It was another turbulent week in the Premier League.
Manchester City were hammered at Tottenham, a game in which Harry Kane finally scored his first league goal of the season, while Chelsea failed to gain momentum from their win over Arsenal, instead needing two late goals to salvage a point at winless Newcastle United.
Arsenal clipped the bushy tails of the high-flying Foxes and Daniel Sturridge scored two excellent goals to lift Liverpool out of the duldrums.
Manchester United also went top for the first time in 110 weeks after beating Sunderland, who are looking more doomed by the week.
But who are the Premier League's most important stars?
We all know who the best players are but defining those with the power to shape events in the Premier League is not so simple - so we've created The Independent's Premier League Power Rankings.
Ahead of every round of fixtures in the top-flight our team of experts get together to define the 17 players who hold the power.
Rather than being based on who the best or most talented footballers are, it's defined by current form, league position, next fixture and any other factors which could influence events.
Players move up and down the rankings, battling to be number one. Some will drop out and new entries will emerge. You might not agree (in which case let us know why) - but that's half the fun.
These are the 17 most important players in the Premier League right now...
Premier League Power Rankings Week Eight
Premier League Power Rankings Week Eight
1/17 17) Nathan Redmond (Norwich) - re-entry
Came off the bench to score an excellent goal as the Canaries drew at Upton Park, Redmond has slowed down after an good start to the season but can be pleased with three goals and an assist in his opening seven matches. Leicester is a team full of pace so expect Norwich boss Alex Neill to start Redmond to try and combat that. Last Fixture: D - 2-2 - West Ham Next Fixture: Leicester City (h)
2015 Getty Images
2/17 16) Anthony Martial (Man United) - new entry
What a start he has made for one of the biggest clubs in world football, Martial has scored four goals in his first five matches after arriving as an unknown, seemingly over-priced, deadline day signing from Lyon. No one is complaining about his £36m price-tag now. Not only has Martial scored the goals but he has also looked excellent in open play and allowed struggling Wayne Rooney to play in a deeper role, where he has proved more effective. Comparisons to Thierry Henry are premature, but he looks like a star in the making. Last Fixture: W - 3-0 - Sunderland Next Fixture: Arsenal (a)
3/17 15) Graziano Pelle (Southampton) - re-entry
The big Italian didn't get on the score sheet against Swansea but he was at his brilliant best, creating a goal and being a focal point for the players around him to do their work. Pelle has four goals this season and doesn't seem to be suffering from the 'second season syndrome' that has affected so many players in the Premier League over the years. He could give Chelsea's centre-backs, who are having some well-documented problems at the moment, real trouble at Stamford Bridge. Last Fixture: W - 3-0 - Swansea Next Fixture: Chelsea (a)
2015 Getty Images
4/17 14) Odion Ighalo (Watford) - down 3
Was well snuffed out by an organised Crystal Palace team on Sunday, who recognised the threat he carried and found a game plan to nullify him and his strike partner, Troy Deeney. For all their attacking brilliance Leicester have been porous at the back, and Ighalo will find much more space to do damage than he was afforded last week. Last Fixture: L - 0-1 - Crystal Palace Next Fixture: Leicester (a)
2015 Getty Images
5/17 13) Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace) - re-entry
It wasn't vintage Cabaye, who is playing a more limited role than at any point in his career for a team with a counter-attacking mentality, as he completed only 70 per cent of his passes and had fewer touches than five other team-mates. But Cabaye is an experienced, unruffled head in this quick Palace side, rarely making a mistake and helping to organise. Plus he came up with the goods when it mattered, converting a penalty to win the game. Last Fixture: W - 0-1 - Watford Next Fixture: West Brom (h)
6/17 12) Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa) - up 2
Aston Villa's young team are in deep, deep trouble. But Tim Sherwood may have found a bit of light at the end of a dark tunnel in the form of the giant French striker who showed great instinct, power and aerial ability to score two goals at Anfield. The defending wasn't vintage but at just shy of 6ft 4in and 13.5 stone, Gestede looks like he was built to thrive in the physical Premier League. Aston Villa absolutely must win against Stoke, and Gestede should again lead the line. Last Fixture: L - 3-2 - Liverpool Next Fixture: Stoke (h)
7/17 11) David Silva (Man City) - down 6
David Silva is meant to return for City against Borussia Monchengladbach. Manuel Pellegrini's team will continue to struggle defensively as long as Vincent Kompany is injured. But Silva's impact at the attacking end is clear, in the four Premier League games he started City won four times scoring 10 goals. In the two since, they've lost both and managed only two. Again, Kompany is also a huge influence on that, but Silva makes everyone around him better. Last Fixture: L - 4-1 - Tottenham Next Fixture: Newcastle (h)
8/17 10) Riyad Mahrez (Leicester) - down 9
Mahrez stood atop these rankings last week after a blistering start to the season - we felt that the Algerian needed to prove himself against one of the Premier League's best. He got that chance against Arsenal and performed... pretty well. Without being spectacular Mahrez showed he still has the gifts to become a top player in the division as the Foxes were twice thwarted by the woodwork and unlucky to get a result against Arsenal. Last Fixture: L - 2-5 - Arsenal Next Fixture: Norwich (a)
9/17 9) Dmitri Payet (West Ham) - down 2
West Ham may well be the kings of England on the road but in front of their own fans they have wilted, with just four points from four games against Leicester, Bournemouth, Newcastle and Norwich. Whether they are struggling with the expectation or are a team not built to be on the front foot and break down stubborn defences, the Hammers need to improve at home. Luckily this week they have what should be one of the easiest away trips of the season - despite the long journey - to the Stadium of Light. Last Fixture: D - 2-2 - Norwich Next Fixture: Sunderland (a)
2015 Getty Images
10/17 8) Jamie Vardy (Leicester) - new entry
Two excellent goals against Arsenal, never mind hitting the post twice more, means the former non-League striker now sits alone at the top of the Premier League scoring charts with six goals from seven matches. He's been clocked as the fastest player in the division, making him a nightmare to defend against, but it's his work rate and desire, as well as increasing quality on the ball, that truly makes him a player who has enjoyed a rapid rise. He only got five Premier League goals the whole of last season and if he continues like this he deserves another look by Roy Hodgson. Last Fixture: L - 2-5 - Arsenal Next Fixture: Norwich (a)
11/17 7) Harry Kane (Tottenham) - down 4
The pressure is off (sort of). It needed a bit of luck, in the form of a linesman, but Harry Kane finally scored a league goal and looked back to his best against City. However, the debate continues to rage about whether Kane is being used properly by Mauricio Pochettino. He is Spurs' only striker but, even against City, continued to be the one finding himself creating chances for his team-mates. Not only is he getting absolutely no service, he is too often out of position that even if good service was to come he wouldn't be anywhere near it. Part of this is because Kane is good at creating for others and appears to want to be more involved in the play. That's fine, but as Tottenham are without a partner for the striker, he is operating alone. Their best option would be to have him playing as a more traditional centre-forward, at least until January when they can get someone else to do that job. Last Fixture: W - 4-1 - Manchester City Next Fixture: Swansea (a)
12/17 6) John Stones (Everton) - up 4
It's something we repeat every week but John Stones looks every bit a future England captain. His higher ranking is not so much what he did last week, but because he is fast approaching a Merseyside derby against a striker in Daniel Sturridge that (fingers crossed) is back and fully firing. Sturridge is one of the division's very best and a test that Stones will relish. Last Fixture: W - 2-3 - West Brom Next Fixture: Liverpool (h)
13/17 5) Glenn Murray (Bournemouth) - new entry
Newly-promoted Bournemouth suffered the cruellest of injury blows this week when star striker Callum Wilson, who had looked every bit the Premier League striker, was ruled out for six months with a serious injury. The 23-year-old scored 20 goals to help the club win promotion last season and had already scored five this. With Wilson out the goals burden now falls on Murray, a striker whose style is about as far removed from Wilson as can be. The former is all pace, while Murray is a strong aerial presence. He did show at Palace that he has the brains to score goals in the division, but for a team built on pace it was a harsh blow. Last Fixture: L - 2-1 - Stoke Next Fixture: Watford (h)
14/17 4) Eden Hazard (Chelsea) - non-mover
A week on from our last rankings, when Chelsea had seemingly returned to form with a win against Arsenal and the Blues have suffered two more unthinkable results. They needed two goals in the final 11 minutes to draw at winless Newcastle and then lost at Porto. The theme throughout the season has been the extremely poor performances of their stars and those two games were no different. But Jose Mourinho can't really afford to rest anyone as the squad is so thin, there is a huge drop off in quality between the likes of Mikel and Matic, Ramires and Fabregas. There will be changes, but Eden Hazard continues to be Chelsea's main weapon. Last Fixture: D - 2-2 - Newcastle Next Fixture: Southampton (h)
15/17 3) Wayne Rooney (Man United) - up 6
Finally. Now that he's playing that slightly deeper role Rooney has found his form again and, like Kane above, enjoyed a bit of fortune to score his first league goal of the season. He wasn't offside like his England strike partner, but Rooney scored off his knee against lowly Sunderland. This week there is a much bigger test than the yearly cruise against the Black Cats, with a trip to the Emirates coming up. United have not lost at the Emirates since 2011 and although Arsene Wenger will want a reaction after an awful performance against Olympiakos there won't be a better time to play the Gunners. Last Fixture: W - 3-0 - Sunderland Next Fixture: Arsenal (a)
16/17 2) Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) - non-mover
Last week's two-goal performance against Aston Villa will have brought out huge relief for Sturridge, Brendan Rodgers and the Liverpool support. The England striker has had a miserable 18 months but he showed exactly what he can do with two very different but utterly superb goals to win the game for the Reds. The first was a wonderful left-foot volley with the outside of his foot and the second he made himself, driving at the defence before a neat one-two and a calm finish with his right. When fit he is easily among the top five (at least) strikers in the Premier League. If Liverpool and under-pressure manager Brendan Rodgers are to find success this season you imagine it will be Sturridge scoring them there. Last Fixture: W - 3-2 - Aston Villa Next Fixture: Everton (a)
17/17 1) Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) - up 5
A hat-trick last week at the King Power Stadium signalled a return to his devastating best. Unfortunately Arsenal followed that win with a morale-sapping defeat to Olympiakos in midweek, where Sanchez once again demonstrated his singular importance to the team, in a one-man performance so good it was almost farcical. It's unclear whether Sanchez really is that much better than his team-mates or if they are just under-performing. Either way, no player is more important to his team's immediate fortunes than the Chilean. Last Fixture: W - 2-5 - Leicester Next Fixture: Manchester united (h)
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