Who tops our Premier League Power Rankings this week?


Expect the unexpected in the Premier League. This weekend’s results showed us exactly that.

On paper, Chelsea and Manchester City’s trips to Leeds and Newcastle on Sunday looked potentially tricky fixtures, but few would have predicted Jesse Marsch’s side to blow the Blues away by winning 3-0, or the Magpies taking the game to the champions to earn themselves a 3-3 draw.

Then there was Monday’s North-West derby between Manchester United and Liverpool. After dismal defeats against Brighton and Brentford, Erik ten Hag’s team finally delivered on the pitch to pick up a tense 2-1 victory.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have moved to the top of the table after cruising past Bournemouth, and their north London rivals Tottenham overcame a below-par first half showing to edge past Wolves.

There were also impressive wins for Southampton, Crystal Palace, Brighton and Fulham, plus Everton and Nottingham played out a 1-1 stalemate.

But who caught the eye from an individual perspective? Here’s the latest top 10 of our Premier League Power Rankings.

LAST WEEK’S TOP 10

10. Jose Sa

9.  Josh Dasilva

8. Eberechi Eze 

7. Nick Pope

6. Granit Xhaka 

5. Kalidou Koulibaly

4. Mathias Jensen 

3. Rodrigo

2. Kevin De Bruyne

1. Gabriel Jesus 

 

10. Nick Pope (Newcastle) – DOWN THREE

It’s rare for a goalkeeper to have a good game despite conceding three goals, yet Pope was exceptional against Pep Guardiola’s men at St James’ Park.

He had no chance to save any of the goals, but he kept his side in the game on more than one occasion. 

The Magpies goalkeeper denied Erling Haaland twice, including one brilliant fingertip save to divert the Norwegian’s strike onto the post, and Pope was also on hand to keep out Kevin De Bruyne multiple times.

His reading of the game was also on display as he raced off his line to snuff out any potential danger when City threatened to get in behind Newcastle’s back line.

With the World Cup less than three months away, Pope is making a strong case to be part of Gareth Southgate’s squad.

Nick Pope has already proven his worth at Newcastle since his summer move from Burnley

Nick Pope has already proven his worth at Newcastle since his summer move from Burnley

9. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) – NEW ENTRY

Zaha produced an exquisite finish against Liverpool at Anfield last week, and he continued his fine form to help Palace beat Aston Villa on Saturday.

The Ivorian raced on to a through ball before finishing past Emiliano Martinez in the first half to cancel out Ollie Watkins’ opener for Villa.

He then had the opportunity to score his second when the Eagles were awarded a penalty after half time. His initial effort was saved – the only blot on his copybook for the afternoon – but he followed in to tap home from close range.

Zaha was also involved in the build-up for the third goal as he sent Tyrick Mitchell away down the left flank, with the full back putting in a pinpoint cross to pick out Jean-Philippe Mateta.

Palace were at their free-flowing best against Steven Gerrard’s side, and Zaha remains their influential talisman. 

Wilfried Zaha scored twice against Aston Villa and remains a key player for Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha scored twice against Aston Villa and remains a key player for Crystal Palace

8. Rodrigo (Leeds) – DOWN FIVE

Leeds were a bit of an unknown quantity heading into this season. They stayed up by their skin of their teeth last term, and then lost Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha earlier this summer. Another tough season looked to be on the cards.

Yet they have started their campaign in stunning fashion, and their performance against Chelsea was particularly eye-catching.

Marsch’s men did not let Chelsea settle, and Rodrigo led from the front, as he has done since the start of the season.

Fresh off the back of scoring twice against Southampton last week, he looked full of confidence as he leapt highest to flick home a header for Leeds’ second goal at Elland Road.

He then played his part in the third goal as his effort was turned home by Jack Harrison.

Rodrigo has struggled in England since moving to Leeds in 2020, but he finally seems to be fulfilling his potential, and Marsch’s decision to hand him the captain’s armband on Sunday indicates that he is now trusted to deliver on a consistent basis by the American manager.

Rodrigo has scored four goals already this season after finding the net against Chelsea

Rodrigo has scored four goals already this season after finding the net against Chelsea

7. Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United) – NEW ENTRY

Martinez’s first two appearances for United could not have gone much worse.

He was given a torrid time by Danny Welbeck on his Old Trafford debut, and was then hauled off at half time after being dominated by Ivan Toney at Brentford the following week.

Some may have wondered whether he would even start against Liverpool, but ten Hag maintained his faith in him and instead dropped Harry Maguire from the starting XI.

In came Raphael Varane to partner Martinez, and the pair gelled perfectly. Concerns have been raised about Martinez’s height and whether he possesses the physicality to succeed in the Premier League, but he did not shy away from a single challenge on Monday night.

The Argentine threw himself into tackles, made some crucial blocks and ruffled a few feathers along the way. He may still have more to do to fully convince fans that he is the real deal, but this was a significant step in the right direction. 

Lisandro Martinez delivered his best Man United performance to date against Liverpool

Lisandro Martinez delivered his best Man United performance to date against Liverpool

6. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – DOWN FOUR

On another day, De Bruyne could easily have got himself on the scoresheet against Newcastle, but he was denied by Pope’s heroics.

Pope could do nothing about the Belgian’s pass for City’s final goal, though. It was a pass that 99% of footballers would not even have seen, let alone attempted.

With a sea of Newcastle bodies lined up on the edge of their own penalty area, De Bruyne’s options appeared limited, but he threaded a pass through the eye of a needle to pick out Bernardo Silva, who kept his cool to slip the ball beyond Pope.

De Bruyne’s passing ability has been of the highest quality for some time, but even by his standards this was simply sublime. 

He has established himself as one of the best players in England in recent years, and has looked at the top of his game in the opening weeks of the season.

Kevin De Bruyne played a stunning through ball to set up Bernardo Silva on Sunday

Kevin De Bruyne played a stunning through ball to set up Bernardo Silva on Sunday

5. Martin Odegaard (Arsenal) – NEW ENTRY

The new Arsenal captain has gone under the radar a little in the opening weeks of the season due to the brilliance of those around him, but he took centre stage at the Vitality Stadium.

Both of his goals were opportunistic finishes – the first a simple tap-in, followed by a fine strike when he nicked the ball of the toes of Gabriel Jesus.

Despite having the captain’s armband, there is still pressure on Odegaard for his place in the team given that Mikel Arteta can also call upon Emile Smith Rowe and Fabio Vieira.

The Gunners boss also showed last season that he is not afraid to leave his captain out of his starting line-up – he did exactly that with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

But Odegaard produced a fine all-round display on Saturday, and, as a result, his spot in the side should not be under any immediate threat.

Martin Odegaard (C) scored twice as Arsenal eased past Bournemouth on Saturday

Martin Odegaard (C) scored twice as Arsenal eased past Bournemouth on Saturday

4. Che Adams (Southampton) – NEW ENTRY

Adams entered the fray just before the hour mark on Saturday with his team 1-0 down against Leicester. The Saints looked to be on their way to another defeat, which would have left them on just one point from their opening three games.

Yet Adams had other ideas. Within nine minutes of his introduction, he had pulled Southampton level, setting up a nervy finish at the King Power Stadium.

He popped up again six minutes from time, getting on the end of James Ward-Prowse’s cross to scissor-kick the ball past Danny Ward.

This was a huge result for Southampton to ease some of the pressure on manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, and Adams played a major part in the turnaround.

His challenge now is to find some consistency in front of goal as he is yet to hit double figures in a Premier League campaign. 

Che Adams delivered a game-changing performance as he scored twice off the bench

Che Adams delivered a game-changing performance as he scored twice off the bench

3. Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle) – NEW ENTRY

Saint-Maximin is often a source of frustration for Newcastle supporters as his end product can be found wanting. But when he gets it right, he is a joy to watch.

He certainly got it right against City on Sunday. Kyle Walker is a four-time Premier League winner and seasoned international, but he was run ragged by the Frenchman.

Saint-Maximin’s enticing cross was bundled home by Miguel Almiron to bring Newcastle level after Ilkay Gundogan’s early goal, and the winger then set up Callum Wilson to put Newcastle in front before half time.

He continued to cause all sorts of problems after the interval, and won the free-kick which Kieran Trippier expertly converted. 

There have been talks of Newcastle being willing to sell Saint-Maximin this summer, but if he keeps playing like this, they ought to be desperate to keep hold of him.

Allan Saint-Maximin was a constant threat against Pepe Guardiola's Manchester City

Allan Saint-Maximin was a constant threat against Pepe Guardiola’s Manchester City

2. William Saliba (Arsenal) – NEW ENTRY

Saliba looked a serious talent on his Arsenal debut against Crystal Palace earlier this month, but he then scored an avoidable own goal against Leicester the week after. 

He was flawless against Bournemouth, though. The 21-year-old looked assured in possession, and did not allow the Cherries to build up any momentum as the home side failed to register a shot in the first half.

The centre back then showed that he can also be a threat in the opposition box as he fired home Arsenal’s third goal with his weaker foot. His finish stunned team-mate Oleksandr Zinchenko, who dropped to the floor in astonishment as the ball flew into the top corner.

The away fans enjoyed their day out in the sun, and by the end of the game there was one particular song that could be heard coming from that end of the ground.

It was dedicated to Saliba, and the catchy tune is likely to catch on if he keeps delivering imperious performances like this one. 

William Saliba scored a goal with his weaker foot to cap an excellent display on Saturday

William Saliba scored a goal with his weaker foot to cap an excellent display on Saturday

1. Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal) – STAYS TOP

Jesus did not score against Bournemouth, and his assist was somewhat fortuitous as he was trying to set himself up for a shot rather than Odegaard. Yet that didn’t matter – the Brazilian has made a sensational start to his Gunners career.

Many fans will have known that Jesus was a high-quality player from his time at City, but did they realise he was this good? Probably not.

He got the ball rolling for Arsenal on the weekend with his involvement in the first goal. 

He showed strength to hold off a defender, then burst upfield before playing a deft pass into the path of Gabriel Martinelli. 

Martinelli’s shot was well-saved, but the ball came out to Odegaard who could not miss.

Jesus continued to cause havoc for the rest of the game, and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet himself as he had a goal narrowly ruled out for offside. 

Arsenal are purring at the moment, and with a spine that contains Jesus, Odegaard and Saliba, they are going to be difficult to stop. 

Gabriel Jesus has looked right at home since his move to Arsenal earlier this summer

Gabriel Jesus has looked right at home since his move to Arsenal earlier this summer



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *