The Premier League season is racing towards the finish line with the top of the table still up for grabs and a relegation scrap showing no signs of cooling off.
Manchester City look on course for a third consecutive Premier League title and demonstrated the gulf in class between them and the rest of the league after thrashing current leaders Arsenal 4-1 at the Etihad on Wednesday.
Liverpool remain in with a slim chance of Champions League qualification as they found much-needed momentum to come from behind in their win over West Ham.
Manchester United missed the chance to virtually cement their place in the top four after being pegged back in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham, while Newcastle made it 10 goals in two games in their 4-1 win over Everton.
So who makes it into our top 10 Power Rankings after the latest round of Premier League fixtures? Mail Sport delves deeper into the greatest hits from around the grounds.
Manchester City took advantage of the Premier League title race by thumping Arsenal 4-1
Erling Haaland (right) and Kevin De Bruyne (left) both made it into our Power Rankings
10. Ruben Dias (new entry)
LAST WEEK’S TOP 10 RANKINGS
10. Joe Willock
9. Jarrod Bowen
8. Jacob Murphy
7. Declan Rice
6. Erling Haaland
5. Ollie Watkins
4. Trent Alexander-Arnold
3. Gabriel Martinelli
2. Alexander Isak
1. Diogo Jota
Manchester City’s most important defensive asset looks to be peaking at exactly the right time in the season as Pep Guardiola’s side attempt to land the treble.
Arsenal’s young title-chasing attackers were meant to be a test for the City defence to deal with, but Dias played a huge part in nullifying any potential threat.
The Portuguese has been one of City’s most important players since coming back from a hamstring injury in February and in a squad that is frequently mixed and matched, he has started the last nine Premier League matches.
Coincidentally, their last defeat in the English top-flight against Tottenham in February was the final match that Dias played no part in.
The 25-year-old wasn’t afraid to use football’s dark arts against Arsenal, bullying opposition players in duels and dominating in the air.
He perhaps overstepped the mark when he kicked out at Ben White just before half-time, but if Arsenal’s defence could have matched Dias’ aggressiveness then it would have been a closer affair.
Ruben Dias (left) has started Man City’s last nine league matches with City unbeaten in that run
9. Lucas Paqueta (new entry)
The Hammers midfielder was meant to be the partner that would help transform the club’s engine room alongside Declan Rice this season, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way.
However, amid a relegation battle the Brazilian seems to have kicked his performances up a gear and did so again against Liverpool, despite being on the losing side.
Paqueta showed his brilliance in both build-up play and finishing to open the scoring at the London Stadium on Tuesday as he played a series of one-twos with Michail Antonio before producing a tidy effort to beat Alisson.
Lucas Paqueta scored his second goal in as many games for West Ham in defeat to Liverpool
The last three Premier League performances have seen Paqueta win a crucial penalty in West Ham’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal, score in the club’s follow-up 4-0 win over Bournemouth, and bag another against Liverpool.
Big players are needed at this stage of the season and the 25-year-old is stepping up.
8. Callum Wilson (new entry)
It would be easy to include almost every Newcastle player in this list with Eddie Howe’s side scoring 10 goals in their last two games to further reinforce their Champions League credentials.
Wilson has had to show patience, with his last start before Wednesday coming in Newcastle’s 5-1 away victory over West Ham, but he was given the nod at Goodison Park.
The England international backed his start up with a well-taken brace that saw relegation-threatened Everton fail to contain him or limit his most potent threats.
Callum Wilson scored his second against Everton with a curling strike that nestled in corner
Wilson has now scored six goals across Newcastle’s last six Premier League matches
Wilson possesses the instinct to sniff out a goal and pounced quickest in the box on Jordan Pickford’s parried save to score a tap-in.
His second was a stunning strike that bent round the Everton goalkeeper, nestling in the top corner and damning the hosts to defeat.
Six goals across Newcastle’s last six Premier League games, Wilson is showing he is so much more than just a super-sub and deserves a chance to start more often.
7. Trent Alexander-Arnold (down three)
The right back is often made the scapegoat for poor performances when Liverpool capitulate – as they have done on many occasions this season – but the Red tide is turning and Alexander-Arnold is benefitting the most.
Defensively fragile but excellent in attack, he can be Jurgen Klopp’s biggest selection dilemma but in this moment he is a dream for the Liverpool manager.
Alexander-Arnold followed up a pinpoint passing demonstration against Nottingham Forest by being the crucial link between attack and defence in Liverpool’s 2-1 win over West Ham on Wednesday.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (left) produced another improved performance against West Ham
The 24-year-old assisted Cody Gakpo for Liverpool’s equaliser against the Hammers and looked far more secure in defence when the hosts attempted to isolate him down the wing. A step in the right direction but improvement is still needed.
It’s no surprise to see Alexander-Arnold excelling again with Liverpool finally finding some positive momentum in their season and the previously packed treatment room now virtually empty.
6. Jadon Sancho (new entry)
The Manchester United winger is a conundrum like no other for Erik ten Hag to deal with.
Some weeks he looks like a shadow of the player the club thought they were getting when they forked out £73million for him in 2021.
In other matches he looks like a world beater that has the potential to master the trickery, link-up play, and finishing that United supporters want to see from their wide-men on a consistent basis.
Against Spurs he was the more impressive latter of those two outcomes as he gave an already battered defence another torrid time that should have resulted in United sealing three points.
Jadon Sancho (left) opened the scoring in Manchester United’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham
Sancho (right) has struggled for consistency but looks set for a strong finish to the campaign
Sancho finished beautifully to put the Red Devils in-front, cutting in from the left and curling his shot through a crowd of players and past Fraser Forster.
He then continued to link-up excellently with Marcus Rashford in attacking scenarios that showed off quick and accurate passing.
The 23-year-old almost scored again when he slowed play down inside the Spurs box, moving his feet to get past one man but seeing his final effort blocked by Eric Dier, with Spurs eventually scrambling back to salvage a 2-2 draw.
5. John Stones (new entry)
It was only in the past summer that large sections of Manchester City supporters wanted John Stones to be sold… but that certainly isn’t the case now with the Englishman emerging as a late star of the season.
Stones is a central defender by all metrics, at least that’s what everyone previously thought, but City manager Pep Guardiola has continued to show his ability to transform players, with the 28-year-old producing outstanding performances in a hybrid midfield role.
He started at centre back but when City were in possession he moved forward and created so many openings in Arsenal’s midfield by making simple short movements that allowed Dias to find him in pockets that would then allow Stones to kickstart attacks.
John Stones has revived his Manchester City career in a hybrid midfield role this season
The former Everton defender is also showing he can be a threat in and around opposition boxes as he followed-up a beautiful finish in their previous Premier League win over Leicester with a thumping header to beat Aaron Ramsdale on Wednesday.
The most unlikely of heroes in Man City’s star-studded squad is becoming integral to Guardiola’s plans and his recent performances should be giving England boss Gareth Southgate some serious thinking to do.
4. Jacob Murphy (up four)
Murphy moves up four in our power rankings courtesy of another excellent showing in a Newcastle shirt that saw the European hopefuls thump four past Everton.
Not even the most ardent of Murphy’s supporters could have foretold this period of success at St James’ Park after a stuttered start to life in the north east that saw him shipped out on loan to West Brom and Sheffield Wednesday.
But, Murphy is just the latest star to benefit from Howe’s all-out attack approach and demonstrated to Everton exactly the type of midfielder they are missing as he came off the bench in the 68th minute to produce an impressive cameo outing.
Jacob Murphy (right) continued his scoring form with another goal off the bench for Newcastle
The attacking midfielder has clearly been working on making late runs into the box and did so again to score with a tap-in and re-establish Newcastle’s three-goal cushion.
Murphy is a clear example of what confidence can do for a player and recent performances have not only revived his Premier League career but also potentially with England.
How times change.
3. Erling Haaland (up three)
If you had only seen the scoreline in Man City’s 4-1 annihilation of Arsenal then most would think that Erling Haaland had scored the majority of the goals. You’d be wrong, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this wasn’t another outstanding performance.
Arsenal had clearly expected Haaland to lead the line with runs in behind as he has done against so many teams this season – but Pep Guardiola reserved one of his formidable tactical changes to deploy the Norwegian in a deeper-lying role at the Etihad.
It was an evening of potent striker-turned-playmaker as he dropped into the No 10 role and allowed De Bruyne to exploit the open space in behind.
His touch was beautiful, strength was too much for Arsenal to handle, and ability to pick a chance-creating pass another high-quality string that he has added to his bow.
Erling Haaland scored just minutes after letting down his golden locks against Arsenal
Haaland (left) bullied Arsenal’s defence throughout 90 minutes at the Etihad on Wednesday
As Ederson hoofed a goal-kick up to him in the early exchanges, Haaland brought it down with ease before unleashing a charging De Bruyne through on goal.
The Belgian scored and City never looked back.
Of course Haaland couldn’t let everyone else get in on the goals as he rounded off the evening with a stoppage-time strike to set a new record for the amount of goals scored in a single Premier League season. Unstoppable.
2. Alexander Isak (non-mover)
Isak has been one of the signings of the season and at just £60m looks like an unbelievable piece of business by Newcastle, who clearly spotted something in the former Real Sociedad man that others had failed to see.
There were concerns from United supporters and hope from Everton fans when they saw the Sweden international was left on the bench after unhinging Tottenham just four days previously.
But just seven minutes after coming on showed exactly why he is cementing a status as one of the best attackers in the English top-flight with a mazing run that not even three Everton players could stop.
Alexander Isak (right) terrorised Everton’s defence by running through home players with ease
As the ball came out to him on the left-wing at Goodison Park it was head down and run, turning Michael Keane and Idrissa Gueye inside out with his trickery before breezing past Ben Godfrey in the box as if the centre-back was never there.
Of course he matched his run with end product by rolling the ball across to Murphy for a tap-in. There’s certainly no doubting the 23-year-old’s talent now.
1. Kevin De Bruyne (new entry)
When you need a player to turn up in the biggest of matches, Kevin De Bruyne is exactly the man to turn to.
Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard, and Steven Gerrard are often quoted as the Premier League’s greatest-ever playmakers, where De Bruyne places amongst that trio won’t be determined until after he retires but he easily warrants a place.
D Bruyne (left) tops our power rankings after an unstoppable performance against Arsenal
De Bruyne (middle) scored twice in City’s thrashing of the Premier League leader’s
Midfielder, striker, winger, against Arsenal the Belgian did it all and was a nightmare for a crumbling Gunners defence to deal with wherever he popped up on the pitch, with two goals and a man-of-the-match award testament to his efforts.
De Bruyne is Mr Adaptable for Pep Guardiola, he goes about his business without fuss and was the focal point of City’s attack against the Premier League leaders.
His first goal was the simple matter of a run through Arsenal’s half before finishing from outside the box with a driven effort past Aaron Ramsdale. His second goal, a finish from close-range through the legs of Rob Holding.
A devastating partnership with Haaland might be the greatest the Premier League has ever seen for a single season, and should City go on to lift the title, De Bruyne will be credited with playing an integral part in that triumph.