Bust a move, Paolo. Your Black Cats might have just beaten the drop.
New manager Paolo Di Canio led Sunderland to a massive 3-0 win at rivals Newcastle United over the weekend, and the three points moved the Black Cats up to 15th place—three points clear of the relegation zone.
Now, that doesn't mean Sunderland are safe. But it does mean there's plenty more reason for optimism than there was only a week ago.
What did Sunderland's big win do for their spot in this week's B/R English Premier League Power Poll?
How did things shake out at the top?
Eight B/R personalities ranked all 20 Premier League clubs. A first-place vote counted as 20 points, a second-place vote as 19, and so on.
In each slide, "Points" refers to the number of points accumulated by each team via the voters. "Previous" refers to each team's ranking in the previous edition of our poll.
The voters this week were:
John Greely: B/R world football assistant editor, @johnwgreely
Adam Hirshfield: B/R deputy editor, @ahirshfield
Dan Levy: B/R national lead writer, @DanLevyThinks
Karl Matchett: B/R world football full-time writer, @karlmatchett
Sean Swaby: B/R featured columnist coordinator, @seanswaby
Will Tidey: B/R world football lead writer and editor, @willtidey
Sam Tighe: B/R world football tactical analyst, @stighefootball
Michael Cummings: B/R world football lead writer and poll organizer, @MikeCummings37
1. Manchester United
2. Manchester City
6. Tottenham Hotspur
8. West Ham United
11. West Bromwich Albion
12. Swansea City
13. Aston Villa
15. Newcastle United
16. Wigan Athletic
17. Norwich City
18. Queens Park Rangers
20. Stoke City
Fixture: At QPR, Saturday
Result: Lost 2-0 home to Man United
Stoke's trip to QPR on Saturday is suddenly a relegation six-pointer after the Potters spent most of the season safely in mid-table.
Sam: Pulis' men have made an Olympic dive for the bottom three, and their schedule is unenviable. The dreaded is fast becoming a genuine possibility.
Sean: Relegation? Couldn't happen to a more likable team...
Fixture: At Norwich, Saturday
Result: Drew 0-0 home to Liverpool
A home draw with Liverpool was a decent result for Reading, but it won't help the Royals climb out of their deep relegation trouble.
Fixture: Home to Stoke, Saturday
Result: Lost 2-0 at Everton
Not much hope remains for Harry Redknapp and QPR. If Rangers are to avoid relegation, they really must beat Stoke this weekend.
Dan: Their supporters went from Quixotically Praying for a Resurgence to Quietly Processing Relegation. (As horrible as that line is, it's still better than QPR's chances of staying up.)
Fixture: Home to Reading, Saturday
Result: Lost 3-1 at Arsenal
Saturday's home date against all-but relegated Reading should give Norwich a chance to put some breathing room between themselves and the drop zone.
Fixture: At West Ham, Saturday
Result: Lost 1-0 at Man City
Wigan remain three points away from safety after Wednesday's loss at Man City, but the Latics do still have a match in hand.
Sean: Tough loss at City, but their decent form coupled with Stoke's downturn equals another great escape? My money's on it.
Previous: 12 (tie)
Fixture: At West Brom, Saturday
Result: Lost 3-0 home to Sunderland
Losing ugly to a heated rival is no way to endear yourself to the fans, Mr. Pardew. The Europa League is no excuse.
Time to sort it out.
Fixture: Home to Everton, Saturday
Result: Won 3-0 at Newcastle
Sunderland's rousing defeat of rivals Newcastle was the Black Cats' first league victory since Jan. 19, at Wigan.
No wonder Martin O'Neill was sacked.
Fixture: At Man United, Monday
Result: Drew 1-1 home to Fulham
Villa's players and staff are "bouncing," according to manager Paul Lambert (via Scottish Daily Record).
Oh, really? We'll ask again after the trip to Old Trafford.
Sam: Continuing the habit of picking up at least a point a game is paramount for confidence, but four more points will see Lambert's men safe.
Fixture: Home to Southampton, Saturday
Result: No new results
Swans, who drew with Norwich last time out, have picked up only one point in their last four matches.
Fixture: Home to Newcastle, Saturday
Result: No new results
Safely stowed away in the middle of the table, West Brom's season has lost much of its drama.
Perhaps the biggest question left is whether the Baggies will win (13 at the moment) or lose (14) more matches.
Fixture: Home to Arsenal, Saturday
Results: Drew 1-1 at Villa; lost 3-0 home to Chelsea
Fulham have a chance to put a big dent in Arsenal's top-four chances this weekend. The Cottagers are unbeaten in four league matches against the Gunners, including the last two at home.
Fixture: At Swansea, Saturday
Result: Drew 1-1 home to West Ham
During their current five-game unbeaten run, Southampton have climbed four places in the table to 12th.
Previous: 12 (tie)
Fixture: Home to Wigan, Saturday
Results: Drew 1-1 at Southampton; drew 2-2 home to Man United
As Will Tidey wrote in his post-match remarks, Mohamed Diame's goal against Manchester United was Barca-esque.
Sean: Unbeaten in their last four during a challenging run, Hammers are set for a strong finish.
Fixture: Home to Chelsea, Sunday
Result: Drew 0-0 at Reading
Liverpool's top-four ambitions are over, but the Reds will have a say in Chelsea's own European ambitions this season. Sunday's match could become a turning point for both.
Sam: Consecutive goalless draws change nothing—as a defender, I'd be quaking in my boots at the thought of facing Rodgers' side.
Fixture: Home to Man City, Sunday
Result: No new results
Arsenal dropped points midweek. Now, after two weeks off in the league, Spurs must capitalize in a tough home date against Manchester City.
Will: Two words to break Spurs' hearts. Europa. League.
Fixture: At Sunderland, Saturday
Results: Won 2-0 home to QPR; drew 0-0 at Arsenal
Everton's chances of a top-four spot aren't quite finished, but beating Arsenal really would have helped.
Dan: The schedule opens up a bit, but they certainly need help from the teams above them. The Liverpool derby could decide both teams' Europa fate.
Fixture: At Fulham, Saturday
Results: Won 3-1 home to Norwich; drew 0-0 home to Everton
Drawing at home to Everton hurt Arsenal's top-four chances, but the other challengers have some tough fixtures coming up as well, starting this weekend.
Will: Arsenal are just going to sneak this top-four race from Spurs.
Sam: Still the butt of many jokes, but that's not entirely fair. The Gunners are looking formidable at the right time.
Sean: Giroud, Giroud, Giroud is not on fire!
Dan: They fell to fourth after a scoreless draw with a top-six team. Shouldn't Wenger get fired for that?
Fixture: At Spurs, Sunday
Result: Won 1-0 home to Wigan
City's win on Wednesday night was their 20th of the season, but they remain 13 points behind United with six matches left to make up the ground.
Sam: Five wins in six, three wins in a row. That includes the Manchester derby and a desperate Wigan side. Props, Roberto, for keeping your side focused.
Will: Too little, too late from City.
Fixture: Home to Villa, Monday
Results: Won 2-0 at Stoke; drew 2-2 at West Ham
Robin van Persie scored again on Wednesday and is now within one goal of Luis Suarez's league-leading total of 22 on the season.
Dan: They'll win this title when they damn well please and not a moment sooner.
Sean: Title complacency? Perhaps. Not that it matters.