European Club Rankings After September 8-11 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterSeptember 12, 2017

METZ, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 8: Neymar Jr of PSG celebrates his goal with Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani during the French Ligue 1 match between FC Metz and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) at Stade Saint-Symphorien on September 9, 2017 in Metz, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Domestic football resumed this past weekend and did so in explosive fashion.

Top teams met one another across the continent and produced some remarkable spectacles; any fixture list which features Manchester City hosting Liverpool, AC Milan facing off against Lazio, Bayern Munich travelling to TSG Hoffenheim and AS Monaco playing OGC Nice is always going to deliver.

So how did those matchesin addition to the many others that took placeimpact our European Club Rankings?

 20. Arsenal (New!)

The thrashing Arsenal took at the hands of Liverpool before the international break knocked them out of our top 20 completely, but this week they're back, having dealt out a drubbing of their own to Bournemouth.

All is still not right at the Emirates Stadiumnot by a long shotbut a 3-0 win can help paper over even the largest of cracks for now.

ROME, ROMA - SEPTEMBER 10:  Ciro Immobile of SS Lazio scores a third goal during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and AC Milan at Stadio Olimpico on September 10, 2017 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images)
Marco Rosi/Getty Images


19. AC Milan (-5)

Milan came shuddering back to earth on Saturday as they lost 4-1 to Lazio in the Italian capital. The slightly weak-looking team manager Vincenzo Montella fieldedwhich included relative rookies Davide Calabria and Patrick Cutronefound it tough going at the Stadio Olimpico and were soundly beaten.


18. Sevilla (+2)

Sevilla have negotiated a Champions League qualifier plus three La Liga games without a hitch so far. New manager Eduardo Berizzo has done an excellent job in picking up where Jorge Sampaoli left off, and he's even getting more from some players, such as Clement Lenglet and Ganso.


17. RB Leipzig (+1)

RB Leipzig have done well to put their opening-weekend blunder behind them and begin finding form, and their performance against Hamburg on Friday was the clearest indication yet they're firing on all cylinders. Timo Werner is stunning.


16. Liverpool (-5)

Liverpool's eye-popping 5-0 loss to Manchester City hasn't sat well with fans for two main reasons.

A cluster still claim Sadio Mane shouldn't have been sent off (with the scoreline at 1-0), though that debate has largely been put to bed.

But those who question the way the Reds lay down and took it following the red card are entirely understandable; what Jurgen Klopp's midfield and defence did was wholly unforgivable.

15. Tottenham Hotspur (+2)

That Spurs continue to slip up at Wembley and then batter teams away from home really isn't helping them overturn this hoodoo narrative at the national stadium. They looked several classes above an Everton side who spent tonnes over the course of the summer.


14. Chelsea (+2)

The King Power Stadium is not a nice place to go for top teams, as you're sure to face the counter-attacking strengths of Jamie Vardy and the frustrating, shot-stopping prowess of Kasper Schmeichel.

So Chelsea will be rightly pleased they've managed to emerge from this away day with three pointsat least one of the Premier League's title contenders will fail to this seasonand manager Antonio Conte will be delighted both Alvaro Morata and Tiemoue Bakayoko are looking good.

Chelsea's Spanish striker Alvaro Morata attends team training session at Chelsea's Cobham training facility in Stoke D'Abernon, southwest of London, on September 11, 2017, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League Group C football match FQ Qarabag.

 / AF


13. Atletico Madrid (-2)

You can cut Atletico Madrid's start to the season two ways.

The positive slant is that three away games to begin the season is never going to be easyparticularly when Antoine Griezmann is sent off in the openerand the five-point haul is fine.

The negative slant is that they've played Girona, Las Palmas and Valencia, and they are at least two points shy of where they should be.


12. Inter Milan (+1)

Inter Milan made it three wins from three on Sunday by defeating SPAL 2-0 at the San Siro. On paper it looked an easy afternoonafter all, the Nerazzurri enjoyed 64 percent of possession and outshot their opponents 19-9but the truth is the visitors had threatening periods and came close to capitalising with the score at 1-0.

But then...Ivan Perisic struck. Just watch it.


11. AS Monaco (-5)

So...what happened to Monaco this weekend?

Grudge matches with southern rivals Nice are always tough, but this Monaco side losing 4-0 is something barely comprehensible. It hurts their stock in these rankings badly. 

10. Lazio (+5)

ROME, ROMA - SEPTEMBER 10: Ciro Immobile of SS Lazio with de boll of match after the Serie A match between SS Lazio and AC Milan at Stadio Olimpico on September 10, 2017 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images)
Marco Rosi/Getty Images

Watch out for Lazio.

The Biancocelesti recorded their second stunning result of the season this weekend, adding the scalp of Milan to the Juventus one already in the cabinet. 

It's a shame they weren't able to find a way to win against newly promoted SPAL on the opening day; had that happened, they would be in the midst of a perfect season.


9. Manchester United (Stay)

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Eric Bailly of Manchester United chases down Maxim Choupo-Moting of Stoke City during the Premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester United at Bet365 Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Stoke on Trent, Engl
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images


Manchester United's performance against Stoke City raised serious question marks, and perhaps pumped the breaks a little on the hype train. In typical Jose Mourinho fashion, they avoided a defeat, but there's plenty to think about here.

Against a solid, well-organised, deep-set side, United looked rather pedestrian in attack. That's OK if you're defensively perfectas they were in the first three Premier League gamesbut at the Bet365 Stadium they really weren't. Matteo Darmian didn't play well and Eric Bailly completely switched off for one of the goals.


8. Manchester City (+4)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  Gabriel Jesus of manchester City celebrates his goal with Benjamin Mendy and Kevin De Bruyne during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at Etihad Stadium on September 9, 2017 in Manchester, E
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

What was expected to be an end-to-end, attacking battle filled with goals for both sides against Liverpool ended up an incredibly one-sided contest. That was largely due to the red card Mane received in the first half, but credit is due to the Citizens for the way they ruthlessly picked their opponents apart after it.

Kevin De Bruyne finally showed up, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero worked stupendously as a pair, Fernandinho bossed the midfield and Benjamin Mendy tore his opponent to shreds on the flanks. Apart from Nicolas Otamendi, everyone played either well or very well.


7. Juventus (Stay)

TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 09: Rodrigo Bentacur of Juventus FC in action during the Serie A match between Juventus and AC Chievo Verona on September 9, 2017 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Massimiliano Allegri rotated his squad pretty heavily post-international break, and he was rewarded with a 3-0 victory over Chievo.

Wojciech Szczesny, Kwadwo Asamoah, Medhi Benatia, Blaise Matuidi, Stefano Sturaro and Douglas Costa were the men rotated in from the last starting XI, although some may soon get the nod a little more regularly.

Still, it was a familiar face who really did the damage: Paulo Dybala, a second-half substitute, wreaked havoc and netted the killer second.


6. Borussia Dortmund (-2)

FREIBURG IM BREISGAU, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 09: Andrey Yarmolenko of Dortmund looks on during the Bundesliga match between Sport-Club Freiburg and Borussia Dortmund at Schwarzwald-Stadion on September 9, 2017 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. (Photo by TF-I
TF-Images/Getty Images

How Borussia Dortmund failed to beat SC Freiburg this weekend will long baffle anyone who saw it.

They amassed an incredible 83 percent of possession and peppered Alexander Schwolow's goal with 27 shots, but came away without a goal to their name.

It's still a point gained, but what a chance to move three clear of Bayern Munich squandered.


5. Bayern Munich (-2)

SINSHEIM, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 09: Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer of Muenchen looks on during the Bundesliga match between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and FC Bayern Muenchen at Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena on September 9, 2017 in Sinsheim, Germany. (Photo by Simon Hofmann/G
Simon Hofmann/Getty Images

This weekend went about as badly as possible for Bayern Munich: They lost 2-0 to Hoffenheim after putting in a performance to forget, and star striker Robert Lewandowski has become embroiled in a "war of words" with chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

There are certainly a few weak links in this XI as they wait for players to return from injuries. In particular, left-back is a serious concern due to the absence of both David Alaba and Juan Bernat.

They're fortunate their first Champions League tie is a home one with Anderlecht; had they met Paris Saint-Germain this early, it might well have been an uncomfortable experience.


4. Napoli (+3)

BOLOGNA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 10:  Dries Mertens of SSC Napoli celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Serie A match between Bolgna FC and SSC Napoli at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on September 10, 2017 in Bologna, Italy.
2:10  (Photo by Mario
Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

Woah, woah...Napoli at No. 4? What planet is this?

Earth, actually, a planet upon which Napoli are playing teams off the park left, right and centre. They've won every game they've played this season (five in total) and defeated Nice (who just beat Monaco 4-0) via two clean-sheet victories in the Champions League play-offs.

They play the best (or at least most aesthetically pleasing) football in Europe and have developed a ruthless mentality. If anyone's going to challenge Juventus for the Serie A title this season, it's Maurizio Sarri's men. 


3. Barcelona (+2)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 09: Lionel Andres Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates his hat trick during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona vs RCD Espanyol at the Camp Nou on 09 September 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images
Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Top of La Liga? Check.

Best goal difference in the division? Check.

A thumping 5-0 victory over your rivals in the bag? Check.

This summer's recruitment may well have been a catastrophe, and the fans might well still be baying for president Josep Bartomeu's resignation, but the team have begun this La Liga campaign in fine fettle, and this weekend's result was brilliant.

From Lionel Messi's hat-trick to Luis Suarez's return to Ousmane Dembele's debut was a perfect Saturday night.


2. Real Madrid (-1)

Real Madrid's French coach Zinedine Zidane applauds during the Spanish Liga football match Real Madrid vs Levante at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on September 9, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU        (Photo credit should read PIERRE

Not again.

After drawing 2-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu with Valencia before the international break, Real Madrid resumed domestic activities with an even more disappointing 1-1 tie with Levante.

They had the better of the game, naturally, but were let down by some bad finishing. Things will get worse, too, with Marcelo facing a potential ban and Karim Benzema hurt for between four to six weeks.

They're already four points behind Barcelona in La Liga.


1. Paris Saint-Germain (+1)

METZ, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 8: Neymar Jr of PSG celebrates his goal with Kylian Mbappe, Edinson Cavani during the French Ligue 1 match between FC Metz and Paris Saint Germain (PSG) at Stade Saint-Symphorien on September 9, 2017 in Metz, France. (Photo by Jea
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Real Madrid's second straight home draw paves the way for Paris Saint-Germain to climb to the top of the European Club Rankings.

The French capital side probably aren't the best team in Europe, and to label them such feels premature, but in a rankings system dependent on results, PSG's flawless 6-0-0 record blows everyone else out of the water.

Their Ligue 1 goal difference of +16 speaks of how easy they're finding things at the moment, but it's important to note they have already overcome a stern test in the form of Monaco in the first game this season.

That Edinson Cavani-Kylian Mbappe-Neymar trident is going to be stunning.


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