European Club Power Rankings After January 19-21 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 22, 2018

Lyon's Dutch forward Memphis Depay (L) celebrates after scoring a goal during the French L1 football match between Olympique Lyonnais and Paris-Saint Germain (PSG) at Groupama stadium in Decines-Charpieu on January 21, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / JEFF PACHOUD        (Photo credit should read JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)
JEFF PACHOUD/Getty Images

Serie A's return this weekend marked the resumption of every one of Europe's top five leagues for the calendar year. With the honourable exception of one international break in March, it's non-stop club football from here on.

The rankings are a season-long measurement of clubs, tracking teams throughout 2017/18 and 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 UEFA Champions League form and presence are used as tiebreakers for those with similar records. Teams that gather big wins against strong opposition get a boost. 


20. Bayer Leverkusen (New!)

Leverkusen are a bundle of fun to watch, with dynamic attackers wreaking havoc on the majority of defences they come across. They put four past Hoffenheim on Saturday, with Leon Bailey's 12-yard back-heel a candidate for goal of the weekend.

               

19. Monaco (Stay)

Monaco consolidate their position just inside the top 20 with a strong week's work, drawing with rivals OGC Nice in midweek before beating Metz on Sunday.

               

18. Roma (-2)

That AS Roma even managed a draw against Inter Milan was incredible. They took the lead early, but they managed the game poorly, came under immense pressure, saw Ivan Perisic let them off the hook a few times and ended up surviving solely thanks to goalkeeper Alisson's capacity for a megasave.

               

17. FC Porto (Stay)

PORTO, PORTUGAL - JANUARY 19:  FC Porto forward Moussa Marega from Mali in action during the Primeira Liga match between FC Porto and CD Tondela at Estadio do Dragao on January 19, 2018 in Porto, Portugal.  (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Add Tondela to the list of FC Porto's casualties in this fantastic winning run, which has now been extended to 10 games. Benfica and Sporting CP keep applying the pressure, but the Dragons keep responding.

           

16. Valencia (-1)

A mixed week's work for Valencia, who claimed a victory in midweek in the Copa del Rey but then threw another potential one away against Las Palmas at the weekend. Two red cards and a penalty conceded helped seal their fate.


 15. Lyon (+3)

There might be a few sickies pulled in Lyon on Monday morning.

Memphis Depay's 93rd-minute wonder-strike to sink Paris Saint-Germain caused the Groupama Stadium to erupt in joy. It was a thrilling end to a thrilling game, and a performance that cements Les Gones as every neutral's second team for at least a week.

                 

14. Inter Milan (-1)

Inter Milan's search for a win goes on, with the draw against Roma making it six without victory. That said, manager Luciano Spalletti will be heartened by what he saw from his troops—on another, less unfortunate day, they'd have claimed a comfortable three-point haul.

Lazio's midfielder from Serbia Sergej Milinkovic-Savic celebrates after scoring during the Italian Serie A football match Lazio vs Chievo at the Olympic Stadium in Rome on January 21, 2018.  / AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE        (Photo credit should rea
FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/Getty Images

                   

13. Lazio (+1)

Lazio overcame the early loss of Ciro Immobile to beat Chievo Verona 5-1 on Sunday. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic stole the headlines once again, scoring two beautiful goals and in the process adding several million to his price tag.

             

12. Tottenham Hotspur (-1)

Tottenham's form has drifted wildly of late, and at least part of that is down to manager Mauricio Pochettino either nailing or botching his lineups.

Against Southampton, they were incredibly turgid and struggled to move the ball effectively, and that was at least in part due to the disjointed formation they started with. A tweak at the break couldn't turn the tide.

                 

11. Chelsea (+1)

Last week we asked: "Where have Chelsea's goals gone?" Well, it looks as though they were saving them all for Brighton & Hove Albion.

Eden Hazard led a blitzing of the south-coast club on Saturday as the Blues put four wonderful strikes past Seagulls goalkeeper Mat Ryan; the second, scored by Willian, one of the finest footballing moves you'll see all season.

Such a performance helped fans forget the fact they only just scraped past Norwich City in the FA Cup in midweek, winning via penalties and finishing the game with nine men.


10. Real Madrid (Stay)

MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 21: Cristiano Ronaldo (L) of Real Madrid CF and his teammate Gareth Bale (R) in action during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Deportivo La Coruna at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 21, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Phot
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Even a down season can't stop Real Madrid battering Deportivo La Coruna. In recent years, they've racked up 8-2, 6-2 and 5-0 scorelines, and they can now add 7-1 to that list following Sunday's demolition.

Gareth Bale scored a peach, Luka Modric dazzled the Bernabeu crowd and even Cristiano Ronaldo found the back of the net. A dominant showingsummoned after going behind in the first half toostops Los Blancos' slide in our rankings.

                    

9. Atletico Madrid (-1)

We flip back and forth on Atleti's seasonal outlook seemingly every week in these rankings, and the reason is simple: It's impossible to know what to make of Diego Simeone's side as they themselves don't appear to know if they're any good or not.

They were on a five-game winning streak heading into last week's Copa del Rey tussle with Sevilla, but a loss there and a subsequent draw with Girona in the league opens them up to questioning again.

               

8. Manchester United (+1)

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 20: Anthony Martial of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Burnley and Manchester United at Turf Moor on January 20, 2018 in Burnley, England.  (Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Unsurprisingly, Manchester United's 1-0 win at Burnley on Saturday was a little drab in places. The hosts are difficult to play against—particularly at Turf Moor—and disrupt your rhythm as much as possible.

Anthony Martial was the man who broke the deadlock early in the second half, and from there it was United's turn to repel a bit of danger, with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones winning a whopping 21 aerial duels between them.

            

7. Liverpool (Stay)

Liverpool travel to south Wales to face Swansea City on Monday evening.

                  

6. Napoli (Stay)

Napoli's forward Dries Mertens from Belgium (L) celebrates at the end of the Italian Serie A football match Atalanta Vs Napoli on January 21, 2018 at the 'Atleti Azzurri d'Italia Stadium' in Bergamo.  / AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO        (Photo credit sh
MARCO BERTORELLO/Getty Images

Napoli returned from Serie A's mini-break in fine fashion, securing a hard-fought 1-0 win away to a strong Atalanta side.

The result sent the Partenopei four points clear at the top of the table, but it was perhaps most pleasing due to the fact Dries Mertens got on the scoresheet—the first time that's happened in the league since October.

              

5. Juventus (Stay)

Juventus host Genoa on Monday evening as they get their Serie A season back underway.

                

4. Paris Saint-Germain (-1)

PSG suffered what was just their third loss of the season on Sunday night, imploding at the Groupama Stadium against Lyon.

Positioning issues from goalkeeper Alphonse Areola allowed Nabil Fekir to sneak a wondrous free-kick in early on; then after hauling themselves back level, Dani Alves was sent off for a cynical foul and a verbal volley at the referee. The capital side visibly tired while a man down, and it was no surprise space opened up for Memphis Depay to fire home the winner in the 93rd minute.

It doesn't change anything with regard to the Ligue 1 title race, but it does harm PSG's stock in these rankings.

               

3. Bayern Munich (+1)

Bayern Munich's German forward Thomas Mueller celebrates after his team won the German first division Bundesliga football match Bayern Munich vs Werder Bremen in Munich, southern Germany, on January 21, 2018.
Bayern won 4-2. / AFP PHOTO / Guenter SCHIFFMA
GUENTER SCHIFFMANN/Getty Images

Two each for Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski led Bayern Munich to a 4-2 win over Werder Bremen on Sunday. 

Muller's second brought up 100 Bundesliga goals for him, a fantastic achievement, with the clipped James Rodriguez pass into his path to set it up just as sweet.

The gap between first and second in the Bundesliga now stands at 16 points.

                    

2. Manchester City (Stay)

After enduring a week in which many suggested Manchester City had been "found out"—the method with which one can defeat Pep Guardiola's charges supposedly revealed—beating Newcastle United convincingly amounted to a perfect response.

That aforementioned method, which involves pressing high up the field, showing no fear and forcing mistakes, was never going to be utilised by Rafael Benitez's side on Saturday, giving Guardiola exactly the kind of game he'd have wanted.

                

1. Barcelona (Stay)

SEVILLE, SPAIN - JANUARY 21:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona  celebrates after scoring the second goal for FC Barcelona during the La Liga match between Real Betis and Barcelona at Estadio Benito Villamarin on January 21, 2018 in Seville, .  (Photo by Aitor
Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images

Barcelona lost a game midweek. That's been a rare occurrence this season, so even though it was in the Copa del Rey with a much-changed XI at Espanyol, it escaped no one's attention.

The key in this scenario is to bounce back, and they did so with a commanding victory over Real Betis at the Estadio Benito Villarmarin. The 5-0 scoreline did not flatter them, with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets all shining.

              

Facebook.com/SamTigheBR

All statistics via WhoScored.com

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