Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Dortmund Fall, Real Madrid Rise
Welcome to the latest edition of our European club power rankings!
We've assessed the form of each top club on the continent and provided a cumulative ranking based on form, performances, health and league position.
On a weekend where the goals were unrelenting, who's moved up and down?
*All quotes obtained privately
Fener are currently bossing the Turkish Super Lig, but their humiliation at the hands of Arsenal earlier this season means we're tentative in hyping them right now.
Have dropped out of our rankings for the first time due to a blip in form.
Just missed out on our top 20 because of the presence of another Portuguese side.
Can consider themselves unlucky to lose to Arsenal and must implore Artur Boruc not to make outrageous errors.
Last Week: N/A
Lille belatedly enter our rankings after securing their ninth win of the season at home to Toulouse.
Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco are the headline sides in Ligue 1, but this LOSC defensive line has conceded just four goals so far.
We talk about the stingy quality of Southampton, Roma and Tottenham Hotspur, but Lille are the current kings of Europe in that regard.
Last Week: N/R
Porto slipped up again this weekend, paving the way for a different Portuguese club to enter our rankings.
In the last two weeks, Benfica have beaten both Sporting and Braga—two prime contenders in the Liga Sagres—and sit just a point behind the Dragoes in the table.
The Benfiquistas will likely need to grab four points from their final two UEFA Champions League games to qualify for the knockout round.
Last Week: 19
Internazionale have tended to enjoy their trips to Bologna lately, but were held to a 1-1 draw this weekend as they squandered the chance to draw level on points with Napoli.
Jonathan, a reformed presence at right-wing-back, scored the equaliser in the second half to give Walter Mazzarri's team a share of the spoils.
The Nerazzurri face Sampdoria at home next.
17. Tottenham Hotspur
Last Week: 14
Tottenham Hotspur fell to a shocking, embarrassing 6-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City on Sunday, sparking wild question marks over a disappointing campaign to date.
There is no shame in losing at the Etihad Stadium, but a team fancied to break into the top four conceding six goals inside 90 minutes?
It makes Manchester United's 4-1 loss look a good result.
Last Week: 17
As always, we go to B/R's Ligue 1 expert Jonathan Johnson for the AS Monaco update:
Monaco's recent disappointing form was exacerbated during Sunday's narrow 1-0 away win against Nantes.
Claudio Ranieri's side were underwhelming despite securing a valuable victory against their fifth-placed hosts, and a number of problems have still not been solved.
The most pressing involves Radamel Falcao, who was substituted during the match; replaced with 17-year-old Anthony Martial who looked far more effective than the Colombian. Right now, El Tigre leaving Les Monegasques in January is a very real possibility with his statistical form belying what is really happening on the pitch.
His reaction to being substituted and Ranieri's subsequent treatment of the South American star hints at problems in the principality. However, December is a relatively straightforward month for ASM and it is difficult to see them slipping up too much, if at all, against a host of sides dwelling in the bottom half of the table.
15. Manchester United
Last Week: 15
At this point, we ask for some consistency from Manchester United.
The cloak of invincibility, installed by Sir Alex Ferguson, has well and truly disappeared, and the Red Devils midfield is yet to put in a consistent, excellent 90-minute performance against a good side this season.
It's usually United scoring in the last minute, not their opponents, but they somehow surrendered two points to Cardiff City courtesy of a Kim Bo-Kyung header. Yes, you read that correctly.
Last Week: 13
Liverpool and Everton played out a remarkably thrilling 3-3 draw in the Merseyside derby—a welcome surprise for a fixture that is usually extremely underwhelming.
Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge continued their goalscoring form, Jon Flanagan put in a sterling performance at left-back, and Philippe Coutinho bagged his first of the campaign.
The only player in red to suffer on the pitch? Joe Allen. The Welshman missed an absolute sitter.
13. Bayer Leverkusen
Last Week: 16
With Borussia Dortmund's loss, Bayer Leverkusen have moved into second place and opened up a three-point advantage over Juergen Klopp's side.
The Werkself have hardly been the picture of consistency over the course of the season so far, but have shown enough to win 10 games and score a bucket-load of goals.
Their latest win, at Hertha Berlin, saw Stefan Kiessling score his 10th of the year, but Sidney Sam was lost to injury.
Last Week: 10
Napoli sustained a second consecutive loss in falling to Parma 1-0 at home this weekend, allowing Juventus to pull six points ahead of them at the top of Serie A.
The Gialloblu are tricky customers, and with Jonathan Biabiany and Antonio Cassano in the side, they can harm anyone, but this goes down as a shock defeat at the Stadio San Paolo.
Napoli must put the disappointment behind them and focus on qualifying for the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League—at the expense of Arsenal or Borussia Dortmund.
Last Week: 11
Close to one year ago to the day, Chelsea traveled to the Boleyn Ground and lost in rather unspectacular fashion.
They returned this weekend on the back of a loss to Newcastle United and a hard-fought draw against West Bromwich Albion, and some fans could have been forgiven for fearing another abject result—regardless of West Ham's horrendous home form.
Jose Mourinho's men won 3-0, and it's these types of results that make people believe they are good value for the title while under his tutelage.
10. Manchester City
Last Week: 12
Manchester City, on home turf, are the best side in the Premier League by a significant margin.
Why, then, do they capitulate away from the Etihad Stadium? They've lost four games on the road in the league already—hardly title-winning form—and have forfeited three-point hauls to the likes of Sunderland and Aston Villa despite dominating them for long periods.
We ask for consistency from Manchester United; the same applies to their neighbours.
Last Week: 7
On Monday night, Daniele De Rossi told Sky Italia, via Goal.com, that Roma are still having a good season despite drawing three consecutive games.
The Giallorossi won their first 10 but have failed to garner a three-point haul since, and while general football fans are sounding the alarm bells, the Roma faithful aren't too worried.
It was a great start, and that's turned into a solid season. There was no Scudetto expectation in preseason, and that mantra remains.
8. Borussia Dortmund
Last Week: 5
It's difficult to work out how to gauge Borussia Dortmund. Despite playing with a shoe-string defensive line of Erik Durm, Kevin Grosskreutz and Arne Friedrich, they performed relatively well.
Three goals conceded, in Der Klassiker, however, is never good news, and with Mats Hummels (two months) and Neven Subotic (season) out, consistent questions will be raised.
The best part? Sokratis looks excellent.
Last Week: 9
Juventus finally appear to be up and running, and the most positive thing to come from their 2-0 win at Livorno was the continued form of Fernando Llorente.
The Spaniard now has three goals in five games, his latest a stunning volley from a Paul Pogba cross, and his emergence has helped bring balance to an XI in transition.
There are some vitally important games in the UEFA Champions League coming up; to miss out on the latter stages would be nothing short of disastrous.
6. Real Madrid
Last Week: 7
Real Madrid picked up what was arguably their first convincing away victory of the season on Saturday, crushing Almeria 5-0.
Isco was the star of the show and stepped into a pivotal role after Cristiano Ronaldo went down, scoring a stunning goal from outside the box to crown an easy three-point haul.
Los Blancos are moving onward and upward.
5. Paris Saint-Germain
Last Week: 6
As always, we go to B/R's Ligue 1 expert Jonathan Johnson for the Paris-Saint Germain update:
Despite not being at their best, PSG won 3-0 against a Stade de Reims side who are tough to beat at the Stade Auguste Delaune.
The victory extends an impressive unbeaten run to 34 matches across all competitions and, in this sort of form, Laurent Blanc's side are showing no signs that it will finish anytime soon.
Chasing the all-time Ligue 1 unbeaten record of 32 matches set by FC Nantes in the 1994-1995 season, PSG are six games away from equalling that at present. Bettering that record is well within their reach and Blanc has already been offered an improved contract, despite only having been at the club for four months.
Last Week: 4
Arsenal did well to rise above the challenge of Southampton on Saturday, but could only do so with the help of some horrendous individual errors.
Jose Fonte was caught pulling Per Mertesacker's shirt to give away a penalty, and Artur Boruc's comical attempt at a Cruyff turn was pounced upon by Olivier Giroud.
There was some lovely skill on show preceding the goal, but it's another game where Mesut Ozil and Co. didn't quite click.
3. Atletico Madrid
Last Week: 3
Atletico Madrid tore Getafe apart to the tune of a 7-0 scoreline at the weekend, once again affirming their incredible strength and talent.
They were able to rest Diego Costa ahead of a critical UEFA Champions League tie and still notch multiple times, with the likes of Raul Garcia chipping in once again and Oliver Torres grabbing another cameo.
To be able to rotate and have Costa fresh for the away trip to Zenit St. Petersburg is a luxury they simply didn't have last season.
Last Week: 2
Barcelona strolled to victory against Granada on Saturday, converting two penalties in the first half to set the tone.
Neymar played as a centre-forward in Barca's first game without Lionel Messi for a long stretch, but it was Andres Iniesta and Alexis Sanchez who impressed most once again.
Two away trips, to Ajax and Athletic Club, beckon.
1. Bayern Munich
Last Week: 1
Bayern Munich sweep top spot in our rankings once again after a commanding 3-0 victory over Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park.
It should be noted, in the wake of the win, that BVB played with a second-string defence, but die Bayern's attack looked irresistible once Mario Goetze entered the fray.
The win puts seven points between the two clubs in the Bundesliga table.