World Football

Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs as Liverpool Crash, Juventus Win Serie A

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2014

Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs as Liverpool Crash, Juventus Win Serie A

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    Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

    Welcome to the latest edition of our European power rankings, as we assess the form and results of the game's biggest sides heading into the final weeks of the season.

    There were celebrations in Turin as Juventus wrapped up another Serie A title, but shock points dropped at the top of both the Premier League and La Liga means those championships are still to be played for.

    Here is our new top 20, with one new addition and a new leader.

Dropping out and Honourable Mentions

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    Michael Probst/Associated Press

    Real Sociedad made it four without defeat after a 1-1 draw with Granada, but a win would have taken them level on points with Sevilla in fifth. They conceded a 90th minute equaliser.

    Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen's tremendous battle for fourth in the Bundesliga continued as both won their respective matches at the weekend. Leverkusen lead the way by a single point, heading into the last game week.

    Feyenoord are the only team to drop out of the 20 after a 1-1 draw with AZ meant they ended the Eredivisie second, four points behind Ajax.

20. Sporting Lisbon

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    Francisco Seco/Associated Press

    Last week: 18

    Differential: -2

    Sporting Lisbon will end the season in second place, a big improvement on recent campaigns.

    They recorded a 1-1 draw this weekend, away to Nacional, to bring an end to their winning run.

19. Lille

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    Michel Spingler/Associated Press

    Last week: 17

    Differential: -2

    LOSC were denied another three points by a late equaliser at Bastia this time out, with the match ending in a 1-1 draw after Salomon Kalou had scored earlier in the game.

    The point isn't quite enough to secure third place and a Champions League place, but Lille are almost over the line in that regard. They can no longer catch Monaco in second.

18. CSKA Moscow

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    Epsilon/Getty Images

    Last week: New!

    Differential: New!

    CSKA Moscow recorded an eighth straight league win in the Russian Premier at the weekend, keeping the pressure on the top two and maintaining a nine-point gap to fourth, with a top-three finish now assured.

    Alan Dzagoev, Zoran Tosic and Seydou Doumbia were all on the scoresheet in a 3-1 victory over Amkar Perm'.

    CSKA have two matches left and are just two points off top spot.

17. Athletic Bilbao

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Last week: 19

    Differential: +2

    Basque side Athletic Bilbao ran out convincing 3-0 victors over Rayo Vallecano on Friday night, with Miki San Jose, Oscar de Marcos and Ander Herrera all finding the net.

    That win, coupled with Sevilla's draw, means that a top-four finish is finally assured for Bilbao and they will play in the Champions League qualifiers next season.

    There are two games left in La Liga's season.

16. Everton

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Last week: 15

    Differential: -1

    Everton tasted defeat for the third time four league games, as their campaign ends with something of an anticlimax.

    The blues lost 3-2 to Manchester City at home, taking an early lead before falling two behind.

    Ross Barkley and, midway through the second half, Romelu Lukaku scored the goals, but they couldn't find an equaliser as the game wore on. Everton need to equal Spurs' result on the last day to guarantee a fifth-place finish.

15. Zenit

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    Epsilon/Getty Images

    Last week: 16

    Differential: +1

    Zenit didn't win, but their draw at second-place Lokomotiv Moscow stopped their rivals from gaining ground in the title race, a big result in the circumstances.

    Rondon gave Zenit the lead in the first half, with the Lokomotiv equaliser coming with 15 minutes to play.

    With just two matches left in the Russian Premier League, Zenit are one point clear at the top.

14. Benfica

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Last week: 14

    Differential: -

    Benfica drew 1-1 with Vitoria Setubal in the Portuguese top flight this weekend, but the result didn't much matter as the title has already been sewn up.

    Benfica are seven points clear going into the last game of the season, having lost just once in the league this campaign.

13. Monaco

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    Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press

    Last week: 12

    Differential: -1

    Monaco drop a place this week merely on account of results elsewhere; they don't play until Wednesday night, when they face Guingamp at home.

    They remain second in the table, eight points off top spot.

12. PSG

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    Michel Euler/Associated Press

    Last week: 11

    Differential: -1

    As with Monaco, PSG drop having not yet played this week.

    Their game is also on Wednesday, at home to Rennes. If they win in front of their home crowd, they will sew up their second consecutive Ligue 1 title.

11. Roma

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    Carmelo Imbesi/Associated Press

    Last week: 9

    Differential: -2

    AS Roma have had a stunning season, but they took a real beating at the weekend as they lost 4-1 to Serie A's bottom club Catania.

    Francesco Totti added another goal to his collection, but it was meaningless between Catania's second and third strikes.

    Roma end this season in second, though they still have two games to play.

10. Chelsea

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Last week: 10

    Differential: -

    Chelsea's momentary excitement at beating first-place Liverpool last week was ended rather quickly at home this time out, as they failed to break down a Norwich City team in the relegation zone and drew their final home game of the season 0-0.

    It leaves Chelsea third going into the final day of the season, still with hope of winning the league unless Manchester City win their midweek game in hand.

9. Arsenal

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    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    Last week: 13

    Differential: +4

    Arsenal's end of season run of form has secured them a top-four finish, something they were assured of when Everton lost to Manchester City on Saturday.

    On Sunday they did their own job too, beating West Bromwich Albion 1-0 thanks to an Olivier Giroud strike.

    They can technically finish third, but they'll need to win their last game, hope Chelsea lose, and overcome a 19-goal swing in the process. Fourth it is, then.

8. Liverpool

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Last week: 4

    Differential: -4

    Liverpool's loss to Chelsea a week ago was big, but needn't have been catastrophic—but a 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace on Monday night probably was.

    The Reds threw away a three-goal lead in the last 12 minutes of the match to leave Selhurst Park with a single point, after Joe Allen, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez had put them in cruise control after an hour.

    Cue some awful defensive lapses and the loss of two more points; never has going top of the league with one match to play looked so desperately disappointing on the faces of players and fans. Manchester City will overtake the Reds at the top with a midweek win or draw.

7. Borussia Dortmund

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    Frank Augstein/Associated Press

    Last week: 8

    Differential: +1

    Borussia Dortmund's excellent end to the season continues apace, as they swept aside Hoffenheim in the first half of their Bundesliga match.

    After initially falling behind, BVB went 3-1 up before the break and ran out 3-2 winners in the end.

    Kevin Grosskreutz, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lukasz Piszczek all scored within five minutes of each other. Dortmund have one game to play and will finish second in the table.

6. Manchester City

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    Clint Hughes/Associated Press

    Last week: 7

    Differential: +1

    Manchester City's game, of course, was that 3-2 win over Everton.

    They did well to recover from falling behind and had an Edin Dzeko brace to thank for their eventual victory, though the loss of Sergio Aguero to yet another injury is a big concern.

    City face Aston Villa in midweek where even a point will take them top of the table ahead of the final day.

5. Barcelona

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    Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    Last week: 3

    Differential: -2

    Barcelona blew their big chance to put pressure on Atletico Madrid on Saturday as they conceded a 90th minute equaliser at home to Getafe.

    Leo Messi and Alexis Sanchez had scored either side of Getafe's first equaliser, before Angel Lafita's second goal late on meant the game ended 2-2.

    It leaves Barca in second, three points behind Atletico, with two games to play.

4. Bayern Munich

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    Michael Sohn/Associated Press

    Last week: 5

    Differential: +1

    Bayern Munich of course wrapped up the Bundesliga title some time ago, but picked up a 28th win of the season in 33 league matches with a 4-1 win at the weekend.

    They faced relegation-threatened Hamburg, where Mario Gotze (twice), Thomas Muller and Claudio Pizarro all found the net.

    Jerome Boateng was sent off late.

3. Atletico Madrid

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    Alberto Saiz/Associated Press

    Last week: 1

    Differential: -2

    Is going top of our rankings a curse? Following Liverpool's slip-up after topping the standings two weeks ago, last week's top club Atletico Madrid also lost this past weekend.

    Unbeaten in the league since late February, Atleti lost 2-0 at Levante on Sunday, missing the chance to go six points clear of Barcelona in the process.

    It's the first time Atleti have conceded two in a La Liga game since the Madrid derby at the start of March. They remain top and clear by three points.

2. Real Madrid

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    Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

    Last week: 2

    Differential: -

    Real Madrid couldn't pick up a victory either as all three top clubs in Spain dropped points, but they did at least salvage a point at home with an outrageous Cristiano Ronaldo goal in stoppage time.

    The forward backheeled a volley into the net in the last minute to rescue a 2-2 draw, meaning they can go second in the table, two points off top spot, if they win their game in hand this week.

    Real Madrid play Real Valladolid on Wednesday night.

1. Juventus

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    Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

    Last week: 6

    Differential: +5

    Another of Europe's big leagues wrapped up this week, as AS Roma's defeat meant Juventus were crowned Serie A champions.

    To do the job in style, they then went and beat Atalanta 1-0 on Monday evening to record a fifth league win in a row, and a 12th in 13 games.

    Simone Padoin scored the only goal of the game as Juve clinched their third successive title.

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