Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Barca and Madrid Rise, Monaco Plummet
Welcome to the latest edition of our European club form rankings.
It was a topsy-turvy weekend in England, which has resulted in plenty of movement, we have a new No. 2 and some streaks are coming to an end.
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Saints made Hull City look like amateurs on Saturday, and Adam Lallana celebrated his England call-up by putting in an astonishing showing in front of the onlooking Roy Hodgson.
Villarreal are now one of the most exciting teams to watch in football and have the results to match their performances. They sit in fourth place in La Liga.
Lille's impressive winning streak came to an end this weekend, but they've moved ahead of Monaco in the Ligue 1 table.
Last Week: 20
There was no Liga Sagres action this weekend as the Taca de Portugal captivated the nation, and Porto advanced to the next round by beating Vitoria Guimaraes 2-0.
In midweek the Portuguese behemoths traveled to Russia and secured a credible 1-1 draw with Zenit St. Petersburg, and it now looks a dogfight between the two to qualify from Group G in the UEFA Champions League.
The Dragoes will likely need to beat Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon to go through.
Last Week: 18
Internazionale closed the gap on the top three to three points in beating Livorno 2-0 at San Siro.
Goalkeeper Francesco Bardi suffered the embarrassment of scoring an own goal against your parent club to open proceedings, and Yuto Nagatomo wrapped things up in stoppage time of the second half.
After a strong start Walter Mazzarri's troops dipped, but they're picking up form and you'd be mad to write them off this early.
Last Week: 17
Fiorentina grabbed themselves another Serie A victory this weekend, toppling Sampdoria 2-1 at home.
Giuseppe Rossi scored his 10th and 11th goals of the domestic campaign as he continues his miraculous return from long-term injury, with Juan Guillermo Cuadrado completing an astonishing 12 dribbles.
The Viola look all set to qualify for the latter stages of the UEFA Europa League and appear to be handling the balance effectively.
Last Week: 12
As usual, we go to B/R's Jonathan Johnson for the Monaco update:
The last few weeks have been difficult for Monaco.
After suffering their first competitive defeat of the season at Reims in the League Cup, they were beaten 2-0 by title rivals Lille. Now, they have been frustrated at home by Evian after Friday's 1-1 draw and cracks are starting to appear in the side.
The defence will be a particular concern for Claudio Ranieri; his side have shipped eight goals in their last six matches with Eric Abidal and Ricardo Carvalho beginning to show their age. In all fairness to Evian, they should have won Friday's match and Les Monegasques were guilty of presenting their Savoyard visitors with their best opportunities through sloppy mistakes.
If Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez and Joao Moutinho thought winning the Ligue 1 title was going to be easy after their good early form, this reality check should make them think again.
16. Bayer Leverkusen
Last Week: 16
Bayer Leverkusen bounced back from their shocking defeat to Braunschweig last week by putting five past Hamburg at home.
Son Heung-Min scored a hat-trick in 55 minutes to set the Werkself on their way to three points, and goals from Stefan Kiessling and Gonzalo Castro made the result safe.
In the Champions League they managed a 0-0 draw at the ferocious Donbass Arena in Ukraine, keeping them in second place after four games.
15. Manchester United
Last Week: 19
Manchester United beat Arsenal on Sunday to reaffirm their status as one of the top clubs in England.
There was a certifiable hiccup as David Moyes picked up the slack, but they're on the rise again after putting together an unbeaten streak of nine games.
The Red Devils look in pole position to qualify first from Group A in the UEFA Champions League despite drawing 0-0 at Anoeta midweek.
14. Tottenham Hotspur
Last Week: 13
There were many, many fans panicking after Tottenham's 1-0 loss to Newcastle United on Sunday, but sit back and take it for what it was: an incredibly unlucky 90 minutes.
Spurs have been flaccid in front of goal at times, no question, but after taking 31 shots and forcing Tim Krul into a league-high 14 saves, it's safe to say it was just "one of those days."
AVB's troops have already qualified for the latter stages of the Europa League, and Erik Lamela looks primed. Good times lie ahead.
Last Week: 15
Liverpool put in a tremendous performance against Fulham this weekend but showed us nothing we didn't already know about them.
They have the capability to smash lesser sides 4-0 at home—their goal difference will be outrageous by season's end—but it's the bigger games against the bigger sides when they must step up.
Are they title contenders or not? We're still waiting for their true colours to show.
12. Manchester City
Last Week: 11
Manchester City are arguably the most inconsistent side in world football right now, capable of switching from superlative to shocking in the blink of an eye.
Their loss at Sunderland was harsh; they peppered Vito Mannone's net with shots but failed to make the breakthrough, but how can you go from scoring seven against Norwich and five against CSKA Moscow to drawing a blank against the 19th-placed Black Cats?
It was City's fourth loss of the Premier League season.
Last Week: 14
Chelsea scavenged a draw at home to West Bromwich Albion courtesy of a questionable Ramires penalty.
The result was a big disappointment, but they did turn over Schalke 3-0 three days previous. Consistency issues reared their ugly heads once again as yet another title "favourite" dropped points, and results such as these only confirm what we were all thinking: It's going to be a crazy season.
Last Week: 10
Napoli picked up a vital 3-2 home win over Marseille in midweek to pile the pressure on Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
What followed was a daunting trip to the Juventus Stadium, and after losing 3-0 in a potentially pivotal game against Antonio Conte's troops, they slip to four points off the pace Roma have set.
The Partenopei host Parma next in what could turn out to be something of a banana skin. In any other week Rafa Benitez's troops would fall in our rankings, but luckily for them it was a weekend of dropped points.
Last Week: 9
Juventus had a pretty decent week in Turin, claiming a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid in the Champions League and beating Napoli 3-0 in Serie A.
They might be in a spot of bother in Europe, and they need to win their final two group games, but domestically they're chugging along nicely and have pulled themselves to within a point of Roma.
Beating the Partenopei—their nearest contender for the title—so convincingly is a major mental boost.
Last Week: 6
Roma's record-breaking start has begun to falter, and right now they look desperate for a win to keep themselves atop the Serie A table.
The 10th victory against Chievo looked laboured, sluggish, and their two draws since have screamed of exhaustion. They were overwhelmed by the pressure to keep winning and now seem overwhelmed by the pressure to win just one.
A 1-1 draw against Sassuolo—the worst team in Serie A—is not good.
7. Real Madrid
Last Week: 8
Real Madrid essentially sealed qualification from their UEFA Champions League group midweek by earning a point away to Juventus.
To then come back and destroy Real Sociedad 5-1 at the Bernabeu is even better, and there is a clear top three pulling away at the top of La Liga now Los Blancos are starting find their rhythm.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored yet another hat-trick during the win over Jagoba Arrasate's men.
6. Paris Saint-Germain
Last Week: 7
As usual, we go to B/R's Jonathan Johnson for the Paris Saint-Germain lowdown:
It was a great weekend for PSG as they move four points clear at the top of Ligue 1.
A solid 3-1 win over Nice thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's hat-trick moved them a provisional five points ahead, but Lille's goalless draw at Guingamp later on Saturday sliced one off of that margin. Monaco's disappointing 1-1 home draw with Evian on Friday provided the defending champions with the chance to pull clear and they didn't need a second invitation.
The recent 1-1 draw with Anderlecht in the Champions League was a minor setback, but otherwise Laurent Blanc will want to ensure his team maintain their current non-complacent form after the international break.
Comparing them at this point of the season to last year, they are eight points better off having won three more matches and lost none. PSG are now just eight games away from equalling FC Nantes' 1994-1995 record of 32 league matches unbeaten, the longest run of invincibility in Ligue 1 history.
5. Borussia Dortmund
Last Week: 3
Two losses in a row is tough to take for Borussia Dortmund fans, but perhaps even tougher is the news that Neven Subotic is out for the season following a tear to his ACL.
Defeat to Arsenal was tough to take considering the home side's dominance in the match, but in many ways it represented karma for the way in which BVB stole three points from the Emirates.
That Sokratis purchase in the summer is looking oh-so-smart now, isn't it?
Last Week: 5
Arsenal have enjoyed a mixed week, beating Borussia Dortmund in Dortmund then losing to Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The win in Germany was a magnificent smash-and-grab affair, but against the Red Devils they look flat, tired and perhaps even ill from a bug going around the Emirates.
It's their first league loss since catching fire, and their response is critical. They find themselves moving up in our rankings solely due to others around them having blips.
3. Atletico Madrid
Last Week: 2
Atletico Madrid failed to win in La Liga for only the second time this season, travelling to El Madrigal and drawing with the impressive Villarreal.
An own goal from Mario set the visitors up with a lead, but Ikechukwu Uche scored a late equaliser. It was a goal undoubtedly cheered by Barcelona fans, as it assisted in opening up a three-point gap at the top of the table.
Los Colchoneros will go again against Getafe after the international break.
Last Week: 4
Lionel Messi is facing up to two months out with a hamstring issue, but if the 4-1 win at the Estadio Benito Villamarin is anything to go by, Barcelona should be just fine.
After the Argentine hobbled off, Cesc Fabregas moved into the centre-forward's role and provided a game-winning impact, scoring two and assisting one in a Man of the Match performance.
With Neymar, Pedro and Alexis Sanchez, La Blaugrana are hardly short of options up front and should be able to ride out this Messi-less period. It's the reason they paid so much for Neymar, right?
1. Bayern Munich
Last Week: 1
Bayern Munich have been atop our rankings for a little while now and, as long as they continue to win, face little chance of being knocked off.
Their 37-game unbeaten streak in the Bundesliga, secured by beating Augsburg 3-0 at home this weekend, is a record for the league, surpassing Hamburg's 36-game streak from the 1980s.
They're four points clear at the top of the table and show no signs of slowing down.
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