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Week 2 Power Rankings

24 August 2010

Hello, goalline technology! Chris Foy couldn't see the ball cross the goalline, denyin Stoke City an equalizer.

The week after both of our clubs lived up to our blog title, our branding proved to be a giant misnomer this week, as all 10 Premier League fixtures featured goals. Here are your Week 2 Power Rankings:

1. Chelsea (2-0-0, 6 points, +12 GD)
Last week: 1st | Result: Won 6-0 at Wigan
People wondered what the defending champions could do for an encore after playing West Brom off the pitch in their opener. The answer was another 6-0 brutalization of a Premier League struggler — but this time Carlo Ancelotti’s men did it away from home, where they had consistency issues last season.
This week: v. Stoke City (Saturday, August 28 – 10:00 am ET)

2. Manchester City (1-1-0, 4 points, +3 GD)
Last week: 9th | Result: Won 3-0 v. Liverpool
In addition to being the second most impressive scoreline of the young season, that emasculation of Liverpool should silence all the numpties talking as if City’s signings were haphazard. Despite missing two defensive starters, Roberto Mancini’s defense looked solid, especially with Joe Hart stopping everything behind them.
This week: at Sunderland (Sunday, August 29 – 10:00 am ET)

3. Arsenal (1-1-0, 4 points, +6 GD)
Last week: 7th | Result: Won 6-0 v. Blackpool
An attack that failed to score any goals themselves in Week 1 at Anfield looked much more potent against a Blackpool side that more closely resembled the whipping boys we all expected. In a great omen for the Gunners, Theo Walcott matched his entire goal haul from last season’s Premier League campaign with a hat trick.
This week: at Blackburn (Saturday, August 28 – 7:45 am ET)

4. Manchester United (1-1-0, 3 points, +3 GD)
Last week: 2nd | Result: Drew 2-2 at Fulham
It will be pointed out that United were without an ailing Wayne Rooney, but the striker wouldn’t have addressed the issues with the United midfield, which spent most of the match looking overmatched. The poetic justice that was Nani’s weak penalty will have Sir Alex ruing his team’s failure to make their late lead stand up.
This week: v. West Ham (Saturday, August 28 – 12:30 pm ET)

5. Tottenham (1-1-0, 4 points, +1 GD)
Last week: 8th | Result: Won 2-1 at Stoke City
If Spurs were unlucky not to score during their 30 Minutes of Fury last week against City, they’ve certainly had their share of fortunate bounces both midweek and this past weekend at the Britannia. Being outplayed by Stoke City isn’t good, but Gareth Bale continued to impress in the role of point man for Harry Redknapp’s attack.
This week: v. Wigan (Saturday, August 28 – 10:00 am ET)

6. Wolverhampton (1-1-0, 4 points, +1 GD)
Last week: 6th | Drew 1-1 at Everton
Wolves’ strong start to the season continued with a well-earned away point at Goodison Park, though the visitors were fortunate to leave with anything after being outplayed in the first half. With a relatively easy early league schedule, Mick McCarthy will want to see his side continue to distance themselves from the drop zone.
This week: v. Newcastle (Saturday, August 28 – 10:00 am ET)

7. Bolton (1-1-0, 4 points, +2 GD)
Last week: 13th | Result: Won 3-1 at West Ham
It’s great to see Bolton playing decently attractive after the Utilitarian Uglyball that had lingered at the club from the Allardyce days — and they’re being rewarded by decent results. Owen Coyle has to love seeing Johan Elmander get on the scoresheet twice at Upton Park, given how disappointing the Swede has been the past two seasons.
This week: v. Birmingham City (Sunday, August 29 – 8:30 am ET)

8. Birmingham City (1-1-0, 4 points, +1 GD)
Last week: 11th | Results: Won 2-1 v. Blackburn
I’ll admit I subscribed to the conventional wisdom that Birmingham would struggle to recapture their surprisingly strong form of last season, and so far they’re proving me wrong. It took a brace from Craig Gardner of all people and a crucial penalty save from Ben Foster, but Alex McLeish has early reason to feel positive again this season.
This week: at Bolton (Sunday, August 29 – 8:30 am ET)

9. Fulham (0-2-0, 2 points, 0 GD)
Last week: 12th | Result: Drew 2-2 v. Manchester United
Draws got Mark Hughes sacked from his previous job, but the two so far this season have been welcomed by Fulham supporters. Sunday’s point against United was no less than Hughes’s Cottagers deserved after putting on another impressive, attractive display of football and outplaying their guests.
This week: at Blackpool (Saturday, August 28 – 10:00 am ET)

10. Newcastle (1-0-1, 3 points, +3 GD)
Last week: 16th | Result: Won 6-0 v. Aston Villa
It was quite a Welcome Back party on Tyneside in Sunday’s early game, as Newcastle delivered an exquisite performance in their 6-0 demolition of Aston Villa. Andy Carroll’s hat trick is a great sign for a club who entered the season wondering where the goals would come from this season to keep them up in the Premier League.
This week: at Wolverhampton (Saturday, August 28 – 10:00 am ET)

11. Blackburn (1-0-1, 3 points, 0 GD)
Last week: 5th | Lost 2-1 at Birmingham City
It’s looking like more of the same for Rovers, who turned Ewood Park into a fortress, but struggled mightily away from home last season. St. Andrew’s is no walk in the park, but Sam Allardyce will feel as though his side should have gotten something after taking a second-half lead, only to let it slip away minutes later.
This week: v. Arsenal (Saturday, August 28 – 7:45 am ET)

12. Liverpool (0-1-1, 1 point, -3 GD)
Last week: 8th | Result: Lost 3-0 at Manchester City
Nearly beating Arsenal in the opener seemed like a sign that Roy Hodgson would reverse the club’s downward trajectory, but getting played of the pitch by City will resurrect those fears. This came on the heels of would-be savior Kenny Huang walking away from a possible takeover of the financially strapped club.
This week: v. West Brom (Sunday, August 29 – 10:00 am ET)

13. West Brom (1-0-1, 3 points, -5 GD)
Last week: 19th | Result: Won 1-0 v. Sunderland
New signing Peter Odemwingie made an immediate impact with his new club, scoring the only goal of West Brom’s win over Sunderland. The victory was a great bounceback from the disheartening opening loss at Stamford Bridge, and shows Roberto Di Matteo’s men will battle for Premier League survival.
This week: at Liverpool (Sunday, August 29 – 10:00 am ET)

14. Aston Villa (1-0-1, 3 points -3 GD)
Last week: 4th | Result: Lost 6-0 at Newcastle
Sunday was one of those days where all the breaks seemed to go against Villa. John Carew missed a penalty, Ashley Cole incorrectly was ruled offside on a breakaway, Kevin Nolan’s rebound fell right to him for the second Newcastle goal, and the ball fell right to Andy Carroll in front of goal for the third — all in the first 35 minutes.
This week: v. Everton (Sunday, August 29 – 11:00 am ET)

15. Blackpool (1-0-1, 3 points, -2 GD)
Last week: 3rd | Result: Lost 6-0 at Arsenal
The hammering at the Emirates was an unpleasant dose of reality, but Blackpool’s all-out, damn-the-torpedoes attacking mentality should make them sentimental underdogs this season. It’s tough to know what to make of the Tangerines after those Jekyll and Hyde performances, so Saturday’s home opener should tell us more.
This week: v. Fulham (Saturday, August 28 – 10:00 am ET)

16. Stoke City (0-0-2, 0 points, -2 GD)
Last week: 17th | Result: Lost 2-1 v. Tottenham
Tony Pulis will feel very victimized by Chris Foy’s decision not to award the equalizing goal that should have earned pointless Stoke a draw against Spurs. Do those of us who have felt victimized by the Potters’ version of football over the past two seasons dare to get our hopes up for a relegation battle at the Britannia?
This week: at Chelsea (Saturday, August 28 – 10:00 am ET)

17. Everton (0-1-1, 1 point, -1 GD)
Last week: 15th | Result: Drew 1-1 v. Wolverhampton
Last fall’s atrocious start scuppered Everton’s season, but at least back then they had the excuse of injuries to Mikel Arteta and Phil Jagielka. Speaking of excuses, while last week’s loss at Blackburn was understandable, there’s no excuse for David Moyes playing a solitary striker and dropping points at home against Wolves.
This week: at Aston Villa (Sunday, August 29 – 11:00 am ET)

18. Sunderland (0-1-1, 1 point, -1 GD)
Last week: 14th | Result: Lost 1-0 at West Brom
Steve Bruce might be feeling some heat after a second disappointing result to begin the season, as the Black Cats failed to score against a defense that conceded six their last time out. There will be no fast start like last season, when early points proved crucial to keeping Sunderland afloat after they went into a prolonged midseason slump.
This week: v. Manchester City (Sunday, August 29 – 10:00 am ET)

19. West Ham (0-0-2, 0 points, -3 GD)
Last week: 18th | Result: Lost 1-3 v. Bolton
An awful start to the Avram Grant Era got even worse with an embarrassing 3-1 home loss to Bolton. The Hammers couldn’t make their first-half dominance translate into a goal — special fault goes to Carlton Cole for his abysmal penalty that was easily saved — and then somehow allowed Johan Elmander to score twice?
This week: at Manchester United (Saturday, August 28 – 12:30 pm ET)

20. Wigan (0-0-2, 0 points, -10 GD)
Last week: 20th | Result: Lost 6-0 v. Chelsea
Which is worse: Wigan getting tuned up 6-0 by Chelsea at home, or the club running a game recap with the headline “Latics unlucky not to come away with result after brave performance” on the club’s official website? Yes, the Latics deserved better than to be down 1-0 at half time after a good first half, but come on.
This week: at Tottenham (Saturday August 28 – 10:00 am ET)

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