Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Liverpool Up, Chelsea and Dortmund Down

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2014

Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Liverpool Up, Chelsea and Dortmund Down

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Welcome to our latest European clubs power rankings, where we assess the form and impact of the top sides around the game.

    We've had a busy weekend of action around all the major domestic leagues, with some of the top clubs coming up against each other—and of course more of the same clashes to come in the next week or so. It has all made for plenty of movement within our rankings this week, as well as one new entrant.

    Here's how the big names are aligned this week!

Honourable Mentions

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    Michel Spingler/Associated Press

    Lille could only manage a 0-0 home draw to Nantes and miss out on the chance to enter our top 20.

    Fenerbahce won 2-1 at home to Kayseri E. and are now five points clear in the Turkish top flight.

    Ajax suffered a second successive draw but remain top of the Eredivisie.

20. Tottenham Hotspur

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Last week: 18

    Movement: -2

    Not too many of our top 20 suffered defeat this week, so Spurs take the hit by dropping after their North London derby loss against Arsenal.

    They played well enough to dominate and create chances but couldn't find a way to score and lost 1-0.

    It now looks extremely unlikely that they will manage a top-four finish, being seven points off the pace.

19. Sporting

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    Francisco Seco/Associated Press

    Last week: NEW!

    Movement: NEW!

    Sporting took control of the race for second place in the Liga Sagres at the weekend when they beat FC Porto 1-0.

    They are still some way off top spot but have opened up a five-point gap between themselves and Porto in third. Islam Slimani scored the all-important goal for them in that game.

18. Everton

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Last week: 17

    Movement: -1

    With almost all the top sides winning this weekend, quality of opposition and convincing nature of victories has to come into play.

    That means that Everton, despite a 2-1 win, drop a place after needing a scuffed last-minute winner to beat relegation-threatened Cardiff City at home.

    Seamus Coleman scored the vital goal for his side.

17. Athletic Bilbao

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Last week: 16

    Movement: -1

    Bilbao played at Villarreal on Monday night in what was something of a battle for fourth place and the final Champions League spot in Spain.

    The Basque side managed a 1-1 draw, which sees them drop in the rankings but hold on to their fourth place nonetheless. They now have a six-point lead over Real Sociedad, with Villarreal another point back.

    Champions League football beckons next season.


16. Schalke

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    Frank Augstein/Associated Press

    Last week: 20

    Movement: +4

    Schalke continued their movement up the Bundesliga and up our rankings with another victory at the weekend.

    Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored twice to give his side a 2-1 win at Augsburg which, coupled with yet another defeat for Bayer Leverkusen, sees Schalke move into the top three for the first time.

    That automatic Champions League spot could be so important to them if they can maintain position until the end of the season.

15. Benfica

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    Last week: 14

    Movement: -1

    Benfica won again in the Liga Sagres and continue their inevitable march toward title glory.

    This time they picked up a 4-2 win at Nacional, with centre-back Ezequiel Garay scoring twice.

    A seven-point lead at the top of the league should be enough to comfortably see them home, given their excellent recent form in all competitions.

14. Napoli

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    Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

    Last week: 13

    Movement: -1

    Napoli left it very late to record a 1-0 win, but Gonzalo Higuain scored in the last minute against Torino to keep up his side's chances of a top-two finish.

    It's a second victory in a row for Napoli, who look assured of at least a Champions League spot for next term but will still be hopeful of an automatic spot which comes with second place in this season's Serie A.

13. Monaco

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    Laurent Cipriani/Associated Press

    Last week: 15

    Movement: +2

    Monaco triumphed over a resurgent Lyon side at the weekend, twice leading by two goals before settling for a 3-2 win.

    James Rodriguez and Dimitar Berbatov were both on the scoresheet, with the win enough to keep Monaco well clear of third-placed Lille, who could only manage a draw.

    The title might be beyond them this season, but at least they are keeping the possibility open.

12. Roma

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    Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press

    Last week: 12

    Movement: None

    AS Roma got back to winning ways after two matches without victory as they beat Udinese 3-2 on Monday night.

    Francesco Totti found the net again, with Mattia Destro and Vasilis Torosidis also on the scoresheet. Roma are three points clear in second, which they'll desperately want to hold on to to secure automatic Champions League football next term.

11. Borussia Dortmund

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    Frank Augstein/Associated Press

    Last week: 9

    Movement: -2

    Only two teams from last week's top 10 failed to win this weekend and it has cost them both a drop in the rankings.

    Borussia Dortmund were one of them and fall out of the top 10 as a result, as they went down 2-1 at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach.

    BVB were two goals down at the break, with Milos Jojic's fierce strike in the final quarter of an hour unable to stimulate the team into finding an equaliser. The side remains second in the Bundesliga.

10. Arsenal

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Last week: 11

    Movement: +1

    Arsenal perhaps got away with it a little against Tottenham, but they still picked up yet another victory in the North London derby, something they seem to manage with impressive regularity.

    Tomas Rosicky scored what turned out to be the only goal of the game after less than 90 seconds, giving his team what was a somewhat unmerited, but no less welcome, three points in the Premier League.

    It keeps Arsenal in third for now, four points off the top.

9. Atletico Madrid

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Last week: 8

    Movement: -1

    Atletico Madrid saw their main man Diego Costa at it again at the weekend, scoring the only goal of the game to record a 1-0 win at home to Espanyol.

    It wasn't Atleti's best performance by any stretch of the imagination, but they got the job done and kept themselves in the title hunt with another three points.

    They remain in second place in La Liga, three points off top spot with 10 games to play.

8. Liverpool

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Last week: 10

    Movement: +2

    Having had a week off last weekend, Liverpool were back in action against their great rivals Manchester United—and left Old Trafford with a 3-0 win and another three points.

    Steven Gerrard scored twice from the penalty spot and missed a third, while Luis Suarez also hit the target again. That result puts the Reds within four points of top spot, with a game in hand—real contenders for the league title again.

7. Manchester City

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    Paul Thomas/Getty Images

    Last week: 7

    Movement: None

    Manchester City move neither up nor down; they got themselves into difficulties at the weekend after Vincent Kompany was sent off early on but saw the game out with a 2-0 win at Hull City.

    The three points keep City in fourth place in the Premier League after others also won, but their three matches in hand mean they could actually rise up to top spot if they continue to show this kind of resilience and consistency and win them all.

    It's a four-way race for the title this season, even at this late stage.

6. PSG

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    Thibault Camus/Associated Press

    Last week: 6

    Movement: None

    No movement for PSG either as they romp toward a second Ligue 1 title in successive seasons.

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the hero once more as he scored twice at home to St. Etienne, giving his side a 2-0 victory.

    PSG are eight points clear at the top.

5. Barcelona

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    Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    Last week: 5

    Movement: None

    No movement for Barcelona either but only because the top four places are occupied by league leaders in four different countries.

    Their performance at home to Osasuna arguably warranted it, though, as they found top gear to record a 7-0 win and play some of their best football in recent months.

    Andres Iniesta gave a world-class performance and Pedro was outstanding, too, but the night belonged to Leo Messi who scored a hat-trick to become the club's all-time top goalscorer in all competitions.

4. Chelsea

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    Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    Last week: 2

    Movement: -2

    Chelsea lost and Chelsea drop.

    Jose Mourinho was sent to the stands, Willian was shown a rather harsh second yellow and, consequently, a red, and Ramires was rightly shown a straight red for a shocking tackle as Chelsea ended with nine men and no manager.

    They also lost to a late goal from Fabian Delph against Aston Villa, meaning their lead at the top of the table was cut, and they could now be overhauled by one club and sit only a point ahead of two others, a far cry from the 10-point gap they were hoping might be theirs at full-time on Saturday.

3. Juventus

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    Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

    Last week: 4

    Movement: +1

    Juventus kept up their fantastic win streak in Serie A with a late, late 1-0 victory over Genoa.

    Andrea Pirlo was the hero, curling in an 89th-minute free-kick to take the three points and keep Juve's lead at 14 points.

    They are racing toward the title at pace.

2. Real Madrid

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    Daniel Tejedor/Associated Press

    Last week: 3

    Movement: +1

    Real Madrid rise one place, too, with Cristiano Ronaldo once again getting the match-winning goal as they beat Malaga 1-0 on Saturday.

    The capital club sit top of La Liga by just three points, with El Clasico to come on Sunday night.

1. Bayern Munich

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    Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

    Last week: 1

    Movement: None

    Bayern Munich picked up another victory as they won 2-1 at home to Bayer Leverkusen this time out.

    They remain unbeaten in the league this season and have now won 17 Bundesliga matches straight, giving them a 23-point cushion at the top of the table. Having dropped just four points so far this season, it could be yet another record-breaking campaign.

    Mario Mandzukic and Bastian Schweinsteiger scored the goals this time.