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Premier League Winners and Losers

A look at the winners and losers of another Premier League weekend.

Winners

Carlo Ancelotti
On the cusp of repeating Jose Mourinho’s title win in his first season at the Bridge and the likihood of a domestic double, it has been an eventful first season for Ancelotti.

This Chelsea team is still built around the players that Mourinho bought five years ago and it will be interesting to see who Ancelotti brings in this summer as he remakes Chelsea in his mold.

Arsenal
Another late goal that resulted in three points. This is not the Arsenal team of the last three years who would have rolled over and settled for a point. This young Arsenal team is growing up in front of our eyes this season and that is bad news for the rest of the Premier League.

Birmingham City
With 46 points already, Birmingham are the highest placed of the promoted teams. Picked by many to struggle all season, Alex McLeish learnt from the relegation battle two years ago and has done a great job making Birmingham difficult to beat. If McLeish can add a couple of quality goalscorers during the summer, then there is no reason why Birmingham cannot build of their mid-table success this season.

Manchester City
With six games to go they are in control of that all important 4th Champions League position. They tore Burnley apart in the opening 20 minutes this weekend, and few teams in the Premier League can keep up with them if they play like that.

Carlos Tevez
The knock on Tevez at Manchester United was that he was not a goalscorer. That he gave a lot of effort, but lacked that composure in front of goal. Something changed when he moved to the Eastlands where he has scored 20 league goals this season and looks well worth the money that City paid for him.

Sunderland
In what has been a very up and down season for Sunderland, their home form has been remarkable. They have lost only two of their 17 home matches this season and with West Ham, Burnley, Hull and Wolves left on their schedule, 50 points and a top half of the table is within reach.

Losers

Alex Ferguson
It was not a good week for Fergie. Against Bayern Munich his team were comfortable holding onto a precious 1-0 advantage when he took off Carrick and put on Berbatov Suddenly the midfield opened up for Bayern and they took control of the game, scoring two goals giving United a very difficult hill to climb for the second leg.

Against Chelsea, Fergie once again went with five in midfield and Berbatov up front on his own. Unlike Rooney Berbatov is not a target man and as a result United’s attack lacked movement and a focal point. It was not until he went to a 4-4-2 formation that United looked threatening.

If United finish second this season, United fans will look at their dismal record after Champions League games where United have picked up only 10 of a possible 27 points.

Liverpool
The draw at Birmingham all but ended any hope that Liverpool had of finishing fourth this season. With Aston Villa a point behind with a game in hand, there is a chance that Liverpool could slip to 7th place in the league and be out of Europe completely next season.

Rafa Benitez
One thing that Rafa has always had was the support of the Liverpool fans. But will his white flag surrender at Birmingham lose him the kop? If it does, then Rafa will be coaching elsewhere next season.

Simon Beck
It wasn’t even a difficult decision. There are no excuses, just puzzlement that he could have missed something so literally straightforward.

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