Premier League player rankings: Mo Salah slumping at worst time

mohamed-salah-looks-to-receive-the-ball

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah controls the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Sunday, March 3, 2019. (Rui Vieira/AP)

Welcome to the Premier League player power rankings after Matchday 29. Following each gameweek in the English Premier League, Sportsnet will rank the top 20 players for the 2018-19 season. Regardless of reputation, everyone starts from scratch at Matchday 1, and will steadily move up, down, or out of the rankings as the games progress.

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1. Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 2)

Another superstar performance from the best defender in the Premier League this season.

2. Raheem Sterling, Manchester City (Previous matchday: 1)

With the Premier League race heating up, Sterling has chosen this moment to throw another spanner in the works saying the fans of Liverpool put more pressure on the players than the fans at Manchester City.

3. Eden Hazard, Chelsea (Previous matchday: 4)

Chelsea have asked him to carry a heavy load all season and the weight on his shoulders is starting to show. He looked tired at times and even though he picked up an assist, he’s certainly had better days.

4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal (Previous matchday: 3)

Aubameyang came on in the 56th minute and had a North London derby to forget. With the match at his feet in the 90th minute, the Gabonese striker struck a poor penalty that was easily handled by Hugo Lloris.

5. David Silva, Manchester City (Previous matchday: 7)

Think of all those highlights of inch-perfect crosses by David Beckham that led United to match wins and league titles. Now, think about the fact that Silva has equalled his tally in the Premier League. It is a remarkable achievement, and one that now puts him second among active league players.

6. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 5)

Salah’s performances have encapsulated Liverpool’s downward trajectory perfectly. The Egyptian can’t seem to find a rhythm as of late and the chance he had with the goal at his mercy, only for Michael Keane to slide in out of nowhere to make a league-title-implicating tackle.

7. Sergio Aguero, Manchester City (Previous matchday: 8)

Aguero almost scored one of the more outrageous goals of the season this weekend. Looking for options on the left wing, Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc anticipated a cross and started inching off his line. Sensing that, Aguero hit a chipped shot over Boruc but the ball unfortunately cannoned off the cross bar.

8. Aymeric Laporte, Manchester City (Previous matchday: 6)

Missed out due to injury.

9. Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal (Previous matchday: 9)

Missed a guilt-edged opportunity against Spurs but his form over the past month or so is undeniable.

10. Harry Kane, Tottenham (Previous matchday: 10)

Has two goals in two matches since returning but it’s great to see he put his time away from the pitch towards a great cause.

11. Andrew Robertson, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 11)

Robertson showered former manager and current Everton boss Marco Silva with plenty of praise but Silva showed he had no plans to return the favour by ensuring the Scot was kept busy defensively all match long.

A second-half Richarlison substitution particularly caused Robertson problems, and his brilliant performance against Watford is firmly in the rearview with Liverpool now trailing in the title race.

12. Sadio Mané, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 13)

Mané struggled against Everton in the final third just as much as Divock Origi and Salah but he was in far better form than those two heading into this match so he gets a pass.

13. Alisson, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 15)

In a match that featured plenty of open play, Alisson showed his true value with plenty of outlet passes that sent Liverpool on their way forward in a blink of an eye.

He made saves when he needed to as well, collecting his league-leading 17th clean sheet.

14. Toby Alderweireld, Tottenham (Previous matchday: 14)

While Tottenham lacked the attacking threat they usually pose for much of the match, Alderweireld was at his best all game and will only feel disappointed by a volley that struck the side netting of a Christian Eriksen set piece.

15. Son Heung-min, Tottenham (Previous matchday: 12)

Son has been far from his best over the past two matches and it’s oddly coincided with Kane’s return. The two have had plenty of matches where the two have shone together, but one has to imagine fatigue is setting in for Son after being put right back into the thick of things following South Korea’s Asia Cup appearance.

16. Roberto Firmino, Liverpool (Previous matchday: 16)

Was only fit enough to play as a second-half substitute and Liverpool really look lost without him in the final third. They will be hoping to have the best of the Brazilian for the final quarter of the season.

Has to be said, he’s found some interesting ways of passing the time by when he’s on the bench.

17. Ederson, Manchester City (Previous matchday: N/A)

Ederson has been magnificent for City all season and with one goal conceded in their last five league matches, it’s hard to ignore his efforts.

Like Alisson, he plays a vital role in springing City into the attack as well.

18. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Crystal Palace (Previous matchday: 19)

Returned from injury with an assist in Palace’s 3-1 win over Burnley and the Eagles just have a different look about them when both he and Wilfried Zaha are at their best.

19. Paul Pogba, Manchester United (Previous matchday: 18)

A rare match to forget for Pogba under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Played deeper than he’s been accustomed to, wasted a quality chance when presented with an open header courtesy Diogo Dalot and took away a hat trick from teammate Romelu Lukaku when he took and missed a penalty late that could have given United a bit of breathing room.

20. Leroy Sané, Manchester City (Previous matchday: 17)

Missed out against Bournemouth and has now played just 114 minutes in City’s last five league matches.

Honourable mentions:

Mathew Ryan (Brighton & Hove Albion). James Tarkowski (Burnley). James Maddison, Jamie Vardy (Leicester City). Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool). Fernandinho, Ederson (Manchester City). Marcus Rashford (Manchester United). Raúl Jiménez (Wolverhampton Wanderers).

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