How did you do? Top-flight teams rated

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James Maw of's sister site Talentspotter marks this weekend's Premier League performances out of 10. Rate the players by following the links – or argue your point below

LIVERPOOL 9.5 (won 5-0 v Aston Villa)
So it’s back on again, then. Not a bad week and a half for Rafa Benitez, all things told. If Liverpool can maintain this level of performance for the rest of the season then you have to fancy them to pip United to the title. Sadly for Reds fans they’ll probably fail to break down a more defensive outfit like Blackburn or Hull and be solely focused on European matters by the end of next month. Shame, that.

FULHAM 9.0 (won 2-0 v Man Utd)
With Fulham having surrendered feebly at Old Trafford last month and effectively stepped aside to let United pass in the FA Cup two weeks ago, few would have predicted a home win here, despite the Cottagers’ impressive record at Craven Cottage. Playing against 10 men for 75 minutes helped, but the way Woy’s side put the European champions to the sword should be applauded. Next stop Europe?

TOTTENHAM 9.0 (won 1-0 v Chelsea)
After another Redknapp recruitment drive in January, Spurs finally look like a more balanced unit with a solid spine. The bejowled one has been fully justified by the way Spurs have shot up the table since – even temporarily tiptoeing into the top half for the first time in 20 months. Next season could be a very interesting one at White Hart Lane. Forgive us if this all sounds a bit familiar…

"Next year, we'll be flying"

PORTSMOUTH 8.5 (won 2-1 v Everton)
Pompey have looked a million times better since Paul Hart took the reins at Fratton Park – although given the general feeling of malaise that encapsulated the Tony Adams regime, that’s probably not saying much. They ground out a much-deserved win over away-day specialists Everton. Safety suddenly looks a lot more obtainable.

ARSENAL 8.5 (won 3-1 v Newcastle)
Like Portsmouth, Arsenal have seen their league ambitions suddenly fall well within reach in recent weeks, although that’s been as much to do with Aston Villa’s capitulation as their own Andrei Arshavin-induced resurgence. Robin van Persie’s finishing at St James’ will have been a concern, but with Nicklas Bendtner suddenly on form, who needs the Dutchman? (The answer, obviously, is Arsenal.)

STOKE 8.0 (won 1-0 v Middlesbrough)
Dust off the Cliché Catalogue! Stoke get a gutsy, hard-fought 1-0 win with a goal coming from a long throw. We’re probably doing Tony Pulis’s side a disservice there, but their sheer effectiveness looks likely to see Premier League football grace the Britannia for at least another season.

WIGAN 8.0 (won 1-0 v Hull)
For a while this looked like being one of those matches that would leave Wigan frustrated – with Steve Bruce looking progressively more pained on the sidelines as the Latics came closer and closer to breaking the deadlock. Fortunately Ben Watson struck before Brucie’s head exploded.

MAN CITY 7.0 (won 1-0 v Sunderland)
For City, home is certainly where the heart is – or where the points are. Eastlands wins have provided 79 percent of their points, with 30 from 15 games bettered only by Manchester United and Liverpool; conversely, their eight points from 45 on the road is better than only Stoke and West Brom. Mark Hughes has to address that if he’s to have any chance of appeasing the owners. If not, the forthcoming trips to Arsenal, Everton, United and Spurs may be his last as City boss.

"So this is where it all happens..."

WEST HAM 6.5 (drew 1-1 with Blackburn)
One point gained, 11 to go to reach Gianfranco Zola’s European target. Given the number of players for the last couple of matches, the Hammers will probably be thankful to have come through them unbeaten. They’re still well in the Europa League hunt – although City, Spurs and Fulham are within three points.

BLACKBURN 6.0 (drew 1-1 with West Ham)
A well-earned point very much in the Sam Allardyce mould. Rovers look infinitely more difficult to beat than they did under Paul Ince and look to be winning games at regular enough intervals to avoid the drop. If El Hadji Diouf learns how to put the ball in the net from an onside position they’ll be laughing.

WEST BROM 6.0 (drew 1-1 with Bolton)
A point snatched from the jaws of defeat, and in truth not one they really deserved. Sadly it looks like a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ West Brom are relegated – and failing to perform in winnable matches like this one will only hasten their decline.

BOLTON 6.0 (drew 1-1 with West Brom)
By late March, teams in 12th are often already on their holidays, with safety assured and Europe out of reach. Neither yet applies to Bolton, although they’ve all but seen off any hopes of Europe by botching an away win late on against the division’s most beatable club. Not what Gary ‘Mr Popular’ Megson needed.

EVERTON 5.5 (lost 2-1 to Portsmouth)
Maybe less of a surprising defeat than it seems, given that the FA Cup will now be David Moyes’ main priority. And with the squad beset with injuries, could Everton’s lack of depth finally cost them as they enter the final straight?

"I could bring on the kitman..."

HULL 5.5 (lost 1-0 to Wigan)
Having halted their slide towards the bottom three with four points in their previous two league matches, Hull reverted to 2009 type with a defeat at the JJB. The Tigers probably need two more victories to be sure of safety; given it’s taken them three months to get their last two, that might not be as straightforward as it seems.

CHELSEA 5.0 (lost 1-0 to Tottenham)
Frustrated by a resilient Spurs side, Chelsea spurned a good opportunity to make up ground on Manchester United. The surprisingly defeatist attitude of Guus Hiddink post-match suggests Chelsea’s priority may now switch to lifting their first Champions League trophy.

SUNDERLAND 5.0 (lost 1-0 to Man City)
Don’t Sunderland players watch Match of the Day? As mighty Manchester United proved, you can’t expect to come away with anything if you go down to 10 men in the first 20 minutes away at a team who generally perform well at home. The difference is that United’s defeat didn’t see them drop to a point above 17th. After gaining two points from five games, Ricky Sbragia needs to put the brakes on quickly.

"I can't watch!" "Only 10 more minutes, boss"

MIDDLESBROUGH 4.5 (lost 1-0 to Stoke)
For the second time in as many matches Boro have failed to drag themselves out of trouble with a win against the side directly above them. The improved performances against West Ham and Liverpool are already a distant memory and, with goals looking in short supply, it’s hard to see how they’ll be able to turn it round.

NEWCASTLE 4.0 (lost 3-1 to Arsenal)
Another relatively decent but ultimately fruitless performance against one of the big boys. Things are starting to look rather bleak and relegation is a real possibility if the Magpies don’t start to grind out results, and quick. Our advice? Try playing like that against the likes of Middlesbrough and Fulham and they’ll be fine. Probably.

ASTON VILLA 2.5 (lost 5-0 to Liverpool)
It was good while it lasted. Having been two minutes from going eight points clear of Arsenal in fourth, Villa are now the ones playing catch-up, and look increasingly like they’re chasing their own tails. In truth 5-0 was probably a tad harsh, but that doesn’t hide the fact that Martin O’Neill’s side look a shadow of the one that went 13 league matches unbeaten through the winter.

MANCHESTER UNITED 2.0 (lost 2-0 to Fulham)
That’s one mark off for each red card, each goal conceded and each time Cristiano Ronaldo should have been booked for whining like a spoilt six-year-old. United may still be a point clear with a game in hand, but as Mark Lawrenson will continue to say until somebody slaps him, “You can’t switch form on and off like a tap”. No, it’s really more like an intricate system of pulleys and levers…

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