European Club Rankings After January 11-13 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 14, 2019

European Club Rankings After January 11-13 Matches

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    When Europe's biggest sides fall to defeat, the European Club Rankings get interesting. Last week we saw Barcelona, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Lyon lose, throwing our top 20 order into complete disarray.

    Enjoy the fallout.

    The European Club Rankings is 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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    20. Borussia Monchengladbach (Stay)

    Borussia Monchengladbach are on a winter break along with the rest of the Bundesliga. They return to action on January 19, away to Bayer Leverkusen. 


    19. Lyon (-1)

    Lyon's home loss to Strasbourg in the Coupe de la Ligue was followed by a 1-1 draw with Stade de Reims. That's not only a bad set of results, but a serious missed chance at silverware.


    18. Real Madrid (+1)

    Real Madrid steadied the ship this week (how many times have they had to do that this season?) with consecutive wins. The second of those victories—2-1 away to Real Betis—was impressive, and the team will hope it represents a turning point in Santiago Solari's reign.


    17. Arsenal (-1)

    The 2018-19 version of Arsenal are never far from a crisis, and Saturday brought another one. A 1-0 loss away to West Ham United encouraged another round of introspection, with Gunnerblog tweeting that, in his mind, only three players should be nailed on to continue with the club next season.

    Contrast this to the fuzzy feelings fans had during the 22-game unbeaten streak...


    16. Inter Milan (+1)

    Inter Milan's 6-2 win over Benevento was part thrilling, part haunted. Played in front of a near-empty San Siro—a punishment for the racist abuse directed at Kalidou Koulibaly in December—you could hear every shout and scream from the players on the pitch.


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    15. FC Porto (-1)

    On Saturday, Sporting CP did what no side had done since October: stop FC Porto from taking three points from a game of football. The win streak was halted at 18 as the clubs drew 0-0.


    14. Manchester United (+1)

    The criticism of Man Utd's win streak under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was predicated on them not beating any good teams. However, a 1-0 win over Tottenham away from home—however reliant on a David De Gea masterclass it was—may change that perception a little. 


    13. Ajax (Stay) 

    Ajax resume duties on Sunday, when they face Heerenveen at home in the Eredivisie. They will also line up against the same opponent four days later in the KNVB Cup.


    12. Chelsea (Stay)

    Chelsea are still stuck in first gear and struggling through games.

    They looked toothless against Tottenham in midweek and lost 1-0 in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg, leaving them a hill to climb in the second, and they just about saw off Newcastle United 2-1 in the league on Saturday.


    11. Sevilla (Stay)

    Sevilla endured the strange task of playing the same opposition in consecutive games last week, facing Athletic Club Bilbao in the Copa del Rey on Thursday and then in La Liga on Sunday.

    They won the first and lost the second, which is probably the right way around from Los Rojiblancos' point of view.

10. Napoli (Stay)

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    Napoli started off 2019 with a 2-0 win over Sassuolo that sealed progression in the Coppa Italia. 

    It's a competition that should probably take priority for the Partenopei as it's their best chance of winning a trophy this season. Serie A is out of reach and the UEFA Europa League's a slog. However, the Coppa Italia's winnable.

    If they carry on playing as they are, they can beat anyone—even Juventus, should their paths cross.

9. Tottenham Hotspur (-1)

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Wembley Stadium saw two 1-0 scorelines last week—one in favour of Tottenham Hotspur, and one against.

    The one in favour came vs. Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg; the one against, suffered at the hands of Manchester United, came in the Premier League.

    If you'd have given fans the choice, that's probably the way round they would have chosen. Earning silverware should be Spurs' priority, and they've got one foot in the Carabao Cup final now.

    Sunday's defeat to the Red Devils will have stung, though—particularly given missed chances formed a big reason as to why they lost—and it's allowed Chelsea to close the gap to third to just one point.

8. Atletico Madrid (+1)

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Atletico Madrid rarely look dominant these days, but they haven't lost since October—a 16-game unbeaten streak—as their stubborn ability to grind out results continues to come to the fore.

    It was Antoine Griezmann who made the difference against Levante, converting from the spot to seal a 1-0 win, continuing his own good form. He's scored in five straight games.

7. Bayern Munich (Stay)

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    Bayern Munich are on a winter break along with the rest of the Bundesliga. They return to action away to Hoffenheim on January 18.

6. Paris Saint-Germain (-1)

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    Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

    Paris Saint-Germain are sailing well clear at the top of Ligue 1. They've hit 50 points in just 18 games, and they're 13 clear of second place with two games in hand.

    While that's impressive, it's also kind of expected. The reigning champions are by far the strongest team in France and don't turn heads when they win—but they do turn heads when they lose.

    The midweek defeat to Guingamp at home eliminated them from the Coupe de la Ligue and removed the possibility of a clean domestic sweep. It results in a drop of one place in our rankings.

5. Borussia Dortmund (+1)

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    VI-Images/Getty Images

    Borussia Dortmund return to action following the winter break on January 19, away to RB Leipzig.

    They move up solely because Paris Saint-Germain lost to Guingamp.

4. Manchester City (Stay)

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    PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

    Manchester City don't return to Premier League action until Monday evening against Wolves, but they all but qualified for the Carabao Cup final in midweek by beating Burton Albion 9-0.

    Yes, that's 9-0.

    They still have to play the second leg at the Pirelli Stadium, meaning the aggregate score is almost certain to hit double figures.

3. Liverpool (Stay)

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Injuries have taken their toll on this Liverpool side lately and things seem like a struggle.

    They managed to dig out a 1-0 victory at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday thanks to Mohamed Salah's penalty, but five days before they fell to Wolves in the FA Cup in a pretty dismal display.

    That's both domestic trophy chances gone—and each at an early stage. It piles the pressure on that Premier League title chase.

2. Barcelona (-1)

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    Barcelona made light work of Eibar on Sunday evening, winning 3-0 in a game where Lionel Messi brought up 400 La Liga goals, but that's not enough to stop them from dropping top spot after what happened in midweek.

    The 2-1 loss to Levante in the Copa del Rey may seem a) explainable (it was a reserve XI fielded) and b) recoverable (it's a two-legged affair), but that doesn't wash in these rankings. It's tight at the top between the best teams, and this is enough to dethrone them. 

1. Juventus (+1)

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    Massimiliano Allegri rang the changes in his Juventus XI for their visit to Bologna in the Coppa Italia and was rewarded with great performances from a series of fringe options as they won 2-0.

    Federico Bernardeschi scored the opener to ease the Old Lady into proceedings, 18-year-old Moise Kean netted on his first start of the season and Leonardo Spinazzola put in a brilliant showing on the left flank.

    It's not the most impressive win, but in the wake of Barcelona's midweek loss, it's enough to take them to the top of our rankings.

    Next up is a chance at silverware: They face Milan in the Supercoppa Italiana on Wednesday.


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