European Club Rankings After November 23-25 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterNovember 26, 2018

European Club Rankings After November 23-25 Matches

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    The return of domestic European football can mean only one thing: the return of the European Club Rankings.

    We came back with a bang, with Barcelona tussling with Atletico Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur handing Chelsea their first Premier League loss of the season, and Real Madrid losing 3-0 to Eibar in a remarkable game.

    All of this plays a prominent role in this week's European Club Rankings, a list of the continent's top teams in order of form and performance at this stage of the season.

    You can read the previous set of rankings here.


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    Stefan Puchner/Associated Press

    20. Real Madrid (-4)

    Real Madrid's eyebrow-raising 3-0 loss to Eibar this weekend reset expectations across the globe. Coming into that fixture, Los Blancos had been on a four-game win streak under Santiago Solari, but they came unstuck in a bad, bad way on Saturday. They're not back—or, at least, not quite yet.


    19. FC Porto (+1)

    FC Porto moved into our top 20 just ahead of the international break and continue to rise in our estimations. A 2-0 win over Belenenses in the cup this weekend keeps their strong season on track.


    18. Ajax (+1)

    A comprehensive performance from Ajax against NAC Breda (75 per cent possession, zero shots on target allowed for the opposition) resulted in a 3-0 win. It's their Champions League form that has propelled them into these rankings, but domestic victories like these don't do any harm to their stock.


    17. Lyon (+1)

    Friday night saw Lyon take on archrivals AS Saint-Etienne and secure a precious victory, ground out thanks to a set-piece goal and some dogged defending following a Rafael red card. The Tanguy Ndombele-Houssem Aouar midfield axis shone (again).


    16. Eintracht Frankfurt (New!)

    Welcome to the European Club Rankings, Eintracht Frankfurt.

    Since the beginning of October, they have been fantastic, recovering from an iffy start (including a 5-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the Supercup) to win nine of their last 10 matches in all competitions.

    The latest came against Augsburg this weekend, where in-form Sebastien Haller made it nine goals and six assists for the league campaign so far.

    Second in the league and going well in Europe, they might just be on course to another memorable season.


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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    15. Bayern Munich (-1)

    The evidence that this Bayern Munich team simply aren't their usual selves continues to pile up.

    They threw two points down the drain this weekend, going from a commanding 3-1 position at home to Fortuna Dusseldorf (promoted to the Bundesliga this season) to drawing 3-3.


    14. Manchester United (-1)

    A glance at Manchester United's 0-0 scoreline at home to Crystal Palace might well evoke predictions they were simply hard done by a stubborn, heroic defensive showing from the visitors.

    However, the xG models paint a different story, one which pegs the Eagles level in goalscoring chances and proves them worthy of taking a point home. Another shrug-worthy performance and result for the Red Devils this season.


    13. Tottenham Hotspur (+2)

    Sometimes clubs need to produce statement performances to remind the world what they're capable of. Tottenham's 3-1 victory over Chelsea on Saturday was exactly that.

    Goals from Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son settled a remarkably one-sided affair and vaulted Spurs above the Blues in the table. They now sit just three points behind Liverpool and five points off Manchester City.

    The Champions League campaign has been close to a disaster, but the Premier League has been under-the-radar excellent.


    12. Sevilla (Stay)

    It's match week 13 and Sevilla are top—top!—of La Liga. What a season it's been in Spain.

    A 1-0 win over Real Valladolid secured passage there following Barcelona and Atletico Madrid's draw, with an Andre Silva goal on the half-hour mark enough to secure three points.

    Can they continue to keep pace with the big boys? It's likely they can. Barca, Atletico and especially Real Madrid have been chucking points away for fun this term.


    11. Inter Milan (Stay)

    Inter Milan entered the international break on a bit of a bum note, losing 4-1 to Atalanta, but started this period off in the right way, beating Frosinone 3-0.

    Mauro Icardi, Ivan Perisic and Matias Vecino were all rested—likely with a big Champions League week on the horizon—leaving Balde Keita and Lautaro Martinez to showcase the Nerazzurri's strength in depth in style.

10. Arsenal (Stay)

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Unai Emery's Arsenal are in several ways the polar opposite of Arsene Wenger's Arsenal, in that they grind out wins they sometimes don't deserve—rather than dominate games and somehow lose.

    Sunday saw another of those games come along, this time at Bournemouth, where a 2-1 win was secured against a difficult opponent.

    There's a resilient streak running through this Gunners side that we've been asking for for years.

9. Atletico Madrid (Stay)

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    Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    Atletico Madrid blew a golden chance to move to the top of La Liga this week, and in the process, they showcased a frailty that has become strangely synonymous with them this term.

    As the clock ticked down the final minutes of a grim game at the Wanda Metropolitano, Los Colchoneros allowed Lionel Messi to slip in Ousmane Dembele for a last-minute equaliser for Barcelona, spoiling the party. It wasn't at all surprising, and the fact it wasn't was, well, surprising.

    Over the last five years, Atletico are the team you would back to defend a one-goal lead (no matter the opponent), but nowadays not so much.

8. Chelsea (-3)

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    Visionhaus/Getty Images

    Chelsea lost their first competitive game of the season this weekend (many consider the Community Shield to be a friendly), and, boy, was it a pasting.

    The 3-1 reverse scoreline against Tottenham flattered them, and their goal came right at the end of a match in which they were dominated.

    It's hardly cause for alarm if you're a Chelsea fan—one loss doesn't wipe out an otherwise excellent start to the campaign—but the way David Luiz crumbled, Jorginho struggled and the attack failed must serve as notice that this Blues side still have a way to go en route to their "Sarrification." 

7. Liverpool (+2)

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    Alex Broadway/Getty Images

    Liverpool are facing one hell of a week—Paris Saint-Germain away in the Champions League, followed by Everton at home in the Merseyside derby—and they warmed up for it the right way, beating Watford 3-0.

    The early stages of the game weren't a great watch whichever side you pull for, but the Reds perked up after the break and did some damage—though they did lose Jordan Henderson to a red card late on.

    That shouldn't matter—there's a case to be made that Henderson is Liverpool's worst central midfielder now—but he's the captain and losing a player of that importance ahead of the derby hurts.

6. Napoli (+1)

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    A one-man show between the sticks from Stefano Sorrentino denied Napoli a victory this weekend, with the Chievo goalkeeper stacking up eight saves and keeping a clean sheet.

    In normal circumstances, a draw isn't the end of the world, but when you're up against the juggernaut that is Juventus in a title race, those two dropped points can be quite problematic.

    The Partenopei must forget this quickly and refocus on what is a golden chance to take command of Group C in the Champions League. If things go their way, they could qualify for the latter stages on Wednesday.

    It might look a little odd for Napoli to be moving up after a disappointing result, but it's almost solely in response to Chelsea's loss.

5. Paris Saint-Germain (+1)

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    Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

    As has quite often been the case, Paris Saint-Germain attended to Ligue 1 duties ahead of the Champions League without the services of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe this week.

    Injury played a part in the decision to rest both, with each player taking a knock on international duty, but they weren't needed for the 1-0 win over Toulouse anyway.

    When you can call upon "reserve" quality such as Julian Draxler, this sort of thing is possible.

4. Barcelona (Stay)

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    Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    Last week, we criticised Barcelona's fragility following two blown leads; this week, we have to commend their resilience, pushing to the end and eking out a point against Atletico Madrid with an equaliser in the dying minutes.

    It was Ousmane Dembele who scored it—a man dogged by reports of a gaming addiction threatening to derail his Barca career, per AS (h/t Football Espana).

    This strike was the perfect riposte. His natural talent (and propensity of showing up in big moments) is tough to match.

3. Borussia Dortmund (Stay)

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    Michael Probst/Associated Press

    It was a good weekend for Borussia Dortmund.

    On Friday, they tied Paco Alcacer down on a permanent deal, making his loan move from Barcelona permanent in the process. 

    On Saturday, the Spaniard again stepped off the bench to make a difference, netting the opener in a 2-1 victory to reinforce the idea that signing him full-time was an excellent idea.

    In the process, they set a record: By beating Mainz 05, they made it 12 league games unbeaten to begin the season, a new best.

2. Juventus (Stay)

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    A Cristiano Ronaldo-Mario Mandzukic double act saw Juventus past SPAL on Saturday.

    Massimiliano Allegri was able to rest a number of first-teamers ahead of the chance to move within touching distance of sealing Champions League Group H, with Wojciech Szczesny, Joao Cancelo, Giorgio Chiellini, Blaise Matuidi and Paulo Dybala all either staying on the bench or playing fewer than 20 minutes.

1. Manchester City (Stay)

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    Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    Another week, another big win for Manchester City. Football just looks too easy for them at times.

    Even with Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Benjamin Mendy injured, they made light work of West Ham United at the London Stadium—a venue they have really come to enjoy playing at of late.

    A win against Lyon on Tuesday will wrap up first place in Champions League Group F.


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