European Club Rankings After October 20-23 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterOctober 24, 2017

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21:  Nicolas Otamendi of Manchester City celebrates as he scores the 2nd Manchester City goal with a header during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Burnley at Etihad Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Welcome to the latest edition of our European club rankings. This week takes into account the turbulent action on show in the Champions League plus the weekend's domestic games, resulting in some big moves near the top and a brand-new No. 1.

The rankings are a season-long measurement of clubs. Just like last term, they track teams throughout 2017/18, taking into account results from all competitions.

Sides that have lost the fewest games naturally rank higher—though the strength of opposition met in a loss is consideredand both Champions League form and presence are used as tiebreakers for those with similar records. Those who gather big wins against strong opposition get a natural boost. 


 20. Monaco (-4)

Monaco might be ticking along quite nicely in Ligue 1, and this weekend closed the gap to Paris Saint-Germain to four points, but what on earth is going on in their European campaign? Just one point from three matches is an awful return.

               

19. Lyon (New!)

Lyon might be slightly behind Monaco in the Ligue 1 table, but they haven't contrived to ruin their own European campaign and look a good bet to emerge from a strong Europa League group. They enter the rankings at the expense of Sevilla, who've been tonked twice in the space of a week.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Mesut Ozil of Arsenal celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-2 during the Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on October 22, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Ge
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

                 

18. Arsenal (New!)

A week in the life of Arsenal can be dramatic, and they seem to be either amazing or tragic. This past one was the former, as Olivier Giroud delivered a victory over Red Star in Belgrade with a superb goal, and then the team ran riot against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.

               

17. AS Roma (+3)

Roma will have felt hard done by in only accruing a point from their trip to Stamford Bridge last week, and that stands as a measure of how well they played against a top side. They followed that up with a 1-0 win over Torino on Sunday, as goal machine Aleksandar Kolarov struck again.

VIGO, SPAIN - OCTOBER 22:  Antoine Griezmann of Atletico de Madrid looks on during the La Liga match between Celta de Vigo and Atletico Madrid at Estadio Balaidos on October 22, 2017 in Vigo, Spain.  (Photo by fotopress/Getty Images)
fotopress/Getty Images

                   

16. Atletico Madrid (-4)

Despite the victory over Celta Vigo on Sunday, Atletico's away record still leaves a lot to be desired. They're not losing often, but they're not scoring eitherthey've mustered just three goals in six games on the road, and they failed to score against Qarabag last week!


15. Borussia Dortmund (-6)

BVB's fall down the rankings continues. Failing to beat APOEL Nicosia in the Champions League puts them in a rough spot in a horrid group, and they dropped two points at the weekend despite holding a 2-0 lead against Eintracht Frankfurt. They look strangely brittle.

                      

14. Valencia (+3)

Valencia are difficult to place in these rankings. They have no European football as a gauge of how strong they are, and some will pass off this excellent start as something that will soon come to an end.

But look at the performances they're putting in and the incredible goals they're scoring! They deserve commendation for now even if they drop off at a later date.

VALENCIA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 21:  Goncalo Guedes of Valencia reacts during the La Liga match between Valencia and Sevilla at Estadio Mestalla on October 21, 2017 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

                                      

13. RB Leipzig (+2)

With four wins from five in all competitions, RB Leipzig have recovered from a mini-stumble and hit their stride. Next up is a doubleheader with Bayern Munich, and that will serve as a true test of their abilities.

                    

12. Chelsea (+2)

Chelsea's version of a "crisis" is drawing with Roma (and topping a hellish Champions League group) and beating fourth-placed Watford 4-2. OK, it hasn't been easy, but they're getting results even when they're not fully functional.

                      

11. Juventus (+2)

Juventus responded to their gutting home loss to Lazio with two wins. One was earned the hard way, against Sporting CP having gone a goal down, the other far more comfortably as Udinese were put to Sami Khedira's sword.


 10. Inter Milan (+1)

NAPLES, ITALY - OCTOBER 21: Antonio Candreva of FC Internazionale in action during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and FC Internazionale at Stadio San Paolo on October 21, 2017 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Like Valencia, Inter are a little difficult to gauge. Their failings last season mean there's no continental barometer to measure them against, so there's only Serie A form to go by.

And domestically, things are looking great: They remain unbeaten this season, and this weekend escaped from the Stadio San Paolo with a 0-0 draw against goal-happy Napoli. That, added to the win away to Roma and the Milan derby victory earlier in the season, is enough to pass the top-10 test.

It may not have been prettyin fact, at times it's been downright uglybut manager Luciano Spalletti is achieving results with this Nerazzurri side.

                  

9. Manchester United (-3)

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21: Jose Mourinho the head coach / manager of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester United at John Smith's Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Huddersfield, England. (Photo by
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

It's amazing how quickly things can go south in football. Barely two weeks removed from flattening opponents on a regular basis and racking up wins, United's goals have dried up, they're playing defensive football and manager Jose Mourinho is criticising player attitudes, per BBC Sport.

They may have snuck past Benfica midweek thanks to an ingenious free-kick from Marcus Rashford, but this weekend didn't go well for them.

First, they lost to promoted Huddersfield Town, then a day later the Liverpool side they refused to attack at Anfield the previous weekend were ripped apart by Tottenham, calling the approach to that fixture back into question.

                  

8. Bayern Munich (Stay)

Bayern Munich's German head coach Jupp Heynckes walks onto the pitch before the start of the German first division Bundesliga football match between Hamburg SV and FC Bayern Munich in Hamburg, northern Germany, on October 21, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / John MACD
JOHN MACDOUGALL/Getty Images

Bayern Munich look stabilised under Jupp Heynckes. The three games he's taken charge of have all been wins, and they're yet to concede a goal under his stewardship.

The 3-0 win over Celtic was comprehensive, with the offside flag the difference between a beating and a rout. The 1-0 win over Hamburg looks squeakier on paper, but Die Roten struck the woodwork twice and dominated possession.

                  

7. Lazio (Stay)

ROME, ROMA - OCTOBER 22:  Ciro Immobile of SS Lazio celebrates a second goal during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and Cagliari Calcio at Stadio Olimpico on October 22, 2017 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images)
Marco Rosi/Getty Images

Lazio have won 11 of their 13 games this season, with the sole loss coming against Napoli and the only draw, oddly, vs. SPAL.

This weekend they beat Cagliari 3-0 as Ciro Immobile netted his 12th and 13th goals of the seasonhe leads the race for the title of Capocannoniere by three nowand on Thursday defeated OGC Nice 3-1 in France.

Underestimate Lazio at your peril.

                   

6. Tottenham (+4)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22: Harry Kane of Tottenham in action during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium on October 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Tottenham's performance at the Santiago Bernabeu last week was heroic.

To emerge from the reigning champions' home with a draw on a night you concede a penalty and your in-form attacker (Christian Eriksen) doesn't play well is quite the feat. That "no fear" approach defines this Spurs side under Mauricio Pochettino's stewardship. 

They followed that up with a stonking 4-1 win over Liverpool at Wembley, flattening and punishing a poor defence and putting the game out of sight by half-time. It concluded one of the finest weeks in the club's recent history.

                  

5. Napoli (-1)

NAPLES, ITALY - OCTOBER 21:  SSC Napoli player Raul Albiol makes a save during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and FC Internazionale at Stadio San Paolo on October 21, 2017 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Napoli didn't live up to expectations in their loss to Manchester City last Tuesday; they didn't deserve to win, and that Dries Mertens put in a poor performance and missed a penalty was a key part of that. 

But the fact they attempted to go toe-to-toe with them and created enough chances to win the game on another night is promising. They tried hard to beat Inter on Saturday, too, but again didn't have quite enough and couldn't overcome a stubborn defence.

The combination of a loss and a draw sees them drop to fifth. 

                

4. Real Madrid (+1)

Real Madrid's Spanish midfielder Marco Asensio (L) celebrates with Real Madrid's Spanish midfielder Isco after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match Real Madrid CF vs SD Eibar at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on October 22, 201
PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/Getty Images

Quietly, Real Madrid have recovered from their own mini-drama. They've won five of their last six, are ticking along nicely in the Champions League and are moving through the gears in La Liga.

Sunday's 3-0 win over Eibar was textbook, but it's the sort of game Los Blancos have struggled with so far this season. Good performances from Raphael Varane, Isco and Marco Asensio among others ensured three points were secured.

The midweek home draw with Tottenham won't bother them too much. With an away win over Borussia Dortmund in the bank, they're still favourites to top their group.

                    

3. Paris Saint-Germain (Stay)

MARSEILLE, FRANCE - OCTOBER 22: Neymar Jr of PSG argues with referee Ruddy Buquet during the French Ligue 1 match between Olympique de Marseille (OM) and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) at Stade Velodrome on October 22, 2017 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Jean
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain's encounter with Marseille on Sunday did not disappoint. Four goals, one red card, a long-range stunner and a last-gasp set-piece equaliser were all delivered to the Stade Velodrome.

If this were last season a draw might have felt costly to PSG's Ligue 1 title chances, but this year they're by far the strongest side and can stomach a point earned at a hated rival's ground.

This, in addition to the 4-0 destruction of Anderlecht midweek, is enough to keep them in third.

                     

2. Barcelona (-1)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 21:  Gerard Deulofeu of Barcelona in action during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Malaga at Camp Nou on October 21, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by fotopress/Getty Images)
fotopress/Getty Images

Barcelona did little wrong this week, but they vacate the summit of our club rankings as a result of another side performing even better.

Ernersto Valverde's men accrued two wins from two, beating Olympiakos despite Gerard Pique's silly sending-off, and defeating La Liga's basement club Malaga with help from a first goal of the season for Gerard Deulofeu.

They're still top of La Liga, unbeaten, and they lead their Champions League group after three wins from three.

                     

1. Manchester City (+1)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21:  Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates as he scores their first goal from the penalty spot with Leroy Sane of Manchester City  during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Burnley at Etihad Stadium on
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Despite the fact Barcelona won both of their games last week, we've felt it necessary to elevate Manchester City above them and into the top spot.

They passed their biggest test of the season on Tuesday, defeating Napoli 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium in a wonderful game to watch, then put three past Burnley on Saturday with a rotated squad.

By "rotated squad," of course, we mean Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva started instead of Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling. The depth Pep Guardiola has to call upon is ridiculous

                   

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