English Premier League Power Rankings: Week 36

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistMay 1, 2012

English Premier League Power Rankings: Week 36

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    To say this week in the Premier League was eventful is an understatement.

    In the first six games played on Saturday, 22 goals were scored, including a 4-4 draw between Swansea and Wolves and Wigan's 4-0 surprise trouncing of Newcastle.

    A total of 35 goals were scored this week, and the final one was the most important as Vincent Kompany won the Manchester derby and possible the Premier League title for Manchester City.

    Beneath the Manchester clubs in the table, Tottenham and Chelsea both won on Sunday, taking advantage of Newcastle's loss to get back into the race for fourth place, which is currently led by Spurs.

    At the bottom of the table, Wigan's win helped them gain 16th place in the table and drag Aston Villa officially into the relegation conversation.

    With two games for everyone (except for Bolton, who has a game in-hand), the relegation race consists of five clubs fighting for three survival spots.

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

20. Wolverhampton (20)

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    Wolves showed that they still had a fight inside them, even though they have already been relegated.

    Terry Connor's club fought back from a three-goal deficit to draw Swansea on the road, 4-4.

    Matt Jarvis scored twice, including the equalizer, while Steven Fletcher and David Edwards contributed a goal each as well.

    The bottom feeders of the Premier League will look to shine at home in their final home Premier League game for at least a year, against Everton on Sunday at the Molineux Stadium.

19. Aston Villa (18)

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    Aston Villa's struggles continued on Saturday as they failed to score in their 0-0 draw with West Brom.

    In an overall uneventful game, Villa kept the possibility of relegation out in the open.

    Currently, the Villains sit in 15th place with only 37 points, and with a win from Bolton in their game in hand on Tuesday, they could be in serious trouble.

    The schedule to end the season will not be easy either for Alex McLeish and company as they host Spurs on Sunday before finishing out the season at Norwich.

18. Blackburn (16)

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    Blackburn were defeated on Sunday by Tottenham by a 2-0 score.

    The loss was the sixth in seven games for the club as they are not keeping up with the other relegation contenders.

    Right now, Rovers have the best chance of being relegated out of the five clubs in the race as they sit in 19th place with 31 points.

    A win over Wigan on Monday is needed for Blackburn to stay in the Premier League.

17. Norwich City (15)

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    Norwich City were defeated by Luis Suarez and Liverpool on Saturday as the striker scored all three goals in the 3-0 shutout of the hosts at Carrow Road.

    The Canaries have entered a late-season slide that has seen them win once in six games and they currently are on a three-game losing streak.

    The good news for the club is that they are safe from any relegation bout with 43 points already, which will be enough to stay up regardless of whether they earn any more points.

16. Queens Park Rangers (14)

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    Eight days after taking down Tottenham, QPR were back on the losing end of things as they were beaten badly by Chelsea, 6-1.

    Djibril Cisse scored a late 84th minute goal to avoid a shutout, but the game was over way before the Frenchman found the back of the net.

    Mark Hughes and company sit in 17th place, ahead of Bolton on goal differential. Both clubs have 34 points, and will have to take points from their two remaining games.

    That could be difficult for the R's as they host Stoke on Sunday before visiting Manchester City on the final day of the season.

15. Bolton (19)

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    Bolton put together a strong run of results this week as they took four points from two games.

    The Trotters took down Aston Villa, 2-1 on Tuesday, before drawing with Sunderland, 2-2, on Saturday.

    The club will play their game in-hand on Wednesday against Tottenham, a game in which they must take points from to survive.

    Owen Coyle and company will play their second game at the Reebok Stadium this week on Sunday when West Brom visit in the home finale.

14. Wigan (17)

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    It is deja vu all over again for Wigan as they continued their great escape of 2012 with a 4-0 win over Newcastle.

    Victor Moses scored twice in two minutes to open the scoring, while Shaun Maloney and Franco di Santo added goals in the blowout win at the DW Stadium.

    Some may start calling Roberto Martinez a miracle worker as he is close to engineering a second straight great escape for the Latics.

    A trip to Ewood Park in a key relegation battle against Blackburn is up next on Monday for the Latics, a game in which they have an outside shot of securing survival with a win.

13. West Brom (12)

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    West Brom took part in the only scoreless game of the week as they drew with Aston Villa, 0-0.

    The Baggies are currently in the spotlight not for their play, but for the deal that their manager Roy Hodgson may sign with England as talks were held on Sunday between Hodgson and the FA.

    Hodgson has led the club into 10th place in the table, and they will look for a top-half finish to send Hodgson off with a quality final season at The Hawthorns.

12. Stoke City (11)

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    Stoke were able to hold Arsenal to a 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday.

    Peter Crouch scored in the ninth minute to give the Potters a lead that they lost six minutes later, thanks to Robin van Persie.

    The Potters will play their final road game at QPR on Sunday, but before that, they will play their rescheduled game with Everton at home on Tuesday.

11. Sunderland (8)

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    Sunderland were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Bolton on Saturday at the Stadium of Light.

    Nicklas Bendtner and James McClean were the goal scorers for the Black Cats, but they were equalized in the 70th minute by their visitors to force the draw.

    The two goals did break the club's four-game scoreless streak, which was intact since their surprise draw with Manchester City on March 31st.

    Martin O'Neill's club will look to go less than a month between games with goals this time as they visit Fulham on Sunday at Craven Cottage.

10. Fulham (7)

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    Fulham received a 4-0 beating from Everton on their travels to Goodison Park on Saturday.

    The result was the worst defeat for the London club since losing by five to Manchester United in December.

    The ninth-place Cottagers will look to overtake eighth-place Liverpool on Tuesday when they visit Anfield.

9. Tottenham (13)

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    Tottenham broke their three-game winless streak on Sunday with an easy 2-0 win over Blackburn.

    Rafael van der Vaart scored his 10th goal of the season in the 22nd minute to open the scoring, while Kyle Walker added on a free-kick goal in the 75th minute.

    The win, along with a loss by Newcastle, boosted Spurs back into fourth place with three games to go.

    Harry Redknapp and company can extend their one-point lead over Newcastle this week as they visit Bolton on Wednesday and Aston Villa on Sunday in their quest to get back to the UEFA Champions League.

8. Swansea City (9)

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    Swansea were played a spectacular first half but struggled in the second half against Wolves in their 4-4 draw on Saturday at the Liberty Stadium.

    Andrea Orlandi scored 25 seconds into the game, while Joe Allen and Nathan Dyer followed with goals to make it an early three-goal lead.

    The Swans could not hold on to the lead, and even after a Danny Graham goal to extend their total to four, they were unable to stop a spirited Wolves squad from equalizing.

    The Welsh club will get to play their part in the title race on Sunday as they visit Manchester United at Old Trafford.

7. Liverpool (10)

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    The Luis Suarez show was on display at Carrow Road on Saturday as the Uruguayan forward scored a hat trick in Liverpool's 3-0 road win over Norwich.

    Suarez scored two first half goals in the 24th and 28th minute before a spectacular goal from midfield capped off the hat trick in the 82nd minute.

    A big week is ahead for the club as they will look to win their second trophy of the season in the FA Cup final against Chelsea on Saturday.

    Before their Wembley trip, the Reds will host Fulham in league action on Tuesday.

6. Newcastle United (3)

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    Newcastle were handed the shock of the week when they were beaten 4-0 on the road at Wigan.

    The loss snapped the club's six-game winning streak, and more importantly, it dropped them down to fifth place in the table behind Tottenham in the battle for the final Champions League position.

    The Magpies will face a difficult end to their season as they look to beat out Tottenham and their opponent on Wednesday, Chelsea, for the fourth place spot.

    After playing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, the club will host Manchester City on Sunday before playing Everton on the road in their final game of the season.

5. Arsenal (5)

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    Robin van Persie's early equalizer decided Arsenal's fate on Saturday as they drew 1-1 away at Stoke.

    Van Persie's 28th league goal of the season came in the 15th minute at the Britannia Stadium and earned a point for the Gunners.

    The third-place Gunners will look to solidify their position in the Champions League for next season with a win over Norwich at home on Saturday.

4. Everton (6)

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    Everton cruised to a 4-0 victory over Fulham at Goodison Park on Saturday.

    Nikica Jelavic opened the scoring in the seventh minute for the Toffees, and then Marouane Fellaini scored before Jelavic scored his second. Tim Cahill put the icing on the cake with a 60th-minute goal.

    The win extended their six-game unbeaten streak as the club are looking like they will finish in seventh place after a slow start.

3. Manchester United (1)

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    Manchester United's title chase hit a huge snag during the Manchester derby on Monday as they fell to Manchester City, 1-0.

    United were outplayed during the whole game and were unable to unleash a group of scoring threats on the City goal.

    United are now in second place on goal differential and have to hope City slip up during the last two games. The Red Devils have to win their final two to even have a chance to win the title.

    The chance to win back the title begins at Swansea in Wales on Sunday for United.

2. Chelsea (4)

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    After defeating Barcelona in the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday, Chelsea emphatically beat QPR, 6-1, at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

    In the win, Fernando Torres netted a hat trick with three consecutive goals. The hat trick was the first for the Spain international during his time at Chelsea.

    Daniel Sturridge, John Terry and Flourent Malouda also contributed to the winning effort with goals as well.

    Chelsea face a crucial game on Wednesday with Newcastle at home in the race for fourth place before they visit Wembley to face Liverpool in the FA Cup Final on Saturday.

1. Manchester City (2)

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    Manchester City played like champions on Monday night at the Etihad Stadium in their 1-0 derby win over Manchester United.

    Vincent Kompany scored on a header right before the halftime whistle, and that would be all City needed as they dominated the game throughout.

    City have now closed the eight-point gap in the title race that they faced a month ago and are in the driver's seat to win the Premier League for the first time.

    Standing in the way of City and the title are an away match at Newcastle on Sunday and a home match with QPR on the final day of the season.

    Both will be difficult matches as the two clubs on the schedule are in fights of their own for fourth place and relegation, respectively.

    But, as they proved Monday night, Roberto Mancini and his players are willing to step up to the plate and win the title.