European Club Power Rankings After May 4-6 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMay 7, 2018

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2018. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

An emotional weekend of football brought joy and despair in equal measures, with champions and promotions confirmed in some quarters, while relegations and farewells came in others.

Arsene Wenger soaked in the adulation of the Emirates Stadium as he waved goodbye after 22 long years, while Andres Iniesta did the same as he played his final Clasico in front of an adoring Camp Nou.

These rankings are a season-long measurement of clubs, tracking teams throughout 2017/18 and taking into account results from all competitions. In these closing stages, Champions League performance is particularly important.

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. Teams that enjoy big wins against strong opponents get a boost.

20. Lyon (New!)

Back in the rankings after several months on the sidelines are Lyon, who have put together a startling seven-game win streak in Ligue 1 and now look a strong bet to secure Champions League football.


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19. Arsenal (Stay)

Arsenal's 1-0 defeat in Madrid Thursday ensured there will be no fairytale European farewell for Arsene Wenger, so the club had to improvise: They battered Burnley 5-0 on Sunday—a genuine achievement, make no mistake—to give the Frenchman a home send-off to be proud of.


18. Valencia (-1)

Valencia have slowed to a grinding halt, accruing just two points from a possible last 15. Don't let that distract you from the fact they've achieved wonders this season, though!


17. Schalke 04 (+1)

Schalke secured Champions League football next season thanks to a 2-1 victory at Augsburg. Do you think it looks like they savoured the moment?


16. Inter Milan (+1)

Inter made light work of a poor Udinese side, beating them 4-0 to pull within two points of Lazio. The problem is Roma won too, meaning they're still four off a Champions League spot.

 15. Lazio (Stay)

Atalanta represent a tricky opponent, so to grab only a point from a match with them is no great shame, but it has allowed Lazio's cross-city rivals to leapfrog them in the race for fourth.


14. Marseille (Stay)

They made hard work of it, but after 210 minutes of gruelling effort, Marseille despatched RB Salzburg and booked a spot in the UEFA Europa League final later this month. It was Rolando who played the part of hero, nodding home from a corner just five minutes after coming on as a substitute.


13. Chelsea (Stay)

Presumed dead, the autopsy done and dusted, many had written Chelsea's season off as a failure. Fortunately, Antonio Conte refused to follow suit.

The 1-0 win over Liverpool on Sunday brings them to within two points of fourth place, and the team ahead of them, Tottenham, are creaking. It's still a long shot, but Newcastle United may hold the key to how this shakes out: They play each of them to finish the season.


12. Tottenham (Stay)

Tottenham appear to be attempting to sabotage the fantastic position they've worked hard for.

Not content with limping to defeat in an FA Cup semi-final, they're now stuttering in the league and opening the door for Chelsea to usurp them for fourth. Losing 1-0 to bottom-of-the-league West Bromwich Albion is not a good look.


11. Napoli (Stay)

On Sunday we saw the penultimate dagger hurtled toward Napoli's Scudetto-chasing dream: A late Lorenzo De Silvestri goal that secured a 2-2 draw for Torino at Stadio San Paolo.

The six-point cushion it has created for Juventus at the top means they can go ahead and lose to Roma this coming weekend and it won't even matter.  

10. Manchester United (Stay)

Few teams have been as difficult to judge this season as Manchester United. They win six in a row and you shrug your shoulders; they lose to Brighton & Hove Albion following a poor showing and you do the same.

Manchester United's Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho awaits kick off in the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on May 4, 2018
GLYN KIRK/Getty Images

As efficient as some of the results have been, performances have shifted wildly—both on an individual and team-based level. Somehow, they're both excellent and poor at the same time.


9. Paris Saint-Germain (Stay)

It's three draws in six Ligue 1 games for PSG—hardly a record to be proud of considering the gulf in quality between the capital club and the majority of its opponents.

They're fortunate Manchester United lost to Brighton, Napoli drew with Torino and Tottenham lost to West Brom. Those results mean PSG remain ninth.


8. Roma (Stay)

Roma bowed out of the Champions League last week, but they did so in a blaze. A 4-2 win over Liverpool is an excellent result in isolation, they'll just regret playing the naive, open football in the first leg that placed them in such a hole to begin with.

They at least followed it up with a 1-0 win over Cagliari, launching themselves into third place in the process. Don't think they're home and hosed for another European campaign just yet, though: Juventus are up next.


7. Atletico Madrid (Stay)

Atletico Madrid lost their first-ever La Liga game at their Wanda Metropolitano stadium this weekend. Of all opponents, it was Espanyol who won 2-0.

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 03:  Diego Costa of Atletico is seen during the UEFA Europa League Semi Final second leg match between Atletico Madrid  and Arsenal FC at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on May 3, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Diego Simeone won't be too fussed. He watched his side beat Arsenal three days beforehand, securing their place in the Europa League final by doing so, and that impacted the team selection for Sunday—Antoine Griezmann and Diego Godin remained unused substitutes throughout.


6. Juventus (Stay)

Juventus are machine-like. Hindsight's a wonderful thing, but the manner in which they've closed this campaign out makes us feel foolish for ever believing Napoli could last at their pace.

A point in the capital against Roma next week will seal a seventh straight Scudetto. They've never had to work harder for one in this streak, ensuring it will taste all the sweeter.


5. Liverpool (Stay)

Once again we saw a flat-looking Liverpool side turn out in the Premier League, understandably feeling the effects of two intense games against Roma in the space of a week. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 06:  Olivier Giroud of Chelsea , Jordan Henderson of Liverpool and Willian of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on May 6, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Fin
Julian Finney/Getty Images

The loss to Chelsea follows draws with Stoke City and West Brom—two clubs entrenched in the bottom three, one of which has already been relegated—and they need to snap out of this and beat Brighton on the final day to ensure a top-four spot.

For those wondering why Liverpool are no higher than fourth, it's a question of churning out results on multiple fronts. The best manage it, after all.


4. Bayern Munich (-2)

Jupp Heynckes is a reserved guy, but even he must be tearing his hair out in private over Bayern Munich's performances against Real Madrid, wondering what might have been. 

With some more finesse (and luck) in front of goal they might have scored 10 goals over the two legs. They were the better side for long spells but just couldn't tie it together in the final third.

An easy win over Cologne in the Bundesliga this weekend will have done nothing to mend broken hearts. A DFB Pokal victory on May 19 might be a start.


3. Manchester City (Stay)

If you foresaw Huddersfield Town stalling Manchester City and sneaking a point from their encounter on Sunday, please supply this week's winning lottery numbers. 

Given the match doubled as the Citizens' title parade, everyone expected them to overwhelm a relegation-threatened side who've conceded 32 goals on the road this season. Instead they were stymied, their quest to break point and goal-tally records now extending into match 37.


2. Real Madrid (+2)

A 2-2 draw midweek with Bayern Munich was enough to spark one party, but the same result at the Camp Nou on Sunday wasn't quite enough to ruin another.

Of Los Blancos' two objectives last week qualifying for the Champions League final was by far the most important, but if they'd have managed to wreck Barcelona's unbeaten La Liga campaign too, all the better.

Some will be making Real Madrid's case for No. 1 in this list already, while some will demand they rank lower. This campaign has been a strange one for Cristiano Ronaldo and Co., and it can be tough to gauge it at times.

On the one hand, they've won nothing yet, are way back in La Liga and crashed out of the Copa del Rey early. On the other, they've beaten some serious opposition en route to Kiev, dispensing with the champions of France, Italy and Germany, and that deserves respect.


1. Barcelona (Stay)

It got pretty nervy toward the end there, didn't it?

Barcelona's unbeaten La Liga season is still intact thanks to a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid in El Clasico. Sergi Roberto's red card on the cusp of half-time made things difficult, but as they so often have done this season, they pulled out a result under pressure.

Villarreal, Levante, Real Sociedad. Three games left to secure yet more history.


All statistics via


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