Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Atletico Rise, Barcelona Fall

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMay 20, 2014

Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Atletico Rise, Barcelona Fall

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    Welcome to the final edition of our European club power rankings, where we rank the top-20 continental teams according to form, results and performances.

    We've got a new No. 1 despite Juventus' drubbing of Cagliari and some significant risers, too. With La Liga, Serie A, the Russian Premier League, the DFB Pokal and the FA Cup final all being settled this weekend, there's been plenty to get stuck into.

    Read on and enjoy!

Honourable Mentions

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    Sporting Lisbon drop out of the top-20 having finished their season prior to the weekend.


    Tottenham Hotspur pulled it together a little and finished the campaign with a flourish, beating Aston Villa 4-0 at White Hart Lane.


    Wolfsburg just missed out on the Champions League spots in the Bundesliga, with Bayer Leverkusen pipping them to the post.


    Saint-Etienne finished the Ligue 1 season with four straight wins and secured Europa League football.


    Sevilla's league form has been a little iffy, but they did just win the Europa League!

20. Athletic Bilbao

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    Last Week: 18

    Differential: -2

    Athletic Bilbao were held by relegation-threatened Almeria on the final day of the season, and the result actually saved the latter from the drop.

    For the Basque club it didn't really matter: they're headed to the Champions League next season after securing their fate weeks ago.

19. Bayer Leverkusen

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    Last Week: 19

    Differential: None

    Bayer Leverkusen finished the season on 61 points, overcoming a slight blip midseason and pipping Wolfsburg to the Champions League qualifying spots.

    Some serious work needs to be done to the team over the summer, as Emre Can, Lars Bender, Andres Guardado and Co.'s futures will come under scrutiny.

18. Zenit St. Petersburg

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    Last Week: 17

    Differential: -1

    Zenit St. Petersburg won their final league game 4-1 against Kuban Krasnodar, with Hulk crowning a fine season by scoring their final goal of the campaign.

    They missed the title by one single point after last week's debacle: an impending 4-2 loss was turned into a 3-0 forfeit after Zenit fans invaded the pitch and punched the opposing captain.

17. Lille

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    Last Week: 20

    Differential: +3

    Lille finished the season with a 4-1 victory over Lorient, with Salomon Kalou stealing the show after scoring two goals and hitting the post twice.

    It was enough to see off one final challenge from Saint-Etienne and propel them into the UEFA Champions League qualifiers for next season.


16. CSKA Moscow

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    Last Week: 16

    Differential: None

    Congratulations to CSKA Moscow, Russian Premier League champions.

    They needed to beat rivals Lokomotiv Moscow on the final day of the season to ensure the title was theirs, and a Zoran Tosic strike in the first half was enough to seal the points.

15. Everton

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    Last Week: 15

    Differential: None

    Roberto Martinez guided Everton to a whopping 72 points in the Premier League this season, but it was still only good enough to finish fifth.

    The foundations are in place for another successful season next time out, but the Toffees will need to pray they don't fall victim to the post-Romelu Lukaku loan curse like West Bromwich Albion did.

14. Roma

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    Last Week: 12

    Differential: -2

    Roma lost their third straight game in Serie A this weekend, falling 1-0 to Genoa at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

    With second place sewed up—and with it UEFA Champions League football for next season—the Giallorossi have taken their foot off the gas somewhat this past month.


13. Monaco

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    Last Week: 13

    Differential: None

    Monaco finished their Ligue 1 campaign nine points off Paris Saint-Germain in first, yet nine points clear of Lille in third.

    Claudio Ranieri is due to be sacked as manager and Leonardo Jardim looks poised to replace him, as per Sky Sports, signalling the high standards required to manage the principality club.

    After all, they did win 79 points this year.

12. Benfica

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    Last Week: 14

    Differential: +2

    Benfica completed a domestic treble this weekend by beating Rio Ave in the Taca de Portugal final.

    Nicolas Gaitain scored early in the first half and the Eagles sat on their lead, defending doggedly as their opponents searched for an equaliser.

    Finishing runners-up in the Europa League final for the second year running was hard to take, but the fans are proud of their club's achievements this season.

11. Chelsea

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    Last Week: 10

    Differential: -1

    Chelsea endured a season without trophies, slipping to third in the Premier League table, falling late on in the UEFA Champions League and flunking the domestic cups.

    Jose Mourinho has insisted it's just one year in a multi-year plan to rebuild the Blues, who've been rocked by manager sackings on an annual basis for as long as one cares to remember.

10. Paris Saint-Germain

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    Last Week: 11

    Differential: +1

    Paris Saint-Germain ended their Ligue 1 season this weekend with a 4-0 demolition of Montpellier.

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his 26th league goal of the campaign, Adrien Rabiot notched a rare strike and Javier Pastore stole the show with his creativity.

9. Real Madrid

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    Last Week: 9

    Differential: None

    Real Madrid's title collapse in La Liga was nothing short of astonishing and one eye on the UEFA Champions League final or not, a three-game winless streak is unforgivable.

    Los Blancos finished the season with a 3-1 win over Espanyol at the Bernabeu but ended up three points off the pace and in third place in the table.

8. Barcelona

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    Last Week: 5

    Differential: -3

    Barcelona took the lead against Atletico Madrid on Saturday at the Camp Nou and all they had to do was hold on and the Liga title was theirs.

    Alexis Sanchez's thunderbolt into the top corner had Thibaut Courtois well beaten and the crowd on their feet, but Atletico struck back via a set piece and ruined the party.

    Gerardo Martino left the club hours later, and Luis Enrique has been appointed to reshuffle the pack.

7. Liverpool

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    Last Week: 7

    Differential: None

    Liverpool's players have barely had a chance to sulk over their Premier League title collapse as the large majority of their squad have left for international duties.

    The Reds' squad forms the nucleus of the England squad under Roy Hodgson, while Luis Suarez, Simon Mignolet and Co. are checking in with their respective sides, too.

6. Borussia Dortmund

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    Last Week: 4

    Differential: -2

    Borussia Dortmund ended the season trophyless after losing the DFB Pokal final to Bayern Munich on Saturday.

    Mats Hummels scored a goal that the assistant gave but the referee overturned, and it's produced a sour feeling to the defeat overall.

    Juergen Klopp's men must reload, retain their stars and try again next year—hopefully with Ilkay Gundogan on the pitch.


5. Arsenal

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    Last Week: 8

    Differential: +3

    The nine-year wait is over.

    Arsenal beat Hull City 3-2 in extra time on Saturday to crown themselves FA Cup winners. It was Arsene Wenger's fifth triumph in the competition alone and Arsenal's 11th in total.

    Aaron Ramsey—who else?—stabbed the winning goal into the back of the net to send the red end of Wembley into glee.

4. Atletico Madrid

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    Last Week: 6

    Differential: +2

    Atletico Madrid, dead on their feet and exhausted, threw themselves in front of shots time and time again until the final whistle blew at Camp Nou on Saturday.

    Diego Godin's second-half headed equaliser was enough to give Atletico the draw and with it the title; Diego Simeone and his men are still on cloud nine following the unlikely achievement.

    Congratulations to the Colchoneros.


3. Manchester City

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    Last Week: 3

    Differential: None

    Manchester City are still riding high after winning the Premier League title on the final day of the season.

    Manuel Pellegrini deserves great credit for developing a free-flowing formation that got the goalscoring best out of all of his players. Yaya Toure, Edin Dzeko and Co. really stepped up to the plate in the final six weeks.


2. Juventus

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    Last Week: 1

    Differental: -1

    Juventus beat Cagliari 3-0 in Turin this weekend, rounding off an incredible season in which they accrued a whopping 102 points.

    The Old Lady scored all three goals inside the first 40 minutes to see off the contest, then enjoyed the second 45' as the "day out" they deserved.

1. Bayern Munich

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    Last Week: 2

    Differential: +1

    Bayern Munich crowned off a successful season by lifting the DFB Pokal trophy this weekend.

    Pep Guardiola fielded a three-man defence in the final against Borussia Dortmund and it came up trumps, besting Jurgen Klopp's men by two goals to nil.

    There's a feeling of disappointment due to the UEFA Champions League debacle but boy have die Bayern pulled in the silverware.