English Premier League Power Rankings: Week 28
This week, the Premier League saw its fair share of interesting results that affected both the title and relegation races.
The biggest news of the weekend came from Wales, where Swansea took down Manchester City, which handed the league lead over to Manchester United, who beat West Brom, and now the Red Devils lead their rivals by one point.
Down at the bottom of the table, Bolton and Blackburn scored big wins over relegation rivals QPR and Wolves to jump out of the bottom three.
QPR and Wolves fell down to the bottom three to accompany Wigan, who still can not get out of 20th place.
As always, last week's ranking is in parentheses.
20. Wolverhampton (19)
Wolves' disastrous run of form continued this week at home in their 2-0 loss to Blackburn.
Not only have the club only taken one point from their last four games, they have been outscored 14-3 by their opponents.
It does not get any better for Terry Connor and company this week, as they host Manchester United at the Molineux Stadium on Sunday.
19. Queens Park Rangers (17)
QPR's 2-1 loss to Bolton on Saturday was one that should not have gone down in the record books as a loss.
A disallowed Clint Hill goal, in which the ball was clearly over the line, was the difference in earning crucial points in the relegation race and not taking any points out of the game.
Although the R's did get a goal from Djibril Cisse in the 48th minute, it was not enough in the end, and it dropped the club down to 18th place in the table.
18. Wigan (18)
Wigan replicated their season-opening result with Norwich on Sunday in a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road.
Victor Moses scored the equalizer for the Latics in the 68th minute to take something positive out of the game for his club.
The draw moved the club up to 21 points, and although they still sit in last place in the table, they are one win away from leaping out of the bottom three.
17. Bolton (20)
Amid all the controversy at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday, Bolton came away with a 2-1 win over relegation rivals QPR.
Darren Pratley scored the first goal for the club in the 37th minute, and Ivan Klasnic came off the bench to score the winning goal in the 86th minute.
The win was the first victory since January 28th for the Trotters, and it placed them into 17th place in the table with 23 points, one point ahead of QPR and Wolves in the relegation battle.
16. Blackburn (16)
Blackburn took care of business in their 2-0 win on the road Saturday at Wolves.
Junior Hoilett provided a goal in each half to seal the victory for the club.
Steve Kean's club are in the best shape of all five relegation contenders right now, with 25 points in 16th place, but they will have to continue winning in games against their fellow survival fighters, with Wigan and Bolton still on the schedule.
15. Stoke City (13)
Stoke's two-game winning streak was snapped on the road Saturday by Chelsea in a 1-0 loss.
The loss dropped the Potters down to 13th in the table, as they are in the middle of a congested group of clubs from seventh to 15th place, all within six points of each other.
A tough stretch of three games is up ahead for the club, with Tottenham and Manchester City ahead of them in league play after Sunday's FA Cup quarterfinal trip to Anfield to face Liverpool.
14. Aston Villa (15)
Aston Villa's three-game unbeaten run continued on Saturday.
This time, they were to secure three points in a 1-0 win over Fulham.
Andreas Weimann scored his first Premier League goal in the 90th minute with a diving header to propel the Villains to victory.
Alex McLeish and company have the weekend off before getting back into action on March 20th with a home match against Bolton.
13. West Brom (6)
West Brom's three-game win streak was stopped by Manchester United on Sunday as the club fell 2-0.
The Baggies had scored 10 goals in their past three games before being shut out on the road at Old Trafford.
The loss did drop the club down to 14th place in the table, and the Baggies will look to get back on track at Wigan on Saturday.
12. Norwich City (10)
Norwich were able to score early but not often against Wigan on Sunday, as they could only manage a 1-1 draw.
Wesley Hoolahan scored in the 10th minute for the Canaries before they were equalized by the visitors in the 68th minute.
The Canaries are now winless in their last three games and have fallen to 12th place in the table as a result.
Paul Lambert and company will look to reverse their recent fortunes with a win at Newcastle on Sunday.
11. Fulham (9)
After scoring eight goals on a three-game winning streak, Fulham were shut out by Aston Villa on Saturday, ending both the win streak and their recent goal-scoring form.
The Cottagers will look to continue their five-game home unbeaten run on Saturday as they host Swansea at Craven Cottage.
10. Sunderland (14)
Sunderland boosted themselves all the way up to eighth place in the table with a 1-0 win over Liverpool on Saturday.
Nicklas Bendtner scored in his second straight game to power the Black Cats to victory.
Two straight road games in two different competitions await the club next week, with a visit to Everton in the FA Cup quarterfinals on Saturday and then a trip to Blackburn next Tuesday in the Premier League.
9. Swansea City (12)
Swansea City pulled off the biggest win of the weekend as they took Manchester City by a 1-0 scoreline.
The Swans had a chance early on, but Scott Sinclair missed a seventh-minute penalty and were not able to get on the scoreboard until the 83rd minute as Luke Moore headed in a goal.
The 11th-placed club will visit Craven Cottage on Saturday to take on Fulham in an attempt to extend their two-game winning streak.
8. Newcastle United (8)
Newcastle suffered a tough loss at the Emirates Stadium to Arsenal on Monday.
The 2-1 loss extends the club's winless streak to four games and keeps them in sixth place, but they are now five points behind Chelsea for the fifth-place spot.
Next up for the Magpies will be a home match against Norwich on Sunday at the Sports Direct Arena.
7. Everton (11)
Everton continued their late-season run of form with a 1-0 win at home over Tottenham on Saturday.
Nikica Jelavic scored his first goal for the club since his January move from Rangers in the 22nd minute to win the match for the Toffees.
David Moyes' club head into the Merseyside derby on Tuesday at Liverpool on an eight-game unbeaten streak in the Premier League and an 11-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
After their game at Anfield on Tuesday, the Toffees will host Sunderland on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup at Goodison Park.
6. Tottenham (5)
Tottenham lost their third in a row on Saturday as well, with a 1-0 defeat on the road to Everton.
However, Spurs did advance to the FA Cup quarterfinals with a 3-1 win over Stevenage on Wednesday.
The poor league form by Harry Redknapp's club has now put their hopes of finishing in third place in danger, with Arsenal only one point behind in the table now.
Before their match with Stoke on the 21st, Spurs will host Bolton in the FA Cup on Saturday at White Hart Lane.
5. Liverpool (4)
Liverpool suffered their third straight defeat after losing to Sunderland 1-0 on Saturday.
The club's recent lack of form has resulted in just one win in the Premier League in 2012.
A home match with Everton at Anfield in the Merseyside derby is ahead on Tuesday, followed by an encounter with Stoke in the FA Cup quarterfinals on Sunday at home as well.
4. Chelsea (7)
The Roberto di Matteo era began this week at Chelsea, and it was a very successful start.
After beating Birmingham in the FA Cup on Tuesday, the Blues defeated Stoke 1-0 on Saturday.
Didier Drogba scored his 100th Premier League goal in the 68th minute to give the Blues the win.
A busy week is ahead for the club, as they host Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday and Leicester City in the FA Cup quarterfinals on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.
3. Arsenal (3)
What an ending at the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal on Monday night, as Thomas Vermaelen scored in the 95th minute to give the club a 2-1 win over Newcastle.
The Gunners went down a goal early, but Robin van Persie struck back within a minute, and then the Belgian defender scored at the death.
The win gives Arsene Wenger's club a five-game winning streak heading into their trip to Everton on March 21st as they continue their chase for third place.
2, Manchester City (1)
Manchester City suffered a slip-up in Wales on Sunday, as they lost 1-0 to Swansea.
With the loss, City dropped down to second place in the table, one point behind Manchester United, who won over the weekend.
City will now have to recover from a 1-0 deficit against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League Round of 16 on Thursday at the Etihad Stadium if they want to continue on in Europe.
1. Manchester United (2)
Manchester United bounced back from their defeat to Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League on Thursday by reclaiming the Premier League lead.
United defeated West Brom 2-0 at Old Trafford thanks to a double from Wayne Rooney.
The Red Devils now lead Manchester City by one point in the title race and will look to hold onto the lead until the end of the season with a favorable schedule.
Before any more league games, United must conquer the challenge of overcoming a 3-2 deficit to Bilbao on Thursday in Spain.