Europe's Biggest Under-Achieving Clubs: Man United and AC Milan Both Lose Again
Welcome back to the latest edition of the list nobody wants to feature on: the biggest underachieving clubs in Europe.
We've expanded slightly and ranked each team this week to show just which side is falling further from expectations than the rest.
With a number of these big sides losing again in the past week, it looks a long way back to the top for some.
6. FC Porto
We kick off in Portugal's Liga Sagres, where FC Porto's imploding season continues.
Only a few weeks on from being involved in a close title fight, Porto have won just one of their last four league games, have replaced their manager and lost 1-0 to Sporting in a second-against-third battle on Sunday.
It leaves them 12 points off the top of the table. In fact, they are currently closer to fourth—and a Europa League spot—than second, an automatic Champions League place.
5. Olympique Marseille
Marseille's 1-1 draw at Reims wasn't the worst result, given their opponent's high league placing, but it did stretch their own run to just one win in five.
It also means Marseille have won just three from their last 11 in all competitions.
Sat in sixth place, Marseille are four points off a European spot for next season. Their recent form doesn't exactly indicate they will claw back that ground in a hurry.
Valencia are down in eighth place in La Liga, having endured a very stop-start season.
They have looked a mid-table side for much of the campaign—unable to gain any great momentum with their results and incapable of challenging the top sides.
A 1-0 defeat to Real Sociedad compounded that failing at the weekend, leaving Los Che with just one win in their last five league games. They are so far behind Sevilla in seventh that it looks like they're essentially playing in a mini league to finish between eighth and 10th this season.
3. Manchester United
Manchester United's season of woe continued at the weekend, convincingly trounced 3-0 at home by rivals Liverpool.
The Red Devils had improved results with two wins and three clean sheets of late, but mainly against relegation strugglers. Up against title challengers, they were never in the game and suffered a fifth home defeat of the season, leaving them 12 points off the Champions League places.
A big pick-up in form is needed over the rest of this season to avoid further embarrassment.
2. AC Milan
AC Milan had enjoyed a short period of improved form under Clarence Seedorf, but they were beaten 4-2 by Parma at the weekend after initially coming back from two goals down.
While they played almost the entire match with 10 men, fans were still unhappy with a third successive defeat.
The team now has a negative goal difference for the season, is sat in the bottom half of the table and has lost more matches than they've won this term.
To put their decline this season into perspective, league leaders Juventus have more than double Milan's points tally.
1. VfB Stuttgart
Stuttgart have put an end to their recent run of defeats, but a second successive draw at the weekend—away to Werder Bremen—leaves VfB in the relegation zone in the Bundesliga.
A torrid campaign has seen them win just five times, and though it is very tight down at the bottom, they are in real danger of going down.
Just two points separate HSV in 14th to Stuttgart in 17th, so they can still turn things around in time to save themselves from the drop.