea next season and there were warm words of praise from Thomas Tuchel last week.
Conor Gallagher in action during Crystal Palace’s exciting 3-3 draw with Burnley on Saturday
‘I’m not surprised that the national coach [Gareth Southgate] loves him, because I loved him from day one,’ Tuchel said.
‘There cannot be a coach who does not love guys like this – humble, nice, a smile on their face, always ready to give everything, who wants to learn and wants to improve.’
Gallagher keeps his place in our top 10 for this week.
8. Diogo Jota (Liverpool, new entry)
Jurgen Klopp’s concern about the knee knock Jota picked up during the second-half of Saturday’s win over Arsenal said everything about how important the Portuguese forward is to Liverpool.
He was arguably the stand-out performer even on an evening when Liverpool’s purring attack produced four goals against opponents who’d been in very good form.
Jota scored the second of those goals to take his tally for the season to six and he is playing an ever increasing part as Klopp shuffles his forward line.
Roberto Firmino may be out with a thigh injury but Liverpool don’t miss a beat when Jota is involved. No wonder Klopp hopes his knee issue isn’t serious.
Diogo Jota capped an excellent performance in Liverpool’s win over Arsenal by scoring
7. Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal, down two)
Arsenal may have conceded four at Anfield but the scoreline could have reach truly humiliating proportions if not for Aaron Ramsdale making several key saves.
Accordingly, he was their best performer and that told you everything you need to know about how dire they were.
Ramsdale, who made his England debut away to San Marino last week, has been an important part of a positive run of results of late and he maintained some perspective after this loss.
‘This game isn’t going to define our season. It’s possibly the toughest place to come in the Premier League,’ Ramsdale said.
‘This is where we want to get to. The quality they’ve got – we’re aspiring to get there.’
But Ramsdale slips a couple of places in our countdown off the back of that result.
Ramsdale bravely dives at the feet of Liverpool’s Diogo Jota during Saturday’s loss for Arsenal
6. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace, down two)
Palace star Zaha has been a presence in our power rankings over the last few weeks following excellent displays in the wins over Manchester City and Wolves.
And though he didn’t score in Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Burnley, Zaha certainly played his part in a rollercoaster contest that could have ended up any score.
The winger has scored four times so far this season and certainly finds Patrick Vieira’s entertaining brand of football to his liking.
He only really moves down the ranking because others had better weekends and have moved upwards.
Wilfried Zaha fires a shot on goal during Saturday’s 3-3 draw between Palace and Burnley
5. Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal, down three)
Not the best performance by Smith Rowe as Arsenal crashed to defeat at Liverpool, certainly in comparison to some of his brilliant displays of late.
But everyone is due an off-day by the law of averages and the England man was far from the only Arsenal underachiever at Anfield.
It came after Smith Rowe had scored in three consecutive Arsenal wins against Aston Villa, Leicester and Watford, moving to five goals to the season and proving there is a clinical touch to his creativity.
That has elevated him into the England senior squad and he certainly didn’t put a foot wrong in the World Cup qualifiers against Albania and San Marino.
It’s down three places this week but Smith Rowe has the chance to move back up when Arsenal host Newcastle on Saturday.
Emile Smith Rowe tries to make some headway during Arsenal’s 4-0 defeat to Liverpool
4. Joao Cancelo (Manchester City, up three)
It was another dominant win for Manchester City – but only when they broke down 44 minutes of stubborn Everton resistance.
In order to do so, it took one of the assists of the season from the brilliant Joao Cancelo.
His magical ball with the outside of his right boot allowed Raheem Sterling to half-volley home City’s opening goal and there was no route back for the Toffees.
It followed the Portuguese wing-back’s man-of-the-match performance in their win at Old Trafford before the internationals, and he now has six assists for the season.
To reflect his fine form, Cancelo, who must be the best left-back in the Premier League at the moment, leaps up a few places into fourth.
Joao Cancelo (right) produced another brilliant performance as Man City beat Everton 3-0
3. Reece James (Chelsea, up three)
From one top class wing-back to another. Reece James is having a superb season and his class was very much in evidence again as Chelsea overwhelmed Leicester.
The intensity shown by James and his left-side counterpart Ben Chilwell was simply too much for the Foxes and James capped it off by teeing up N’Golo Kante’s strike for his fifth assist of the season. He also saw a goal chalked off.
There aren’t too many weaknesses in the Chelsea team at the moment and their three-point advantage at the top of the Premier League is certainly merited.
It’s shaping up to be an exciting title race between the Blues, Liverpool and Man City, so any moment of magic from James could well prove important.
The England man was ranked just ahead of Cancelo last time and so leaps up by the same number of places, taking him third.
Reece James prematurely celebrates a goal ruled out for offside during the win at Leicester
2. Declan Rice (West Ham, down one)
Rice has a strong claim to have been the Premier League’s best performer this season and the midfielder went top of the power rankings last time off the back of a man-of-the-match display against Liverpool.
That led to former Chelsea captain John Terry saying that Rice is the best in the world in his position.
Remarkably, as David Moyes subsequently revealed, Rice had been ‘on his knees’ with illness in the lead-up to the game, something that led to him dropping out the England squad.
Despite Rice’s best efforts, West Ham went down to a 1-0 loss at Wolves on Saturday to bring their recent good run to an end.
That result means Rice is knocked off top position but it’s bound to simply be an off-day for one of the Premier League’s most reliable performers.
It wasn’t Declan Rice’s afternoon as West Ham suffered a 1-0 loss to Wolves at Molineux
1. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, up two)
All of which means Mohamed Salah climbs back to the top of our Power Ranking, taking No 1 for the sixth time this season.
It followed another goal and another good outing in the 4-0 defeat of Arsenal, meaning the Egyptian now has 16 for the season.
After a couple of quieter afternoons in the games against Brighton and West Ham, which both saw Liverpool drop points, they returned to full throttle on Saturday night with Salah scoring their third.
The question once again is – how long can Salah stay on top?
A delighted Mohamed Salah celebrates his goal in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Arsenal at Anfield
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