Who comes out on top in Mail Sport's POWER RANKINGS this week?
Jeremy Doku has taken the Premier League by storm, Andre Onana’s resurgence continues at Goodison Park and Anthony Gordon steps up when Newcastle need him most – but who claims top spot in this week’s POWER RANKINGS?
- Erling Haaland became the fastest player to score 50 Premier League goals
- Anthony Gordon starred as Newcastle thrashed Chelsea 4-1 at St James’ Park
- Jeremy Doku had Trent Alexander-Arnold on toast for most of the game, how COULD Gary Neville make him man of the match? Listen to It’s All Kicking Off
The Premier League’s long-awaited return after the last international break of the calendar year did not disappoint.
Trent Alexander-Arnold cancelled out Erling Haaland’s opener as Liverpool held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at the Etihad, allowing Arsenal to reclaim top spot after Kai Havertz’s late goal was enough to beat Brentford.
Elsewhere, Alejandro Garnacho scored what may well be the goal of the season with a stunning overhead kick as Manchester United silenced the Goodison Park boos by beating Everton 3-0.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s resurgence came to an abrupt end at Newcastle and there was a big win for Bournemouth in the race to avoid relegation.
But now the dust has settled, who features in Mail Sport‘s latest Power Rankings?
Arsenal moved back to the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Brentford
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LAST WEEK’S TOP 10 RANKINGS
10. John McGinn
9. Dominic Solanke
8. Harry Maguire
7. William Saliba
6. Vitaliy Mykolenko
5. Virgil van Dijk
4. Raheem Sterling
3. Cole Palmer
2. Erling Haaland
1. Mohamed Salah
10. Marcus Tavernier (new entry)
Bournemouth’s second consecutive win owned as much to Sheffield United’s dismal performance as it did to Ryan Tavernier’s display.
The Cherries winger opened the scoring after just 12 minutes and then rifled in a third shortly after the break as the visitors took a 3-0 lead they never looked in danger of relinquishing.
Tavernier completed three key passes and one successful dribble and looked threatening throughout, helped by a Blades defence that was routinely at sixes and sevens.
Three wins in the last four games combined with Everton’s 10-point deduction have put Bournemouth seven clear of the relegation zone.
And if the likes of Tavernier, Justin Kluivert, Dominic Solanke and Antoine Semenyo continue to fire they could well stay there.
Marcus Tavernier scored twice as Bournemouth beat Sheffield United 3-1
9. Mohammed Kudus (new entry)
Mohammed Kudus’ stunning goal against Brentford earlier this month proved to be in vain as West Ham relinquished a 2-1 lead.
There was nothing futile about the Ghanaian’s efforts in the win against Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon, however. Dara O’Shea’s 96th minute own goal came after Kudus had burst down the right and fired a cross that caused havoc in the Clarets’ defence.
Four minutes later, Kudus set up Tomas Soucek’s late winner with his first assist in the Premier League.
The former Ajax player has had to bide his team since joining the Hammers this summer but has established himself as a regular in David Moyes’ side, starting the last four Premier League fixtures.
West Ham climbed up to ninth following the win at Burnley and with Kudus in this form, another European finish is very much a realistic possibility.
Mohammed Kudus set up Tomas Soucek’s late winner against Burnley on Saturday
8. Raheem Sterling
Chelsea’s mini-revival ended abruptly at St. James’ Park, as the Blues were swept aside by a rampant Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.
If there was some solace to pick from the debris of a dismal performance it came yet again in the former of Raheem Sterling.
The 28-year-old scored a brilliant free-kick to draw his side level and has now found the net in three of his last four appearances in all competitions, during which he’s also contributed an assist.
And Sterling’s one-man quest to prove Gareth Southgate wrong after being ignored by the England manager should provide Mauricio Pochettino a much-needed platform as he continues to rebuild his team.
Raheem Sterling scored his third goal in the last four games as Chelsea lost to Newcastle
7. Andre Onana (new entry)
Alejandro Garnacho’s sublime overhead kick stole the show at Goodison Park, but Erik ten Hag will have been just as pleased with events at the other end of the pitch.
The Dutchman’s decision to spend £47m to replace David De Gea with Onana raised eyebrows as the former Inter Milan struggled to adapt to life in England.
Onana isn’t the first Manchester United goalkeeper to endure a series of high-profile errors in his debut seasons at Old Trafford, but his mistakes were exacerbated by the malaise surrounding United and their losing run.
While United are statistically the form team in the Premier League, it would be premature to suggest they have turned a corner.
Onana, however, appears to have done so, keeping three clean sheets in his last three appearances. The Cameroonian made six saves as United withstood a first half onslaught to secure a 3-0 win at Goodison Park and is clearly benefitting by playing behind a settled centre-back partnership.
Sterner tests await in the form of Galatasaray, Newcastle and Chelsea but the signs, at long last, are good for Onana.
Andre Onana has kept a clean sheet in each of his last three Premier League matches
6. Douglas Luiz (new entry)
The Brazilian replaces teammate John McGinn in the power rankings and while the Scot can count himself lucky to miss out, Luiz more than deserves his spot.
The 25-year-old was instrumental in Aston Villa’s 2-1 win over Tottenham on Sunday, which vaulted Unai Emery’s team into the top four.
Luiz won three tackles, completed 94 percent of his passes and recorded two interceptions in another superb all-round display, which also included the assist for Pau Torres’ equaliser.
Luiz has been ever-present in the Premier League season, scoring five goals and setting up two more as Emery’s midfield lynchpin.
Arsenal are reportedly considering a January move for Luiz after having three bids rejected in the summer of 2022, but it will take a handsome offer to lure the Brazilian south.
For now, Luiz and Villa are firmly looking up and could be top of the table this time next week if results go their way.
Douglas Luiz was instrumental in Aston Villa ‘s 2-1 win over Tottenham on Sunday
5. Anthony Gordon (new entry)
With 33 goals, only Manchester City have scored more than Newcastle so far in the Premier League this season.
The Magpies’ 4-1 trouncing of Chelsea on Saturday afternoon took their tally to 31 in 13 games with Anthony Gordon contributing to eight of them.
The 22-year-old took his time to settle on Tyneside following his move from Everton in January, but has established himself as a key figure in Eddie Howe’s team.
Gordon’s superb finish against Chelsea was the finish of a player bursting with confidence and living up to both his potential and his £45m fee.
Eddie Howe described the win over the Blues as a ‘giant performance’ as it came with 11 senior players out injured. A similarly Herculean efforts will be required in Paris on Tuesday night if Newcastle are to keep their Champions League alive, before they host Manchester United at what promises to be a raucous St James’ Park on Saturday night.
On current form, expect Gordon to relish both occasions.
Anthony Gordon scored his fifth Premier League goal of the season as Newcastle beat Chelsea
4. Jeremy Doku (new entry)
Trent Alexander-Arnold may have been named Player of the Match against Manchester City on Saturday, but Jeremy Doku had him on toast for most of the afternoon, twisting him one way and the other.
Doku completed 11 dribbles in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool on Saturday, the most in a Premier League in over two years and leads the league with six dribbles per game, twice as many as the closest player – Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze.
If Doku’s arrival at the Etihad in the summer barely registered, the former Rennes winger has certainly grabbed the Premier League’s attention since.
The Belgian has established himself as a key figure in Pep Guardiola’s team, starting eight of his 10 Premier League appearances and dislodging treble hero Jack Grealish from the starting XI.
‘When he takes the ball everyone gets excited – me too,’ Guardiola said after Doku starred in a 6-1 demolition of Bournemouth earlier this month.
Doku’s directness and unpredictability offer City, that most structured of teams, a whole new dimension and poses a whole new set of headaches for their rivals.
Jeremy Doku (right) completed 11 dribbles in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool on Saturday, the most in a Premier League in over two years
3. William Saliba (up four)
Could the old adage ‘strikers win you games but defenders win you titles’ apply to Arsenal this season?
The Gunners racked up their sixth clean sheet in 13 games as they eked out a precious 1-0 win at Brentford courtesy of Kai Havertz’s late goal.
Saliba was impressive, winning five aerial duels and both of his tackles and looking every bit the commanding figure Mikel Arteta hoped he would become when he spent £26m on the defender back in 2019.
The Frenchman’s season ended in December last year because of a back injury, but he has been ever-present in the Premier League this term and his fitness will be key to Arsenal’s title chances.
The days of ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ may be a distant memory, but Arteta has shown this season he’s happy to build his bid to dethrone Manchester City on defensive solidity more than attacking flair.
Saliba will be crucial to that.
William Saliba helped Arsenal to keep another clean sheet as they beat Brentford 1-0
2. Mohamed Salah (down one)
The fact Salah had an xG of 0.0 and yet played a crucial part in Liverpool’s rescue act to salvage a point away at Manchester City on Saturday speaks volumes for his form.
Leave him space and the Egyptian will score, negate any opportunities and he will turn provider as he did when he set up Trent Alexander-Arnold’s equaliser.
Salah has contributed with either a goal or an assist in 11 of his 13 Premier League appearances this season and only Erling Haaland has scored more league goals this term – 14 to the Egyptian’s 10.
Salah’s assist on Saturday was his fifth of the Premier League the season, level with James Maddison and Jeremy Doku and just two behind Pedro Neto’s league-best tally of seven.
The Liverpool man has made the exceptional look routine for so long, that his brilliance often goes underappreciated.
Mohamed Salah has contributed with either a goal or an assist in 11 of his 13 Premier League appearances this season
1. Erling Haaland (one up)
Manchester City may have relinquished their place at the top of the table after being held 1-1 by Liverpool on Saturday, but Haaland broke yet another Premier League record.
The Norwegian’s first half goal at the Etihad was his 50th in 48 Premier League matches, making him the fastest man to reach the milestone as he obliterated Andy Cole’s previous record of 50 goals in 65 matches.
With 14 goals in 13 Premier League games this term, Haaland is on pace to match and perhaps even better his 36-goal tally from last season, which set a new record for the most goals in a single campaign.
Whether City can reach the same dizzying heights, remains to be seen. Pep Guardiola’s men have spurned leads in the last two matches and have looked at their ruthless best only in flashes this season.
With Haaland in this kind of form, however, it is a case of when, not if, City will eventually kick on this season.
Erling Haaland became the fastest player to 50 Premier League goals on Saturday
IT’S ALL KICKING OFF!
It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.
It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.
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