Premier League Player Power Rankings: Luis Suarez, Hazard and Cahill Dominate
Welcome back to our Premier League player power rankings, where we've got another load of star performers staking their claim for the No. 1 spot.
The Capital One Cup final also took place this weekend, but the performances of the Sunderland and Manchester City players in that game won't be taken into account here.
We've got a returning No. 1, a top four all closely battling for that same honour and two new entrants to boot!
Dropping out and Honourable Mentions
This week, we lose Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. The 33-year-old had a difficult first half at St. Mary's against Southampton, but did improve after the break and netted a late penalty.
Meanwhile, West Ham United counterpart Kevin Nolan, who couldn't affect the game at Everton, also drops out.
Andre Schurrle deserves a brief nod for his match-winning hat-trick at Fulham, but his 40 minutes of playing well doesn't bring him particularly close to our rankings.
Christian Benteke of Aston Villa is in the same boat—more of the same from both, and we might see them in our top 10 soon.
Joe Allen put in another imperious performance for Liverpool, while Emmanuel Adebayor created the match-winning goal for Tottenham, but just misses out on a return to the top 10.
10. Leighton Baines
Last week: New!
Over the course of the season, Everton's best full-back has actually been on the opposite flank in the shape of Seamus Coleman, but in recent weeks the biggest impact has come from Baines.
At the weekend, he was a constant source of chances for his team as he moved forward from left-back, especially in the second half. It was from one of his intelligent low crosses that the Everton goal came to win the game.
Baines is hitting form at just the right time if he wants to be England's first-choice left-back in Brazil.
9. Loic Remy
Last week: New!
Loic Remy has enjoyed a fine season with Newcastle United on a personal level, but his importance to the team cannot be underestimated, especially now Yohan Cabaye is gone.
Remy's thrusting runs, great pace to get behind the defence and even a surprising aptitude for dropping into space and trying to pick out good passes around the edge of the area are basically Newcastle's main form of attack now.
He scored one at the weekend against Hull and will be a man in demand this summer.
8. Jordan Henderson
Last week: 9
Jordan Henderson had a quietly effective game this weekend—not at his absolute best in the first half, as Liverpool did more defending than usual, but impressive after the break.
Henderson showed both tactical intelligence in his wider role in a midfield diamond and an ability to keep the ball moving at pace in the second half when his team took command.
7. Olivier Giroud
Last week: 5
Olivier Giroud's biggest contribution to the game at the weekend was possibly getting stood on by Stoke's Charlie Adam.
The Arsenal striker struggled to make much of an impact in the game, managing just one shot on target during the 90 minutes, and couldn't help his side find a way past the home team in a 1-0 defeat.
Arsenal's lack of striker options on the bench was highlighted when Yaya Sanogo blasted a late chance well over the bar.
6. Yaya Toure
Last week: 6
Manchester City's Yaya Toure picked up a winner's medal and scored a fantastic goal for his side at Wembley, but the 3-1 Capital One Cup final win over Sunderland doesn't win him any extra points here.
No movement for the Ivorian midfielder.
5. Nemanja Matic
Last week: 10
Our big mover of the week is Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic, who has slotted straight back into the Premier League and looks an immovable part of his team's midfield.
He was fantastic once more against Fulham, denying them any passage through the centre of the pitch and keeping his team moving with his simple passing style.
Defensively, Matic made sure Chelsea were far from easy to break down, making more tackles than any midfielder on the pitch and making more interceptions than any of his team-mates.
4. Gary Cahill
Last week: 4
Cahill was once more imperious at the heart of Chelsea's defence, protecting his goalkeeper ably and commanding those around him just as much as partner and captain John Terry.
Especially in the first half, it was Cahill who kept Fulham at bay, twice making vital interceptions and clearances when it looked as though Clint Dempsey or his attacking team-mates might be in with a chance to score.
The English defender is the most in-form in the league at this point.
3. Daniel Sturridge
Last week: 1
Sturridge was top of the charts last week but such is the ferocity of competition between the top four that a single game in anything less than man-of-the-match form can see a drop.
That's the case here, even though Sturridge was still a good performer for Liverpool at Southampton.
He might have had two goals, opting to pass early on instead of shooting and later rounding the goalkeeper before shooting across the face of goal.
He linked well with his team-mates, though, and was a threat on the counter. He gave Southampton's defenders plenty of problems to deal with playing as a front two.
2. Eden Hazard
Last week: 2
Hazard's display at Fulham at the weekend could easily have been enough to loft him back into the No. 1 spot, were it not for an even better performance later that day.
He was Chelsea's biggest threat in an uneventful first half, before his creativity came to the fore after the break. He made full use of the space afforded to him to claim two assists and help win the game.
Another game-changing performance from the Belgian wide forward.
1. Luis Suarez
Last week: 3
After looking a little off the top of his game last week, Luis Suarez came back with a scintillating display at St. Mary's, central to all of Liverpool's best work as they beat Southampton 3-0.
Playing centrally but with room to roam as part of a front two, Suarez's usual hard work and devilish skill was in full view even before he opened the scoring with a fine, first-time swept effort into the far corner.
When Liverpool started to dominate the game in the second half, he was the main instigator of danger. In fact, Suarez ended the game by claiming an assist and winning the penalty for the third goal to go along with the effort he scored earlier himself—his 24th goal of the season in 23 games and 10th assist. He sits atop both charts in the Premier League.
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