Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Liverpool, Atletico Clear, Schalke Fall

Karl Matchett@@karlmatchettFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2014

Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Liverpool, Atletico Clear, Schalke Fall

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Welcome back to our latest roundup of the biggest sides in Europe, with our rankings once more seeing plenty of ups and downs as major leagues draw close to their endings.

    One or two sides were not in action this weekend, leaving room for others to sneak above them with positive results, while there were also several big—or surprising—results for top clubs in England.

    Here's our latest top 20, with two new entrants and one new leader!

Honourable Mentions and Dropping Out

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    Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

    Dropping Out

    Bundesliga side Schalke are out of our top 20 after suffering a 3-1 defeat to struggling Stuttgart. That's just two wins in five now for S04.

    Athletic Bilbao are also gone, suffering a 2-1 defeat at Barcelona, their second in four matches, though they still remain in fourth place.


    Honourable Mentions

    Inter Milan won 2-0 at Parma to make it just one defeat in 12 Serie A matches.

    Bayer Leverkusen's resurgence also continued with a second successive win in the Bundesliga at the weekend.

    In Portugal, meanwhile, FC Porto won their third match on the spin, though they are well behind the top two in third.

20. Sevilla

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Last week: NEW!

    Differential: NEW!

    Sevilla have found great form in 2014, sealing a rise into the top five of La Liga and pushing hard for a Champions League spot.

    Following a weekend 4-0 win over Granada, they are now three points off fourth with four matches left to play.

    They're one of the form sides in the country and play fourth-placed Athletic Bilbao in their next league outing.

19. Lille OSC

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    Michel Spingler

    Last week: 18

    Differential: -1

    Over in Ligue 1, Lille were held to a 0-0 draw against Marseille, extending their unbeaten league run but also meaning they've only won three times in the last seven in all competitions.

    LOSC remain in third place, looking fine for a Champions League play-off place despite recent setbacks, with a seven-point buffer to the next side.

18. Sporting Lisbon

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    Francisco Seco

    Last week: 20

    Differential: +2

    Sporting Lisbon won yet again this weekend, though only a penalty found a way past lowly opponents Belenenses.

    Adrien Silva netted the spot-kick in the 52nd minute, with the 1-0 win seen out despite Marcos Rojo's late red card.

    Sporting SP are second and will finish in that position, being too far ahead of third and behind first to catch or be caught.

17. Zenit St. Petersburg

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    Epsilon/Getty Images

    Last week: NEW!

    Differential: NEW!

    Zenit St. Petersburg have made a good start to life under Andre Villas-Boas, and a win at the weekend over Anzhi Makhachkala made it six wins on the spin of late.

    Danny and Rondon grabbed the goals in the 2-1 victory, keeping Zenit top of the Russian Premier League with four matches left.

    They lead the league by a single point over Lokomotiv Moscow.

16. Napoli

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    Dino Panato/Getty Images

    Last week: 14

    Differential: -2

    Another disappointing result on the road for Napoli saw them draw 1-1 with out-of-form Udinese, despite leading at the break.

    Jose Callejon's goal was cancelled out shortly after half-time, while Federico Fernandez was sent off just before the final whistle.

    Napoli's season is petering out somewhat, though they still need three more points to be assured of third place.

15. Arsenal

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    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Last week: 16

    Differential: +1

    Arsenal bounced back to winning ways with a routine 3-0 victory at Hull City.

    Aaron Ramsey's absence for the middle part of the season could have much to do with the Gunners' faltering form over that period, as he showed with his early runs and goal. Lukas Podolski also scored twice.

    The match was something of a warm-up for the FA Cup final between the same two sides.

14. Monaco

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    Lionel Cironneau

    Last week: 15

    Differential: +1

    AS Monaco picked up another three points to keep the pressure up on PSG, though they are running out of time to claim a surprise title in their first season back in the top flight.

    Dimitar Berbatov's early goal was enough to defeat Nice 1-0, a third straight Ligue 1 victory for the second-place side.

    They are now seven points behind PSG, though the leaders have a game in hand.

13. Benfica

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    Francisco Seco

    Last week: 13

    Differential: —

    Another game, another win.

    Benfica celebrated not just three points but also the Primeira Liga title after a 2-0 win over Olhanense on Sunday.

    Lima scored both goals in the decisive match, with Benfica now seven points clear with only two games to go—uncatchable by Sporting.

12. Chelsea

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Last week: 11

    Differential: -1

    Chelsea took an early lead over bottom club Sunderland but then went on to lose 2-1, a first-ever home league defeat for Jose Mourinho as manager of the club.

    The loss not only ended that record but also left Chelsea lagging behind Liverpool in the race for the title after two defeats in their last four matches.

    They are still second, but they are five points off the top with three games to play and travel to Liverpool in their next fixture.

11. Everton

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Last week: 12

    Differential: +1

    Everton inflicted more misery and damage on Manchester United with a 2-0 home win, which ultimately culminated in the sacking of United boss David Moyes, as per Sky News.

    For Everton, though, it renewed their Champions League charge, leaving them one point behind Arsenal and fifth in the table.

    Leighton Baines and Kevin Mirallas scored the goals for the Blues.

10. PSG

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Last week: 9

    Differential: -1

    PSG did not play this weekend, leaving them to drop in the rankings as others around them fared well.

    They remain seven points clear at the top of Ligue 1.

9. Roma

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    Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

    Last week: 10

    Differential: +1

    Radja Nainggolan scored the only goal of the game as AS Roma beat Fiorentina 1-0, all but killing off La Viola's fading Champions League hopes in the process.

    Roma's own Champions League places are assured for next season, meanwhile, now being 14 points clear of Napoli with only four matches left to play.

8. Manchester City

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Last week: 7

    Differential: -1

    Manchester City played one of their matches in hand on the two sides above them in midweek, but they could only manage a 2-2 draw against bottom team Sunderland.

    Even that needed a last-minute equaliser from Samir Nasri, courtesy of a goalkeeping blunder.

    A Monday night 3-1 win over West Brom was far more routine, but it leaves City six points off the top with just one game in hand now.

7. Borussia Dortmund

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    Frank Augstein

    Last week: 8

    Differential: +1

    BVB won out in a back-and-forth game over Mainz at the weekend, eventually triumphing 4-2 after the away side had twice pegged them back.

    Marco Reus continued his good recent form in front of goal by adding the last from the penalty spot, while Robert Lewandowski was also amongst the scorers once more as his Dortmund career draws to a close.

    Dortmund are six points clear of third-place Schalke now with three matches left to play.

6. Juventus

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    Massimo Pinca

    Last week: 6

    Differential: —

    Juventus had Paul Pogba to thank for a 1-0 win over Bologna this weekend, their third straight win in Serie A.

    The win leaves Juve eight points clear of AS Roma in the table with four games left to play.

    They have scored more goals and won more matches than every side in the Italian top flight this season.

5. Bayern Munich

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    Kerstin Joensson

    Last week: 5

    Differential: —

    Claudio Pizarro and Mario Mandzukic got Bayern Munich back to winning ways in the Bundesliga after three matches without a victory.

    The goals arrived late in the second half away to bottom club Eintracht Braunschweig, though with the title already wrapped up, results are really an irrelevance.

    Bayern are concentrating on the German Cup final and a semi-final in the Champions League.

4. Barcelona

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    Manu Fernandez

    Last week: 4

    Differential: —

    Barcelona needed a two-minute turnaround to come from behind and beat Athletic Bilbao, keeping their title hopes alive in La Liga.

    Despite falling behind just after the restart, Pedro and Leo Messi scored in quick succession to give Barca a 2-1 win that moved them up into second place in the table.

    With four matches left to play, they remain four points off top spot.

3. Real Madrid

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    Andres Kudacki

    Last week: 1

    Differential: -2

    A minor inconvenience for Real Madrid, whose match from this weekend against Real Valladolid has been rescheduled for early May.

    They drop two places as a result of not featuring this time around, and it means we'll have a new leader.

2. Atletico Madrid

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Last week: 3

    Differential: +1

    Atletico Madrid picked up a nervy 2-0 win over Elche on Friday evening, thanks to late goals from Miranda and Diego Costa.

    The win, however it arrived, keeps rivals Real and Barca at bay, with Atletico now just four games from winning the league title.

    They sit four points clear at the top after eight straight league wins.

1. Liverpool

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Last week: 2

    Differential: +1

    We do have a new No. 1, and it's finally Liverpool.

    The Reds have risen to the top of the Premier League on the back of a phenomenal 11 straight wins, the latest of which was a tough-fought 3-2 result at Norwich City.

    Luis Suarez scored his 30th of the season, and Raheem Sterling scored two more goals, leaving Liverpool five points clear at the top with just three matches left to play.