European Club Rankings After September 29 to October 1 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterOctober 3, 2017

Manchester City's Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London on September 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

We're in "full-flow" territory when it comes to describing the 2017-18 season and its events. Most of Europe's top teams have played 10-plus games, so we're able to truly gauge them and define their strengths and characteristics.

We haven't seen too much in terms of change at the top this week, but the middle order has shifted freely and Bayern Munich have dropped as a result of their poor run.

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.

Teams 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. RB Leipzig (Stay)

RB Leipzig are officially on notice. Any more slip-ups and they'll be dropping from our top 20. 

They have lost two of their last four, and were it not for Hoffenheim and AC Milan (their prospective replacements) also dropping points, they'd be gone already. They should be watching out for Valencia, too.


19. Liverpool (-2)

Liverpool are the footballing equivalent of Groundhog Day: It's the same thing over and over and over.

Two draws this week see them drop to the lower reaches of our rankings, and Sunday's 1-1 scoreline with Newcastle United was just typical, standard, infuriatingly classic Liverpool.

Lots of possession, lots of chances missed, one eventually scored...and then a ridiculous goal conceded thanks to one ball that splits the centre-halves.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01:  Joel Matip of Liverpool reacts after Newcastle's first goal during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool at St. James' Park on October 1, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo b
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images


18. AS Roma (+1)

AS Roma are widely perceived to be not as good as they were in 2016-17, but it seems head coach Eusebio Di Francesco has something to say about that.

The Giallorossi won what was Serie A's most eye-catching game of the weekend against Milan 2-0, and their record in both league and Champions League play is good. Were they not a game behind due to a postponement (against Sampdoria), they might be just a point shy of Juventus.


17. Arsenal (+1)

Arsenal simultaneously made light and hard work of their win over Brighton & Hove Albion in a way only Arsenal can.

They battered the Seagulls during the opening exchanges and should have been out of sight, but at only 2-0, familiar doubts crept in late and a few defensive wobbles nearly resulted in a fightback for the visitors.

Still, results-wise, you have to commend the Gunners on their response to the 4-0 mauling suffered at the hands of Liverpool on August 27: They've won six of seven, with the other being a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal backheels a pass to Alex Iwobi of Arsenal (not pictured) who scores to make it 2-0 during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Brighton and Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on October 1, 2017
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images


16. Sevilla (Stay)

Since losing their unbeaten record to Atletico Madrid last week, Sevilla have responded in fine style.

A 3-0 win over Maribor, inclusive of a Wissam Ben Yedder hat-trick and some Joaquin Correa magic, was followed up by a 2-0 victory over a hapless Malaga side.

15. AS Monaco (-4)

It seems AS Monaco are undecided on whether they're still a good side. Their results fluctuate like crazy, making the Ligue 1 side difficult to judge.

Losing 3-0 at home to FC Porto is not a good lookparticularly given this FCP side are far from their strongest iteration over the past decadewhile drawing with Montpellier might be matching what Paris Saint-Germain managed last week, but it's still not good enough.


14. Atletico Madrid (-2)

Atletico Madrid are not one to attempt to pull the wool over our eyes, per the ExpressIn response to their loss to Chelsea, key men had this to say:

"They were the better team in every aspect. There is nothing else to say."Antoine Griezmann.

"The opponent was the better team, they were the more comfortable team in all moments, and deserved to win."Diego Simeone.

Fair enough.

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Tottenham Hotspur at John Smith's Stadium on September 30, 2017 in Huddersfield, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AM
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images


13. Tottenham Hotspur (+2)

Since that disappointing draw with Swansea City on September 16, Tottenham Hotspur have done nothing but win. It's four in a row and 11 goals scored, with most of them coming from Harry Kane.

The England international has dominated the narrative surrounding the club of late, with people now asking not only whether he's in the elite tier of strikers but also if he's now good enough to play for a Real Madrid or Barcelona.


12. Inter Milan (+2)

Still unbeaten, still churning out results. Inter Milan are not playing the best footballand in fact appear to have dropped off a bit compared to the first few games of the seasonbut they're still generating points.

A brace from Marcelo Brozovic secured a 2-1 win over Benevento at the weekend, with one being an absolute rocket. We'll say this much about the Nerazzurri: They seem to score a beautiful goal in every game they play.


11. Lazio (+2)

Lazio are still right up there, jostling for position in the upper reaches of the Serie A table. 

This weekend, they beat Sassuolo 6-1, a result made all the more remarkable by the fact they were 1-0 down at half-time. Whatever manager Simone Inzaghi said to them during the break clearly had an impact.

10. Chelsea (Stay)

Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte watches from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in London on September 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Ian KINGTON / RESTRICTED TO EDITOR
IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Chelsea produced an incredible result in midweek: They became the first visiting team to win at the Wanda Metropolitano, the new home of Atletico Madrid. They dominated long stretches of the match and fought back from a goal down to do so, through Michy Batshuayi late on.

Days later, though, Manchester City comfortably beat the Blues on their own turf, opening up a six-point gap between the two clubs in the table. The score was only 1-0, but Chelsea were never in the game.

The league loss cancels out any prospective climb up these rankings Chelsea might have had their eye on.


9. Bayern Munich (-3)

The humbling Bayern received at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain last week was the straw that broke the camel's back. The axe was swung with Carlo Ancelotti's head on the chopping block; the multitude of reasons why including a player backlash and tactical miscues, according to ESPN FC's Mark Lovell.

Willy Sagnol took charge for Sunday's game against Hertha Berlin, but the result ended up no different to the one against Wolfsburg the week before: a 2-2 draw, having gone two up but then surrendering the lead.

Managerless, directionless Bayern have some things to sort out over the next few weeks.


8. Borussia Dortmund (Stay)

Dortmund's Polish defender Lukasz Piszcek (L) and Dortmund's Ukrainian striker Andrey Yarmolenko (R) celebrate after scoring the first goal during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Augsburg and Borussia Dortmund in Augsburg, s

With Bayern slipping in the league once again, Borussia Dortmund have taken full advantage.

An away day at FC Augsburg is a tricky prospect given how they block up the pitch and remove the space, but Andriy Yarmolenko's delightful backheeled goalhis first in the Bundesligain the fourth minute changed the way the game was to be played.

BVB head into the break top of the table, ahead of Bayern by five points, and have conceded just twice. The problem is, their European showings so far haven't been anywhere near to standard, and they're sat on zero points in the group. That's why they're locked in eighth.


7. Juventus (-2)

BERGAMO, ITALY - OCTOBER 01:  Gianluigi Buffon (L) of Juventus FC consoles team-mate Paulo Dybala at the end of the Serie A match between Atalanta BC and Juventus at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on October 1, 2017 in Bergamo, Italy.  (Photo by Emilio An
Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

From the outside, it looks like Juventus are holding things together, but take a peek beyond the curtain and all is not well.

They have had some serious problems with certain players' form levelsGonzalo Higuain being the obvious one in that areaand their win over Olympiakos in midweek felt like a struggle. 

The latest cause for exasperation arrived on Sunday, in the form of a Bayern Munich-esque slip at two goals up against Atalanta. The Bergamo side were allowed to draw level and claim a point, and to make matters worse, Paulo Dybala missed a late penalty that should have sealed three points.


6. Manchester United (+3)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30:  Romelu Lukaku (top) of Manchester United joins the celebration as Marouane Fellaini (2nd L) of Manchester United scroing his side's third goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palac
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Manchester United and four-goal hauls: a match made in heaven.

Midweek saw them stick four past CSKA Moscow in Russia, then this weekend they returned to Old Trafford and plundered the same number against Roy Hodgson's beleaguered Crystal Palace. Across the two games, two menRomelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaininetted braces.

The Red Devils have netted four goals in six different games this season, resulting in ridiculous goal differences of plus-19 (league) and plus-six (Champions League) at this early stage.


5. Real Madrid (+2)

MADRID, SPAIN - AUGUST 23: Achraf Hakimi of Real Madrid in action during the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy 2017 match between Real Madrid and ACF Fiorentina at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on 23 August 2017 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty
Power Sport Images/Getty Images

The wheels were fastened back on (to an extent) last week for Real Madrid, and they go into the international break on a three-game winning streakone of which was earned away to Borussia Dortmund in midweek.

Perhaps the gap in fixtures will allow Los Blancos to take a breather and welcome a few injured parties back; though, in the case of Dani Carvajal, no immediate solution seems likely.


4. Napoli (Stay)

NAPLES, ITALY - OCTOBER 01:  Dries Mertens of SSC Napoli in action during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Cagliari Calcio at Stadio San Paolo on October 1, 2017 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)
Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Napoli have just one blemish on their seasonal CV to date: that regrettable loss to Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine. That aside, it's been a perfect start; the kind that validates those who felt they could push Juventus for the Scudetto this season.

As you would expect, a side that play total football are scoring plenty and sharing the goals around. In the league alone, 11 different players have already netted in just seven games.


3. Manchester City (Stay)

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 30: Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City looks on during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on September 30, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Manchester City produced what felt like a season-defining victory on Saturday, beating Chelsea 1-0 on their own patch thanks to a display of masterful control.

The Citizens dominated the game, Pep Guardiola outthought Antonio Conte and caused him to panic tactically, and Kevin De Bruyne delivered a moment of quality to seal three points.

These performances from City are downright scary at the moment; lots of people are being forced to re-evaluate just how good this team is.


2. Paris Saint-Germain (Stay)

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 30: Neymar Jr of PSG celebrates his second goal with Kylian Mbappe (left) during the French Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and FC Girondins de Bordeaux at Parc des Princes on September 30, 2017 in Paris, France.
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Bayern Munich might be in disarray, but a 3-0 win over themregardless of their health statusdemands respect. That's what Paris Saint-Germain delivered, so that's what they should receive.

For those still wondering whether Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are the pieces that can elevate Les Parisiens to the super-elite tier, look no further than the performance against Die Roten. Speed, precision and ruthlessness were all there.

That was followed up by a monster 6-2 win over a good Bordeaux side in which they ran riot. Julian Draxler's volleyed goal, in particular, was a beauty.


1. Barcelona (Stay)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 01:  Lionel Messi of Barcelona runs with the ball during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Las Palmas at Camp Nou on October 1, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Barcelona's tussle with Las Palmas on Sunday was played behind closed doors, as La Liga's odd decision to stage the game on the same day as the Catalonian referendum for independenceruled illegal by the Spanish governmentmade the Camp Nou the centre of a political frenzy.

With pictures of the game filtering through, it was haunting and eerie to see a game of such importance played with no fans in attendance. The first half finishing scoreless perhaps shouldn't have surprisedthe home players were dealt a culture shock in their own back yardbut in the end, Lionel Messi took over and led them to a win.

It's a result that continues Barca's perfect start to this La Liga season, with seven wins from seven—and Messi already has 11 goals.


All statistics via 


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