Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Consistent Chelsea, Dortmund Rise
Welcome to the latest edition of our top 20 European club rankings!
Improved form from several Premier League sides see them rise, while Borussia Dortmund have been on a mini-rampage and Roberto Soldado has scored another penalty—standard.
Check to see where your club grades out and drop your comments below if you disagree!
All quotes were obtained privately.
We're getting to the stage now where it's impossible to ignore the emergence of Mauricio Pochettino's Saints, who sat third in the Premier League table on Saturday night.
Three wins in a row for Lille, but still no place in our top 20. Why? The sheer quality of the competition.
A loss to Porto drops them out of our top 20, but their form over the past several weeks warrants an honourable mention.
Fenerbahce have quietly put together a near-perfect season in the Super Lig, with many across Europe writing them off after dismal showings against Arsenal early on.
20. Manchester United
Last Week: N/R
Manchester United have returned to our top 20 after regaining a sliver of form over the past two weeks.
The draw at home to Southampton was tough to take, but back-to-back wins against Real Sociedad and Stoke City have them heading in the right direction.
Neither victory was even remotely comfortable, but if you're David Moyes, points are all that matter right now.
Last Week: 18
It's never dull watching Internazionale, as wherever they go, goals and red cards follow.
They dispatched Verona at San Siro this weekend 4-2 and both sides ended the game with 10 men, with the win keeping them within touching distance of the top three teams in Serie A.
Walter Mazzarri's side are shaping up like a dark horse for a late run at the Scudetto right now, and although they drop yet again in our rankings, it's largely due to significant results around them occurring.
Last Week: 19
Porto claimed a priceless victory over Sporting at the weekend and in the process opened up a five-point gap at the top of the Liga Sagres.
Paulo Fonseca outwitted Leonardo Jardim, won the individual battles across the midfield and allowed his full-backs to wreak havoc on the overlap.
The Dragoes look far and away the strongest and most consistent side in Portugal right now.
Last Week: 17
Fiorentina followed up their epic win over Juventus last weekend with two more solid, impressive results.
First the Viola dispatched Paundurii 3-0 thanks to Ryder Matos' continued UEFA Europa League brilliance, then travelled to Verona to overcome the stern, physical challenge of Chievo.
Vincenzo Montella has a multitude of players who can step up when needed the most; last week was Giuseppe Rossi, this week it was Juan Guillermo Cuadrado.
16. Manchester City
Last Week: 13
One step forward, two steps back.
That's the theme of Manchester City's season so far, who are yet to string together any form of consistency—domestically or in Europe—this year.
An impressive, gutsy win in Moscow on a pitch painted green was followed up by a disappointing 2-1 loss at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
When City are the better team, there's no guarantee they'll win the game. That's a problem for Manuel Pellegrini.
15. Tottenham Hotspur
Last Week: 15
Tottenham Hotspur recorded their fourth 1-0 Premier League victory this weekend and the third of its type sealed by a Roberto Soldado penalty.
It's not clicking in the middle just yet, but it's not an issue as Andre Villas-Boas' men are finding ways to win games, collect points and stay relevant.
Spurs face their beaten opponents this Sunday, Hull City, again Wednesday in the Capital One Cup.
Last Week: 14
A thrilling 4-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion put to bed any lingering memories of the dropped points at Newcastle United last week, and Luis Suarez's hat-trick was a sight to behold.
Each and every goal was scintillating, and it's victories such as these that allow the fans to believe they can break into the top four this season.
With Suarez and Daniel Sturridge in the side, the Reds can outscore anyone; the three-man defence is working well and Philippe Coutinho hasn't even returned yet.
Last Week: 16
It's flown under the radar a little, but Chelsea have now won five games in a row and have moved into second place in the Premier League table.
Their home victory over Manchester City this weekend was a hard-fought, tight encounter as you'd expect, but it reminded us all yet again that you'd be mad to bet against Jose Mourinho at home.
Midweek they crushed Schalke 04 on the counterattack in Gelsenkirchen and, after a scary start in losing to Basel, look good value to qualify to the Champions League knockout phase with ease.
12. Bayer Leverkusen
Last Week: 12
A nine-point gap has opened up at the top of the Bundesliga table to separate Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen from everyone else.
The Werkself are consistently churning out positive results to keep pace with Germany's duopoly, with the latest being a 2-1 victory over Augsburg.
Midweek they crushed Shakhtar Donetsk 4-0 to renew hope of qualifying first from their UEFA Champions League group.
Last Week: 11
We go to B/R's Jonathan Johnson for the lowdown on Monaco:
Monaco recovered the two-point gap that PSG established last week by seeing off Lyon 2-1.
Following last week's 2-2 draw with Sochaux, Claudio Ranieri's side came in for criticism. Radamel Falcao in particular was targeted in the wake of the draw, but the Colombian issued the perfect riposte by ending a three-match mini drought to score Les Monegasques' second.
Monaco travel to third-placed Lille this coming weekend and are faced with a defence that has kept six consecutive clean sheets (eight in total).
The trip to the Stade Pierre Mauroy will not be easy, but Ranieri and his men know that they cannot afford to slip up and allow PSG to regain the advantage in the title race.
Last Week: 10
Napoli are back on track after a routine victory over Torino this weekend, but despite the comfortable nature of the win, it's fair to say Il Toro were...miserable at best in their showing.
Whenever Gonzalo Higuain is fit and playing, the Partenopei are a threat, and his two penalties at the San Paolo Stadium this weekend were picture perfect—even if one was extremely questionable in its awarding.
Rafa Benitez's troops tread water for now.
Last Week: 8
Juventus have been struggling to balance their side all season, and despite pulling in two consecutive Scudettos and standing favourites for a third, Antonio Conte is seemingly under pressure in his job.
It prompted a change in formation against Real Madrid, and despite going 4-3-3 they still lost 2-1 thanks (in part) to a Giorgio Chiellini red card.
Returning to Italy things looked glum, but a solid 2-0 home victory of Genoa went a long way toward re-establishing the optimism in Turin.
8. Real Madrid
Last Week: 9
Real Madrid are one of the most wildly inconsistent teams at the top right now, flipping between stunning and worrying on a weekly basis.
They did well to overcome a stubborn Juventus side in the UEFA Champions League, but fell to a 2-1 defeat in the Clasico to Barcelona four days later.
Losing the derby is unforgivable despite the Blaugrana's wonderful form, and questions remain over how Gareth Bale is going to slot seamlessly into this side.
Madrid move above Juve due to their win at the Bernabeu and significantly tougher fixture at the weekend.
7. Paris Saint-Germain
Last Week: 7
As always, we go to B/R's Jonathan Johnson with the Paris Saint-Germain wrap:
PSG remain top of Ligue 1 by virtue of their better goal difference than Monaco.
After an excellent week in the Champions League, thrashing Belgian champions Anderlecht 5-0, Laurent Blanc's side were unable to beat Saint-Etienne for what would have been a fifth consecutive Ligue 1 victory.
True to history, PSG struggled at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard and found themselves 2-0 down at one point. The defending champions showed impressive character to fight back to draw 2-2 and salvage a valuable point, though, and individual errors from Marquinhos and Salvatore Sirigu will be overlooked given their otherwise impressive form this season.
Last Week: 6
The Roma machine keeps on rolling, this time picking up a 1-0 win at the Stadio Friuli despite Maicon's early red card.
Supersub Michael Bradley netted the only goal of the game to keep Rudi Garcia's win streak alive, and the Giallorossi have now won each and every one of their first nine games, conceding just one goal in the process.
Napoli's victory over Torino meant the gap at the top of Serie A remains at five points.
Last Week: 4
Arsenal succumbed to a shock loss at home to Borussia Dortmund midweek despite dominating long periods of the game, as they were undone by sharp, brutal counterattacks and high pressing.
It was a mini-fall from grace for Arsene Wenger's men, who've had everything go their way of late but who recovered quickly by dispatching Crystal Palace at the weekend despite picking up key injuries and a red card.
They remain top of the Premier League, but may have to settle for second in their UEFA Champions League group.
4. Borussia Dortmund
Last Week: 5
Borussia Dortmund have had themselves one hell of a week.
First they travel to London and squeeze out a vital away win against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, then return to Germany to beat fierce rivals Schalke in the Revierderby.
A 3-1 victory at the Veltins-Arena is a big statement, and with Henrikh Mkihtaryan rolling through the gears, Juergen Klopp looks to have a genuine title threat emerging.
Last Week: 3
After winning every game in sight early on, Gerardo Martino's Barcelona succumbed to two consecutive draws against Osasuna and AC Milan.
That sparked concerns as the club approach the Clasico derby at home to Real Madrid, but Neymar and Alexis Sanchez scored two delightful finishes before Jese claimed a consolation strike.
They're still top of La Liga (by a point), staving off the consistent challenge of Atletico Madrid.
2. Atletico Madrid
Last Week: 2
Atletico Madrid have put their dismal loss to Espanyol firmly behind them, recording consecutive, convincing victories against Real Betis and Austria Wien.
It was the Beticos victory that reaffirmed their title credentials, slaughtering a strong side 5-0 and awarding a debut to promising youngster Oliver Torres.
Diego Simeone appears to be getting goals from every area of his team, and that's vital for a smaller side challenging on multiple fronts.
1. Bayern Munich
Last Week: 1
It was business as usual for Bayern Munich this week, turning out a home win against Hertha Berlin despite losing Toni Kroos and Arjen Robben in the first half to injury.
The fact that Pep Guardiola simply sent on Mario Goetze and Mario Mandzukic instead is sickening, as the reality of their squad depth continues to hammer home week after week.
In the UEFA Champions League, Bayern destroyed Viktoria Plzen with a full-back in central defence.