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2015-16 Premier League Power Rankings, Vol. II: Manchester-heavy top of the pops

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We haven’t checked in with the Premier League Power Rankings since Aug. 26, and plenty has changed.

What hasn’t changed, though, is that Chelsea is still shockingly low while Claudio Ranieiri’s Leicester City Foxes continue to defy the odds.

[ Archive: Premier League Power Rankings ]

Looking forward, it’ll be late October before we see teams No. 1 and 2 in the new rankings meet… and we expect both sides will remain at or near the top of the table.

Let’s stop yammering, and start ranking. As is the case with MLS, we won’t do these every week in order to limit overreactions from a single result.

RANKING Up/Down
source: 1 Manchester City: The Citizens stay atop the charts despite their loss to West Ham United, due mostly to their spate of injuries on the back end. Perhaps West Ham doesn’t find its advantage without City playing midweek in the Champions League and Kompany, Clichy and Zabaleta available.
source: 2 UP 1 Manchester United: Anthony Martial continues to look legit, snaring Premier League Player of the Week honors after helping to slip United past Southampton. Now can their European fortunes improve? Or League Cup?
source: 3  UP 1 Leicester City: The Foxes continue to show their mettle. Still feels a little high for Leicester, which has yet to face a true Top 4 test.
source: 4 UP 2 Arsenal: Cheated pretty harshly in the Chelsea defeat, and still nearly found a point out of it. Yeah, Gabriel Paulista needs to be smarter and Arsene Wenger should’ve bought a striker, but the Gunners are okay (though Wenger’s criticism of the Martial deal could start to look silly. Who has the Monaco connection again?). By the way, Gabriel is really good, too.
source: 5 UP 12 West Ham United: Big Sam Allardyce seems to disagree, but Slaven Bilic’s side is thriving despite the absence of Enner Valencia and the health struggles of Andy Carroll. If they can get to January in good enough shape to viably add to their back line? Look out.
source: 6 UP 2 Everton: A horrific slate of fixtures to start the season has been well-navigated, but isn’t over. After brief relief with West Brom, the Toffees get Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal.
source: 7 DOWN 2 Swansea City: If Garry Monk‘s side can stop playing down to its opponents on occasion, it can live up to its Top Six aims. Must make sure the Watford loss is the exception, not the rule.
source: 8 UP 4 Tottenham Hotspur: After a tough bunch of matches to start the year, Spurs have won a pair and are unbeaten in five. Good to see Son get a hot start, and give Harry Kane some help.
source: 9 Crystal Palace: Back-to-back losses to Spurs and Man City show “Pardiola” has a ways to go, but there’s no doubting they are carrying over the mid-table form from the second half of last season.
source: 10 UP 4 Watford: Quique Flores’ club rarely looks rattled. Back-to-back wins come after their sole loss this season, which was to mighty Man City.
source: 11 DOWN 4 Chelsea: The Diego Costa antics and Doctor Caneiro treatment make us want to drop the struggling Blues a bit lower, but Kurt Zouma, Nemanja Matic and Eden Hazard make us feel good about their future.
source: 12 UP 1 Southampton: Having a maddening time keeping up with their congested schedule, but we have a hard time dropping Saints too low at this point.
source: 13 DOWN 3 Stoke City: Yes, they have just three points, but their run deals with a difficult bunch of opponents and some bizarre obstacles — like nearly snatching a draw from a 9-man battle against 11-man West Brom — and leaves us far from a freak-out.
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14 UP 1 Norwich City: The Liverpool draw gives the Canaries hope, but it’s not like the Reds are flying right now. Carrow Road can feel better about its chances with a win over someone not named Bournemouth or Sunderland.
source: 15 UP 1 Bournemouth: Seven points from 10 matches have the Cherries feeling better than their season’s open. Can they string together more points and move up?
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16 UP 3 West Bromwich Albion: Nice to see Saido Berahino producing, but their three-match unbeaten streak feels a bit wonky. Let’s see some more points before we move the Baggies any higher.
source: 17 DOWN 15 Liverpool:  Just awful to watch. Nice to see Danny Ings on the scoresheet, but Brendan Rodgers needs to be getting more points from a very talented lineup (even with Christian Benteke injured). Bad form, Reds. Is the planned anti-Rodgers, pro-Klopp protest from the fans worse?
source: 18 DOWN 7 Newcastle United: Only bailed out by a toughish batch of matches and insipid play by the clubs below them.
source: 19 DOWN 1 Aston Villa:  Tactics Tim has four points — three from Bournemouth and one from Sunderland. How tactical.
source: 20 Sunderland: There are no words.

Real Monarchs beat Louisville City to win first ever USL Cup

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Real Monarchs scored three unanswered goals as they routed Louisville City 3-1 at Lynn Stadium to win their first ever USL Cup title.

Noah Powder’s goal in the 66th minute sealed the deal for the visitor’s, adding to the goals scored by defenders Erik Holt and Konrad Plewa in the first half.

Surprisingly enough, it was Lou City who got off to a superb start on Sunday night, though.

Only six minutes after the initial whistle, Lou City’s leading goalscorer, Magnus Rasmussen, scored the game’s first goal, breaking a record for the fastest goal in a USL Cup final.

The defeat brings an end to Lou City’s historic run of consecutive USL Cup-winning seasons.

On July 1, former Real Salt Lake defender, Jamison Olave, took over as the Monarchs interim coach following Martin Vasquez’s unexpected resignation.

Man arrested after English soccer player reports homophobia

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TRANMERE, England — A footballer in England’s third tier reported being subjected to homophobic abuse from the stands, leading to police making one arrest.

Wycombe goalkeeper Ryan Allsop told the referee of the abuse at halftime of the League One soccer game at Tranmere as his team won 2-0.

Tranmere says it is very disappointed to learn of a homophobic comment made.

In a statement, Merseyside Police condemned abhorrent incidents.

Police Chief Inspector Jason Crellin added that “hate crime has no place in our communities, and not least at a showcase sporting event attended and watched by many people.”

Brazil beat Mexico to win U-17 World Cup (video)

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Brazil became Under-17 world champions for a fourth time in dramatic fashion as Lazaro Vinicius Marques’ scored a 93rd-minute winner to edge Mexico 2-1 at Estadio Bezerrão on Sunday.

Brazil’s comeback started in the 84th minute when Kaio Jorge converted from the penalty spot, following VAR’s decision which ruled contact on the tournament’s Golden Ball winner, Gabriel Veron, inside the 18-yard box.

With Brazilian legends Ronaldo and Cafu in attendance, the host’s had the better of chances throughout the first 45 minutes. Without any luck, however, Brazil were unable to get the ball past Eduardo Garcia, instead hitting the bar on several occasions.

Then in the 66th minute, Mexico – winners of the tournament in 2005 and in 2011 – stunned the home crowd when Bronze Ball winner Eugenio Pizzoto’s cross into the box was headed into the back of the net by Bryan Alonso Gonzalez Olivan, breaking the deadlock between two sides that had met in the same game back in 2005.

What was going to be a stunning, underdog victory for El Tri, turned into a heartbreaking night for Marco “Chima” Ruiz and company.

Brazil, on the other hand, are now only one championship away from tying Nigeria’s record of five championships.

EURO qualifying wrap: France, Iceland, Turkey earn wins

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With their tickets already booked to next summer’s big tournament, France and Turkey picked up wins in Sunday’s Euro qualifying action, which saw defending champions Portugal clinch qualification.

[ READ: Defending champions Portugal qualify to EURO 2020 ]


Albania 0-2 France

Albania opened their new, 22,500-seat stadium with a hard-fought loss against France.

Early on, Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso gave the impression that the home fans were in for a long night at the inaugurating Air Albania Stadium, opening the score just eight minutes in with a well-placed header. In the 31st minute, an unfamiliar face, Leo Dubois, connected with Antoine Griezmann, who slotted the ball into the bottom-right corner. France finish the qualifiers leaders of Group H with 25 points. Throughout the 10 matches, the world champions lost only once, a 2-0 loss against Turkey.

Andorra 0-2 Turkey

Real Valladolid’s Enes Unal scored a first-half brace as Turkey coasted past Andorra 2-0. Turkey, who clinched a spot next summer after finishing Group H two points behind France, controlled possession and chances at goal.

Moldova 1-2 Iceland

Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the visitor’s second and winning goal in the second half, as Iceland walked away from Zimbru Stadium with a 2-1 win on Sunday.

With 19 points throughout 10 games, Rúnar Kristinsson and company felt five points short of qualifying directly for next year’s competition. That said, they’ll partake in the Euro 2020 playoffs, looking to squeeze their way in.

Elsewhere

Luxembourg 0-2 Portugal

Serbia 2-2 Ukraine

Kosovo 0-4 England

Bulgaria 1-0 Czech Republic