Premier League Power Rankings: Manchester United Rise, Arsenal Fall After Second Weekend

Teddy Cutler
Premier League Power Rankings: Manchester United Rise, Arsenal Fall After Second Weekend
Premier League Power Rankings: Manchester United Rise, Arsenal Fall After Second Weekend

Manchester United continued to set the early pace in the Premier League at the weekend as José Mourinho’s side demolished Swansea City for its second 4-0 win in two games.

Elsewhere, Liverpool registered its first victory while Arsenal slipped up at Stoke, and there was a seesaw battle between Tottenham and Chelsea at Wembley in what could be an early preview of the title race.

Who moved up and down the Premier League form ladder? Newsweek assesses the weekend’s action.

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1. Manchester United: Up two

Top of the Premier League after two games with eight goals scored and none conceded. United had to bide its time before disposing of Swansea with the same ruthlessness it reserved for West Ham United a week before. Leicester City at Old Trafford on Saturday will be a harder test.

2. Huddersfield Town: Down one

Newcastle was a supine opponent, but this was still an impressive home debut from David Wagner’s team. The victory was more comfortable than the one-goal margin would suggest, although it’s possible that Huddersfield could come to over-rely on the excellent Aaron Mooy. Southampton visits John Smith’s Stadium Saturday at 3 p.m.

3. West Bromwich Albion: Up six

Oh ye of little faith who doubt Tony Pulis. Hal Robson-Kanu scored, then got sent off as West Brom pulled off a fine victory at Turf Moor, where Burnley is always strong. Stoke City visits The Hawthorns on Sunday.

4. Watford: Up four

All the promise Watford showed against Liverpool on opening weekend was present again at Vitality Stadium, with a first goal for summer signing Richarlison, a screamer from Étienne Capoue and a defensively solid effort. Marco Silva’s team hosts winless Brighton on Saturday.

5. Stoke City: Up nine

Mark Hughes’s team did not look like a squad in crisis on Saturday against Arsenal. New signing Jesé Rodriguez took his goal well enough to suggest there may be more to come, too. A visit to West Brom looks a tough test next up in the league.

6. Chelsea: Up 14

Antonio Conte’s side was not perfect against Tottenham at Wembley, but it was resilient, and that may be the more important quality right now. Marcos Alonso continues to be perhaps the Premier League’s most underrated full back.

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7. Liverpool: Up eight

Jürgen Klopp got a win and a clean sheet amid rumblings off the pitch as Barcelona continue to hurl money at Liverpool in a desperate chase for Philippe Coutinho. Liverpool faces Hoffenheim in midweek in the Champions League playoff before an early-season game of huge proportions against Arsenal on Sunday.

8. Manchester City: Down three

City plays Everton Monday night knowing it must win to keep pace with United.

9. Everton: Down three

Can Ronald Koeman’s team hang with the best in the league? Here’s an early indication.

10. Leicester City: Up two

Two goals, none conceded against Brighton and two assists for Riyad Mahrez, who now looks like he may remain with Leicester for another season. An injury to striker Jamie Vardy may prove costly in the weeks to come.

11. Tottenham Hotspur: Down seven

Spurs didn’t play badly at Wembley, but nor did Mauricio Pochettino’s team do enough to suggest it can prosper playing 19 games at the home of English football this season. And its terrible run against Chelsea continues.

12. Southampton: Down two

Yes, Southampton picked up its first win of the season. But it also allowed ten-man West Ham back into the game at St. Mary’s Stadium, losing a 2-0 lead. A Charlie Austin penalty saved the day.

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13. Burnley: Down 11

A bump back to earth for Sean Dyche’s team after the opening-weekend heroics against Chelsea. Burnley needs to stay strong at home or it could yet be in trouble.

14. West Ham United: Up four

If Javier Hernández scores regularly, West Ham will be OK, but that first win needs to come soon. Slaven Bilić’s side visits Newcastle United on Saturday in a game that already looms as horribly important for both.

15. Arsenal: Down eight

Perhaps Arsène Wenger’s side got a little unlucky at Stoke with a marginal offside call against Alexandre Lacazette and penalty claims that could have been given in its favor. But great teams can override misfortune. Arsenal still seems to have a weak underbelly.

16. Bournemouth: Down three

Worrying times for Eddie Howe, who must find a way of converting pretty football into goals. Bournemouth has failed to score in each of its two Premier League fixtures this season, and both have ended in defeat.

17. Newcastle United: No movement

Insipid against Huddersfield apart from one Matt Ritchie shot, Newcastle looks a prime candidate to be relegated unless Rafael Benítez is allowed to add to his squad in the final days of the summer transfer window.

18. Crystal Palace: Up one

Palace moves a place up by virtue mostly of other teams’ ineptitude. There is no shame in losing to Liverpool at Anfield, but two defeats and no goals is not the way Frank de Boer would have wanted the season to begin.

19. Swansea City: Down eight

Where are Swansea’s goals going to come from? Tammy Abraham toiled against Manchester United with little service or help. Paul Clement simply must spend all of the Gylfi Sigurðsson money to haul Swansea away from danger.

20. Brighton and Hove Albion: Down four

This looks like a long, hard season for Chris Hughton and his team. A visit to Watford on Saturday means the going gets no easier from here.

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