Arsenal and Chelsea were the big winners this weekend as Manchester United throw away a 90th minute 2-goal lead to draw at Everton. Blackpool continued their impressive start, now 4 points short of matching Derby County’s tally for the whole of the 2007/08 season. Liverpool continue to linger in the bottom half after a goalless draw at Birmingham on Sunday.
Here is the week’s edition of the Premier League Power Rankings:
1. Chelsea (1)
Result: 3-1 win at West Ham United
2 points and 6 goals better off than second-place Arsenal, Chelsea finally conceded their first goal of the season. Scott Parker’s goal in the 85th minute was only a consolation after a Michael Essien brace confirmed Chelsea’s victory and our number 1 Premier League Tip for the weekend.
2. Arsenal (2)
Result: 4-1 win over Bolton Wanderers
Marouane Chamakh notched up his second Premier League goal in this game as four different Gunners got their names on the scoresheet. Taking advantage of slip ups by two teams in Manchester, Arsenal are looking solid for a top four finish this season, while currently being the closest thing to being title challengers to Chelsea this season.
3. Manchester United (3)
Result: 3-3 draw at Everton
Despite the absence of Wayne Rooney, Manchester United looked set for three points at Goodison Park half way through the second half when Dimitar Berbatov game them a two-goal advantage. Switching off in injury time cost them dearly, and are already 4 points behind Chelsea after just four games. Yes, it’s early but these early dropped points are only adding additional pressure to the squad.
4. Manchester City (4)
Result: 1-1 draw with Blackburn Rovers
A mix-up in defence saw Manchester City fall behind at home to Blackburn at the weekend, but were unfortunate not to take 3 points from the game after their dominance. A combination of last-ditched defending and a large number of saves from Paul Robinson denied them this, but a draw after all the players they had on international duty isn’t so bad.
5. Tottenham Hotspur (5)
Result: 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion
A couple of injuries and perhaps a Champions League match on Tuesday were a distraction to Tottenham this weekend as they slipped up once again. They now play catch up to their fellow Champions League contenders. Harry Redknapp has his work cut out, but it’s still early days.
6. Fulham (11)
Result: 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers
Moussa Dembele continued his quest to look like a Premier League star as he fired home both of Fulham’s goals, including the stoppage time winner. An injury to Bobby Zamora sees him ruled out for a while, but Fulham have made a good start under Mark Hughes.
7. Birmingham City (9)
Result: 0-0 draw with Liverpool
Perhaps disappointed not to have won this game, Birmingham City are sitting pretty in the top half after another result that looks good on paper. Defensively they are solid, as they were last season. But again, need to find goals.
Result: 0-0 draw at Birmingham City
Residing in the bottom half of the Premier League, it has been a tough opening for Roy Hodgson as he starts his Liverpool reign. A point on Sunday proved to be a good one though.
9. Sunderland (13)
Result: 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic
The result doesn’t look impressive on paper, but given they were down to 10 men half way through the first half, and only conceded a late equaliser, Sunderland put in a good display, following on from their 1-0 win over Manchester City before the international break.
10. Blackburn Rovers (14)
Result: 1-1 draw at Manchester City
A respectable and hard-earned point kept Blackburn out of the relegation zone on more than goal difference. With a better run of fixtures coming up, Blackburn will launch an attack on the top half of the Premier League in the coming weeks.
11. Everton (15)
Result: 3-3 draw with Manchester United
Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta’s dramatic stoppage time strikes rescued Everton a point as they doubled their tally for the season. I would normally say this will kick start their season, but they have a tough run of fixtures. A win next week against Newcastle is a must.
12. Aston Villa (7)
Result: 2-1 loss at Stoke City
Two late goals conceded against Stoke City once again saw Aston Villa miss out on a top 4 place at the end of this week’s round of games. With the hiring of Gerard Houllier will bring stability to the club after Martin O’Neill’s departure.
13. Blackpool (17)
Result: 2-0 win at Newcastle United
When will I start respecting Blackpool? Well, they earned a lot from me this weekend with their shock win at Newcastle. Let’s see how they fare in their next four matches…
14. Bolton Wanderers (8)
Result: 4-1 loss at Arsenal
Not a surprising result given the level of opposition they were up against, Bolton are still sitting half way up the table.
15. Wolverhampton Wanderers (10)
Result: 2-1 loss at Fulham
A disappointing late goal conceded saw Wolves miss out on what would have been another good point to add to the 5 they have collected already. Regardless, they have made a good start and there are at least 3 teams I can name that look worse right now. In fact, there are the following 5:
16. Stoke City (19)
Result: 2-1 win over Aston Villa
Stoke City finally put some points on the board to kick-start this seasons Premier League campaign. They’re capable of another safe mid table finish.
17. West Bromwich Albion (16)
Result: 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur
A good point for West Brom as they remain unbeaten at home in their opening 2 Premier League games. Home form will be key to their survival this season. Another defeat for West Ham sees West Brom extend their lead over fellow relegation contenders, but they lost further ground on Blackpool this weekend.
18. Newcastle United (12)
Result: 2-0 loss at home to Blackpool
An embarrassing home defeat to Blackpool shows Newcastle still have a lot of work to do to maintain their Premier League status this season.
19. Wigan Athletic (18)
Result: 1-1 draw with Sunderland
A missed opportunity that saw Wigan lucky to escape with a point at home to 10 man Sunderland. Outside the relegation zone now, but failing to take 3 points from matches like this and they’ll be back in it.
20. West Ham United (20)
Result: 3-1 loss at home to Chelsea
This result was hardly surprising, even if it was odds-against for Chelsea to win by 2 or more. I hope you took that tip, but West Ham continue to look horrible. Already 4 points from safety and the only side with a double-digit negative goal difference.