A return to a full Premier League weekend following the FA Cup saw familiar names back in top flight action but also key contributions elsewhere to set up an exciting end to the season.
Manchester City and Liverpool continue to trade punches with the former cruising to a 5-1 victory at Watford while the Reds were made to patiently wait before breaking down Merseyside rivals Everton in a 2-0 victory.
Another key clash near the summit saw Arsenal and Manchester United face off in a battle for a Champions League spot, with the Gunners triumphing 2-1 before they saw rivals Tottenham Hotspur stumble again in a draw at Brentford.
Elsewhere, Newcastle’s excellent form saw them brush aside Norwich at Carrow Road in a 3-0 victory while Burnley’s hopes of beating relegation took a huge boost after they defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0.
All the action helped provide a big shake-up in Sportsmail’s Power Rankings but who takes this week’s No 1 spot?
Manchester City put pressure on Liverpool with a 5-1 victory over Watford at the Etihad
But the Reds followed up with a strong display in the 2-0 Merseyside derby win over Everton
LAST WEEK’S TOP 10
10. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)
9. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
8. Harry Kane (Tottenham)
7. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
6. Leandro Trossard (Brighton)
5. Son Heung-min (Tottenham)
4. Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City)
3. Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle)
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester Utd)
1. Christian Eriksen (Brentford)
10. Wout Weghorst (new entry)
Sean Dyche may have gone from Burnley but one of his last big acts as manager at Turf Moor may just be signing the tall striker from Wolfsburg to replace the departing Chris Wood in January.
While he never quite did enough to produce the results that would have prevented Dyche being given the boot earlier in April, the former manager’s transfer market judgement might finally be getting some credit.
The Clarets are unbeaten in three matches under caretaker boss Mike Jackson and Weghorst has been a strong presence in attack, notably scoring recently in the 1-1 draw at high flying West Ham, while he crucially supplied the low cross for Matej Vydra to net the winner over Wolves at the weekend.
If he can keep up these useful additions he may be key to Burnley being able to extend their top flight stay into a sixth season.
Wout Weghorst is starting to prove his worth to the Burnley fight against top flight relegation
9. James Ward-Prowse (new entry)
It’s not been a rollercoaster season for Southampton who are poised to end the campaign having not been troubled by relegation neither have they ever looked like qualifying for Europe.
Yet what an up and down month it has been for the Saints who have landed some big wins and suffered utter humiliation along the way perfectly underlining why they have been mid-table for most of the season.
Ward-Prowse has been present for all of the April run too which have seen the Saints pull off a big 1-0 win at Arsenal yet also been thumped 6-0 by Chelsea.
The England midfielder’s contributions have come elsewhere during the month though netting in the 1-1 draw against Leeds United, and to a greater extent at Brighton where he scored a trademark free-kick before doubling his tally with another goal just after half-time in the 2-2 draw. For the first time in his career he has now reached 10 goals for the season across all competitions.
James Ward-Prowse struck twice for Southampton in their 2-2 draw at Brighton on Sunday
8. Luis Diaz (new entry)
Not on the scoresheet against Everton but make no mistake, Diaz continues to be a massive hit with Liverpool fans who remain in awe of his ability.
He did set-up Liverpool’s second goal in the Merseyside derby with a scissors kick into the ground headed home by Divock Origi. Whether he meant it to be a shot or not doesn’t matter – everything he does looks like a flash of skill at the moment.
Post-match much of the viral videos from the game were on his outrageous show of skill to bring down a long ball by controlling with a rabona and then skipping away in possession like he does it every week – which to be fair he probably could.
It’s not just a one-off performance though for the £37.5m January arrival from Porto, he also scored and provided an assist in the previous clash against rivals Manchester United. Cleary, he has the confidence and ability to produce the goods on the biggest of occasions.
Luis Diaz has dazzled Liverpool supporters with his recent skills as well as goal contributions
7. Gabriel Jesus (new entry)
It’s too late to convince Pep Guardiola he can be relied upon over the course of the season to provide the world class striker Manchester City so desperately desire, but the Brazilian is coming up with the goods when it really matters late on in the campaign.
He at least repaid the faith shown in him by Guardiola by starting and then scoring what could still prove to be a priceless goal in the 2-2 draw with title rivals Liverpool.
While he may have been expected to hit the net against less tougher opposition in Watford, he certainly ensured there was to be no slip up for City by becoming the first Premier League player to net four goals in a single game for two years in the 5-1 win.
Just to prove he wasn’t all about the goals he also provided the assist for City to retake the lead by teeing up Rodri to blast home. Five goals this month is a significant improvement on his two goals for the Premier League campaign up until his Liverpool strike.
Gabriel Jesus struck four times for Manchester City in their victory over Watford on Saturday
6. Bukayo Saka (new entry)
You really don’t know what you are going to get with Arsenal these days, but whatever it is supporters are hoping it will finally end with a return to the Champions League in May.
They are in the pound seats to secure it too, following statement wins at Chelsea and again at home to Manchester United having previously lost against Southampton and Brighton.
Leading their impressive fightback has been the inspirational youngster Bukayo Saka who has overcome a mini blip to net in both games as the Gunners prepare to come to the boil at a crucial time of the season.
Even at just 20-years-old he is a key player for the Emirates Stadium outfit and his 11 goals and five assists over the top flight season are set to be a big reason why Arsenal are ready to reclaim their place among Europe’s elite.
Arsenal are in the pound seats for a top four finish thanks to recent Bukayo Saka displays
5. Virgil van Dijk (up two)
Granted, Virgil Van Dijk won’t have too many easier attacks to defend against than the one offered up by Everton at the weekend – yet take nothing away from the colossus in the Liverpool defence.
With Everton only having 15 per cent of the ball in the Merseyside derby, there was not much for him to defend against but there is still always the odd set-piece moment to fear or the rare run through on goal to be wary of and the Dutchman didn’t fail in still remaining alert and keeping another clean sheet.
Only title rivals City have managed to breach the Reds’ defence over the past eight games and Van Dijk has played every single minute of it.
The title race is still very much open and, especially if the Reds go on to claim it, then the 30-year-old should be a very strong contender for player of the year.
Virgil van Dijk continues to lead a Liverpool defence that is racking up clean sheets
4. Christian Eriksen (down three)
Brentford’s winning run with the talented Dane has come to an end but they remain unbeaten following the goalless draw with Champions League chasing Tottenham on Saturday.
The Bees though were incredibly unfortunate not to come away with three points and Eriksen’s late free-kick could have resulted in a winning goal when Ivan Toney nodded an effort off the post.
Against his former club the playmaker still stood out as the best player on the pitch even if he couldn’t quite create or provide the breakthrough.
Such is the brutal nature of the power rankings though, if you stand still you go backwards. That means last week’s winner takes a small tumble down the order.
Despite failing to help Brentford score against Spurs, Christian Eriksen starred in the game
3. Cristiano Ronaldo (down one)
He’s not been perfect in recent times, but then how could anyone in a Manchester United squad that week-on-week just seems to be morphing into a travelling circus.
Yet despite this, the forward has netted seven Premier League goals in just four matches – the latest being against Arsenal in a 2-1 defeat that marked his 100th Premier League goal.
More importantly than his contributions to a crumbling United side though is how the Portuguese has shown incredible character to return to action and still prove to be one of United’s best players following the incredibly sad death of his newborn son early last week.
To still prove able to be relied upon following such tragedy says much about the determination of the man and his drop down the order this week only comes as a result of significant contributions elsewhere.
Cristiano Ronaldo showed tremendous character to return to action and find the net as he celebrates his goal against Arsenal following the tragic death of his new born son
2. Kevin de Bruyne (up two)
If Manchester City do go on to win the title this term then Kevin de Bruyne’s role especially in this late season will not be forgotten in a hurry.
Following his two assists in the 5-1 victory over Watford, he has now contributed to goals in five of City’s last six games – netting four strikes as well as assists during that run, which includes fixtures against Liverpool and Manchester United.
He will be vital in the run-in for Pep Guardiola’s men and the Spaniard may now be wondering how best to use the 30-year-old on multiple fronts.
After all, City also remain in the Champions League hunt, but so crucial is the brilliant Belgian he may just be involved in all the games over the next month. It’s an incredibly brave call to drop him now to give him some ‘rest’.
Kevin de Bruyne will be prove crucial to Manchester City during their run-in to the season
1. Bruno Guimaraes (up two)
There’s a new hero on Tyneside who among all of Eddie Howe’s January purchases is standing out as the pick of the bunch – and that’s a welcome compliment considering the Magpies’ mid-season revamp has largely proven a successful one.
You only have to look at the Premier League table as evidence for that. At the end of January Newcastle were in the bottom three and very much in a battle against relegation, now for the first time this season they are inside the top 10 and Bruno Guimaraes’ contribution towards the Magpies’ rapid rise in 2022 cannot be ignored.
That goes especially for recent games, and at the weekend where the midfielder was key in front of goal again to add a third after a Joelinton double in the 2-0 win at Norwich City.
It follows an assist against Crystal Palace, two goals against Leicester City and a commanding performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers. It’s hard to find a player more influential to his team inside the Premier League right now and he goes top of the Power Rankings.
Having helped Newcastle rocket up the table, Bruno Guimaraes tops the Power Rankings