English Premier League Power Rankings: Week 16
This week the Premier League saw the beginning of the very busy Christmas season with each team playing two games within a span of five days.
There were some surprising results during this period as Wigan gained two points while Newcastle continued their slide down the table after their fast start.
West Brom, Manchester City and Manchester United were the only three teams to go unbeaten this week as we head into Christmas and the all-important and festive Boxing Day games on Monday.
As always, last week's ranking is in parenthesis.
20. Blackburn (19)
Blackburn lost both of their games this week and extended their losing streak to three games, all three of which have been 2-1 losses.
Rovers missed a vital opportunity to gain points in the relegation battle with Bolton but failed to do so at home on Tuesday.
Up next for Steve Kean and company is a trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool on Boxing Day.
19. Bolton (20)
Bolton broke their five-game losing streak on Tuesday night on the road at Ewood Park.
The 2-1 win over Blackburn saw goals from Mark Davies and Nigel Reo-Coker give the Trotters their fourth win of the season.
Bolton are still the only team that do not have a draw this season as they have four wins and 13 losses.
18. Wolverhampton (18)
Wolves were able to take one point out of their two games this week thanks to a late equalizer from Ronald Zubar against Norwich on Tuesday.
The 82nd-minute goal from Zubar was his first of the season and it came three days after Wolves' 2-1 loss to Stoke on Saturday.
The draw was enough to keep the club above the relegation zone in the table as they sit 17th with 15 points, one ahead of Wigan.
17. Swansea City (14)
Swansea played some tough football over the past five days but were only able to manage one point out of their ventures to Newcastle and Everton.
The Swans got their eighth clean sheet of the season at Newcastle on Saturday in a 0-0 draw, but then fell to Everton in their visit to Goodison Park on Wednesday.
Swansea will host QPR on Tuesday at the Liberty Stadium in a battle of two newly promoted clubs.
16. Fulham (16)
Fulham responded well after being eliminated from the Europa League last week by taking care of Bolton in a 2-0 win at home.
But the positive momentum did not stay with the Cottagers; they were blown out by Manchester United at home on Wednesday in a 5-0 loss.
The win over Bolton did boost the Cottagers up to 13th place and that is where they are in the table ahead of their Boxing Day clash at Stamford Bridge against London rivals Chelsea.
15. Queens Park Rangers (11)
QPR extended their winless streak to five after two losses to Manchester United and Sunderland this week.
The R's had a chance against Sunderland but were downed at the death by a late goal after Heidar Helguson and Jamie Mackie had scored for the club earlier in the 3-2 loss.
Neil Warnock's club are suddenly close to the relegation zone as they fell to 16th place after not gaining any points from the past week.
14. Sunderland (17)
Wes Brown was the hero for Sunderland on Wednesday as he scored in the 89th minute against QPR to give his club a 3-2 win.
Nicklas Bendtner and Stephane Sessegnon also scored in the Black Cats' fourth win of the season and their second win under new manager Martin O'Neill.
The win came after a weekend loss to Tottenham on the road at White Hart Lane.
13. Wigan (15)
Wigan produced two of the more surprising results this week as they drew with both Chelsea and Liverpool.
Jordi Gomez scored an 88th minute equalizer to give the Latics a 1-1 draw with Chelsea while Wigan drew 0-0 with Liverpool on Wednesday.
Roberto Martinez's club are now just one point away from exiting the bottom three after gaining five points in their last three games.
12. Newcastle (10)
Newcastle's slide down the table is eerily mirroring the one of their rivals, Sunderland, from last season.
After a hot start the Magpies have now gone without a win in six games and only have two points from those six games, including Saturday's goalless draw with Swansea.
A perfect opportunity awaits Newcastle to end their miserable streak as they visit lowly Bolton on Boxing Day.
11. Aston Villa (8)
Aston Villa's stay at home this weekend was not a pleasant one as both Liverpool and Arsenal came into Villa Park this week and left with wins.
The two losses for Villa, their fifth and sixth of the season, puts the Villains in 12th place with 19 points.
Villa will visit Stoke on Boxing Day.
10. Norwich City (9)
Norwich had two leads taken away from them in the last ten minutes of their two games this week.
First, Everton equalized the Canaries late on Saturday to make the game a 1-1 draw.
Then on Tuesday, Wolves did the same and drew with Norwich, 2-2.
The Canaries are one of the few clubs not playing on Boxing Day as they will host Tottenham on Tuesday.
9. Everton (13)
Leon Osman was the hero twice this week for Everton as he scored two goals to earn Everton four points.
Osman scored in the 81st minute against Norwich on Saturday to equalize that game and it ended 1-1. The Englishman then scored again on Wednesday and his 60th-minute goal was the winner in the 1-0 win over Swansea.
Now up to 11th in the table, the Toffees will look to get into the top half of the table with a result away at Sunderland on Boxing Day.
8. Stoke (6)
As expected, Stoke won one and lost one this week.
Peter Crouch scored the winner against Wolves in the 70th minute on Saturday before the Potters were shutout by Manchester City on Wednesday.
The Potters will host Aston Villa at the Brittania Stadium on Boxing Day.
7. Tottenham (7)
Tottenham picked up four points at White Hart Lane this week with a win over Sunderland and a draw with Chelsea.
Roman Pavlyuchenko scored the only goal for Spurs against Sunderland in their 1-0 win while Emmanuel Adebayor scored the opener in their 1-1 draw with rivals Chelsea.
Spurs are now back up to third in the table as they head into Carrow Road to face Norwich on Tuesday.
6. West Brom (12)
West Brom won two games in the last five minutes on the road at Blackburn and Newcastle this week.
Peter Odemwingie was the hero at Ewood Park in the 89th minute on Saturday while Paul Scharner scored an 85th-minute winner at the Sports Direct Arena on Wednesday.
The six points boosted the Baggies up to 10th in the table ahead of their home match with leaders Manchester City on Boxing Day.
5. Chelsea (1)
Just as Chelsea looked to be back to being themselves, they put up two disappointing results this week.
The Blues were equalized late by bottom feeders Wigan on Saturday and drew with Tottenham on Thursday at White Hart Lane.
Chelsea will now look to get back on track again, this time at home against Fulham on Boxing Day.
4. Arsenal (4)
The Gunners fell short on Sunday against Manchester City and lost 1-0 but rebounded just fine against Aston Villa on Wednesday.
Robin van Persie scored yet again for the club but it was Yossi Benayoun who played the role of hero as his 87th-minute goal gave Arsenal a 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
The Gunners are now just one point behind Chelsea for fourth place in the table ahead of their home match with Wolves at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.
3. Liverpool (5)
Liverpool's two games this week were overshadowed by the punishment of Luis Suarez as he received an eight-game ban for alleged racist statements towards Patrice Evra.
Suarez did play while appealing his ban for the Reds as they gained four points in two games.
Craig Bellamy and Martin Skrtel scored for the Reds in their 2-0 win over Aston Villa while they were held to a goalless draw with Wigan on Wednesday.
2. Manchester City (3)
Manchester City got back on track after their loss to Chelsea with a win over another top-five team in Arsenal on Sunday.
David Silva scored the only goal in the 1-0 win.
Sergio Aguero scored two goals and Adam Johnson netted a goal in the Citizens' 3-0 win over Stoke on Wednesday.
1. Manchester United (2)
Seven goals were plenty enough for United this week as they won both of their games convincingly.
Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick scored in the club's 2-0 win over QPR on Saturday.
Rooney scored again on Wednesday in the 5-0 win over Fulham. Dimitar Berbatov scored twice as United also got goals from Nani and Ryan Giggs in their 13th win of the season.
United will host Wigan on Boxing Day at Old Trafford as they continue to get closer to first-place Manchester City, whom United trail by only two points in the table.