English Premier League Power Rankings: Week 30

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2012

English Premier League Power Rankings: Week 30

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    This week in the Premier League saw one of the most thrilling comebacks of the season, two surprise losses for a top club and plenty of shake-ups throughout the table.

    The comeback of the season came on Wednesday when QPR came back from a two goal deficit with three goals in 13 minutes against Liverpool, who was lost to Wigan on Saturday at Anfield.

    In the relegation race, all of the clubs involved except for Wolves gained points this week. Also, a sixth player in the relegation race may come into play with Aston Villa in poor form and only five points ahead of 16th place Blackburn.

    At the top of the table, Manchester City lost ground to leaders Manchester United after only taking a draw out of their match with Stoke on Sunday and with United's win over Fulham, the lead in the title race is now three points.

    Meanwhile in the fight for the European places, Newcastle made a strong case for the fifth place spot this weekend with a dominant win over West Brom, which put them level with Chelsea on points.

    As always, last week's ranking is in parenthesis.

20. Wolverhampton (20)

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    The trainwreck that is Wolves' season continued on Saturday with a 2-1 loss to Norwich.

    After Matt Jarvis opened the scoring in the 25th minute, keeper Wayne Hennessey let in two Norwich goals to add to the club's misery.

    If there is any good news to take out of Saturday's match it would be that the club broke their three-game scoreless streak.

    Coming up next for Terry Connor's club is their most important match of the season as they host Bolton on Saturday at the Molineux Stadium in a relegation clash.

19. Queens Park Rangers (19)

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    After their amazing comeback on Wednesday against Liverpool, QPR went back to their losing by dropping their match on Saturday, 3-1 to Sunderland.

    With the points from Wednesday's win, the R's moved up to 18th place in the table with 25 points.

    A tough two game stretch awaits Mark Hughes' club as they host Arsenal on Saturday at Loftus Road before visiting Manchester United on Easter Sunday.

18. Blackburn (16)

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    Blackburn were able earn three points out of two games over the past week.

    Junior Hoilett and Yakubu led Rovers to a 2-0 victory on Tuesday over Sunderland with a goal each.

    However, the positive momentum from the win was unable to continue as the club lost to Bolton by a 2-1 score on Saturday.

    The 16th place club in the table will play host to Manchester United on Monday at Ewood Park.

17. Aston Villa (14)

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    Aston Villa's two week layoff hurt them on Saturday as they were unable to do anything in their 3-0 loss to Arsenal.

    The loss ended a three-game unbeaten streak for the Villains and kept them dangerously close to the relegation zone.

    Villa sit in 15th place with 33 points, only five points ahead of the five relegation contenders going into a tough next four games that includes Liverpool, Stoke and Manchester United, but begins at home against Chelsea on Saturday.

16. Bolton (17)

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    Bolton recorded their second straight Premier League win in an emotional fashion over Blackburn.

    The 2-1 win saw a double from David Wheater in the first half which was enough for the Trotters to win and dedicate the game to the recovering Fabrice Muamba.

    The win also boosted Owen Coyle's club out of the relegation zone, for now, as they sit in 17th place with 26 points.

15. Wigan (18)

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    Wigan's run at another improbable escape from relegation continued Saturday with a 2-1 over Liverpool at Anfield.

    Shaun Maloney scored the opener in the 30th minute on a penalty while captain Gary Caldwell scored the winning goal in the 63rd minute.

    Although they still sit in 19th place, the Latics have had a string of good results lately and will look to carry that form into Saturday's home match with Stoke.

14. West Brom (11)

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    West Brom were easily beaten on Sunday at home by Newcastle, 3-1.

    Shane Long scored in the 52nd minute—but at that point it was a mere consolation goal as the Baggies already let in three goals.

    The loss was the Baggies' 14th of the season, the most number of losses for a club not involved in the relegation battle this season.

13. Fulham (12)

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    Fulham's trip to Old Trafford on Monday could have been much worse if it was not for their defense.

    The 1-0 loss was close according to the scoresheet, but the Cottagers were under pressure for most of the game.

    The Cottagers now carry a three-game losing streak into their home match with Norwich on Saturday at Craven Cottage.

12. Stoke City (15)

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    This week could have seen Stoke take six points from two of the Premier League's top four, but instead they settled for 1-1 draws with Tottenham and Manchester City.

    On Wednesday at White Hart Lane, Cameron Jerome scored his third goal of the season before the Potters were equalized in the 90th minute by Spurs.

    Saturday brought the same heartbreak, but not as late, as Tony Pulis and company fell victim to a laser strike by City's Yaya Toure to make the scoreline 1-1.

    However, the first goal in Saturday's match scored by Peter Crouch should be a contender for goal of the year as the Englishman scored on a spectacular volley in the 59th minute.

11. Norwich City (13)

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    Once again, Norwich City were lifted by the efforts of Grant Holt in their 2-1 over Wolves on Saturday.

    The Canaries' leading goal scorer scored in the 26th and 45th minute, before being sent off in the second half, to give the club their tenth win of the season.

    The quest to finish in the top half of the table, for Paul Lambert and company, continues on Saturday as they travel to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham.

     

10. Swansea City (8)

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    Swansea were taken down by Everton, 2-0, on Saturday in a rare home loss.

    It was only the third loss of the season for the 10th placed Swans.

    A tough road test is on the horizon for the club as they visit White Hart Lane to face Tottenham on Sunday.

9. Liverpool (5)

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    Liverpool suffered a dreadful week as they lost to QPR and Wigan this week.

    After being up two goals, the Reds gave up three late goals to lose 3-2 at Loftus Road on Wednesday before falling at home to Wigan in a 2-1 loss at Anfield on Saturday.

    The Reds have now only taken four points from their last seven league games and are in danger of losing their seventh place position, sitting only two points ahead of Sunderland and Everton in the table.

8. Tottenham (6)

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    Tottenham's disappointing run of form continued this week with two draws.

    Rafael van der Vaart saved Spurs from a loss on Wednesday with his 90th minute goal against Stoke.

    On Saturday, Spurs were unable to manage a goal but their opponents, Chelsea, did the same in a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.

    Harry Redknapp's club have now gone five straight games without a win and are somehow five points ahead of Chelsea for the final Champions League spot.

7. Sunderland (10)

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    Sunderland had an up and down week which started in defeat and ended in victory.

    After a 2-0 loss to Blackburn on Tuesday, the club responded to the defeat with a 3-1 win over QPR on Saturday.

    Nicklas Bendtner continued his recent goal scoring form—he has scored in three of the last five games—with the first goal of the QPR match, followed by goals from James McClean and Stephane Sessegnon.

    The eighth place club will play another two games this week with a Tuesday home match against  Everton in a FA Cup quarterfinal replay, and then a trip to Manchester City on Saturday in league play awaits the Black Cats.

6. Everton (9)

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    Everton encountered the same fate as Sunderland this weekend with a loss followed by a win.

    Wednesday's 1-0 loss to Arsenal was followed up by a 2-0 away win at Swansea on Saturday.

    Leighton Baines opened the scoring with his club leading fourth goal of the season in the 59th minute while Nikica Jelavic scored as well in the 76th minute to cap the scoring for the Toffees.

    The Toffees will play Tuesday in the FA Cup quarterfinal replay match at Sunderland, and a win in that match would produce a Merseyside derby at Wembley in the semifinals of the competition with Liverpool.

     

5. Chelsea (3)

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    Chelsea had a tough week against top four opposition as they lost to Manchester City and drew with Tottenham.

    Gary Cahill scored a 60th minute goal against City on Wednesday before the Blues gave up two late goals to their opponents and lost 2-1.

    Against Tottenham, neither the Blues or their opponents could find the back of the net in 0-0 draw.

    Before the fourth place club visit Aston Villa on Saturday, they begin their Champions League quarterfinal with Benfica on Tuesday in Portugal.

4. Newcastle United (7)

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    Newcastle cruised to a 3-1 victory on Sunday over West Brom.

    Papiss Demba Cisse scored twice while Hatem Ben Arfa scored as well, for the Magpies.

    The win put the Magpies level on points with Chelsea with 50 in a tie for fifth place at the moment.

    The challenge for a Champions League spot is also not out of sight for Alan Pardew's club, as they are only five points behind fourth place Spurs heading into their Sunday match with Liverpool at the Sports Direct Arena.

3. Manchester City (2)

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    Manchester City had a promising week that ended in a bit of disappointment.

    City were able to beat Chelsea on Wednesday in a 2-1 victory that saw late goals from Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri.

    On Saturday at Stoke, City needed a laser of a strike from Yaya Toure in the 76th minute to retrieve a point in their 1-1 draw.

    The draw did cause a setback in the title race, as City are now three points behind leaders Manchester United.

2. Arsenal (3)

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    Arsenal's climb up the table continued with wins over Everton and Aston Villa this week.

    Thomas Vermaelen scored an early goal to topple Everton on Wednesday to win 1-0.

    On Saturday, Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and Mikel Arteta all scored a goal each in the 3-0 home win against Villa.

    The Gunners will look to continue their seven-game winning streak on Saturday when they visit Loftus Road to take on QPR.

     

     

1. Manchester United (1)

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    Manchester United were victorious on Monday night at Old Trafford with a 1-0 win over Fulham.

    Wayne Rooney scored in the 42nd minute to give United the win.

    The win over Fulham, along with a Man City draw on Saturday, moved United's lead in the title race to three points with eight games left in the Premier League season.

    Up next for United is another Monday night match on the road at Blackburn, as the Red Devils will look to avenge one of their two home losses this season.