European Club Rankings After February 15-17 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterFebruary 18, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Heung-min Son of Tottenham  celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium on February 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

The Champions League is back, domestic leagues are in full flow and cup competitions are topping up the fixture list to give us endless football to watch.

It's February, which means we're hurtling toward the business end of the season, and performances delivered now better be good—otherwise teams face major ramifications.

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. Sevilla (-1)

Losing 3-0 to a side in the relegation places in Villarreal is never a good look, and despite success in midweek in the Europa League away to Lazio, Sevilla continue to drop down.

       

19. Borussia Monchengladbach (+1)

A point away to Eintract Frankfurt is an excellent result in isolation, but there might be some concern at Gladbach that they've won just three of their last six, enabling Bayern Munich to pull away from them in second and RB Leipzig to pull up behind them in fourth.

Still, at least they didn't lose 3-0 to a team in the relegation places.

     

18. Arsenal (-1)

Arsenal enjoyed a rare weekend off due to earlier FA Cup elimination, so they'll have had plenty of time to digest, analyse and fix the issues that haunted their embarrassing result on Thursday: a 1-0 loss to BATE Borisov in the UEFA Europa League.

BARYSAW, BELARUS - FEBRUARY 14: Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal reacts during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 First Leg match between BATE Barysaw and Arsenal at Barysaw-Arena on February 14, 2019 in Barysaw, Belarus. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)
MB Media/Getty Images

       

17. Lille (+1)

For the first time since late November, Lille were held scoreless. Montpellier were the team to manage it, somehow containing Rafael Leao, Nicolas Pepe, Jonathan Bamba and Co. and allowing just three shots on target.

They only move up because Arsenal's result was worse.

       

16. Lyon (Stay)

Some will fancy Lyon for an upset against Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16—they've beaten Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City already this season, after all—but with key men missing it could be too much of an ask.

Talismanic attacker Nabil Fekir is suspended, while Tanguy Ndombele and Jason Denayer are injury concerns, per Sport. Surely that would make it mission impossible?


15. Ajax (Stay)

Ajax were unfortunate to come away from their tussle against Real Madrid with a 2-1 loss last week. They played well, subjected the Spanish giants to immense pressure and saw a goal ruled out by VAR that left people scratching their heads.

They took their frustrations out on NAC Breda at the weekend, winning 5-0 in a display of sheer dominance, and they now need to strike a run of these—rather than float in and out of form like they have seen in 2019.

         

14. FC Porto (-1)

Porto tasted defeat in European competition for the first time this season last week, falling to Roma 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico. 

A slow start gave the hosts a chance to take command of the game, but Adrian Lopez's late strike at least presented the team with a vital foothold in the two-legged tie.

Porto's Spanish forward Adrian Lopez celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, first leg football match AS Roma vs FC Porto on February 12, 2019 at the Olympic stadium in Rome. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)        (Photo cr
ALBERTO PIZZOLI/Getty Images

        

13. Chelsea (+1)

Chelsea play Manchester United in the FA Cup Monday. Having tried and failed to kill off Malmo in the Europa League first leg on Thursday—pushing for a third goal and ending up conceding one—they'll be less rested and potentially less prepared. 

        

12. Napoli (Stay)

Napoli were unfortunate not to clock two wins from two last week. Only a Salvatore Sirigu masterclass (nine saves in total) kept Carlo Ancelotti from adding Torino to FC Zurich's name on the "just beaten" pile.

          

11. Atletico Madrid (Stay)

Once again, Atletico Madrid were forced to rely on the superb combination of Jan Oblak and Antoine Griezmann to grind out a La Liga win—this time against Rayo Vallecano.

It wasn't convincing. It wasn't smooth. It doesn't bode particularly well for a tie with Juventus in the Champions League. But it does push them back into second place in La Liga.


10. Real Madrid (-1)

League: 3rd | Copa del Rey: Semi-finals | Champions League: Round of 16

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 17: Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid is shown a red card by referee during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Girona FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 17, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Last week felt like your quintessential Real Madrid week from this season: Secure a victory in the Champions League—their bread-and-butter competition—before losing in La Liga to a lower-half side.

It happens quite a lot. Their priorities seem clear!

       

9. Manchester United (-1)

League: 4th | Carabao Cup: Out (3rd round) | FA Cup: 5th Round | Champions League: Round of 16

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12: Coach of Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Manchester United (Man U) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Old Trafford stadium on February 12, 2019 in
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Manchester United take on Chelsea this evening at Stamford Bridge, a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals at stake. They've had plenty of time to shake the poor performance against Paris Saint-Germain out of their system and get back on track.

         

8. Tottenham Hotspur (+2)

League: 3rd | Carabao Cup: Out (Semi-finals) | FA Cup: Out (4th Round) | Champions League: Round of 16

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium on February 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkin
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Powered by Heung-Min Son and Jan Vertonghen, Tottenham are racking up victories and beginning to salvage their own season.

Salvage may feel like a harsh word there—they're on the fringes of a Premier League title race, after all—but after exiting both domestic cups in the space of a week in January, things were looking quite bleak.

Credit to manager Mauricio Pochettino for steadying the ship despite still lacking key men.

        

7. Bayern Munich (Stay)

League: 2nd | DFB-Pokal: Quarter-final | Champions League: Round of 16

Bayern Munich's French defender Kingsley Coman (L) and Augsburg's Austrian defender Kevin Danso vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga match between FC Augsburg and FC Bayern Munich in Augsburg, southern Germany, on February 15, 2019
CHRISTOF STACHE/Getty Images

Bayern's 3-2 win over Augsburg on Friday drew the Bavarian giants to within two points of league leaders Borussia Dortmund. Even if it's only temporary, with BVB to play on Monday night, it still mounts the pressure on their rivals and presents a test of nerve.

Die Roten now face their biggest test of his season as Liverpool welcome them to Anfield on Tuesday. The matchup will give us a chance to really gauge Bayern's strength.

           

6. Borussia Dortmund (-2)

League: 1st | DFB-Pokal: Out (3rd round) | Champions League: Round of 16

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 13: Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund and of Tottenham Hotspur during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg match between Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium on February 13, 2019 in London, Engla
Visionhaus/Getty Images

Dortmund are in Bundesliga action on Monday evening, and they'll be looking to put a nightmarish 10 days behind them with a win over Nurnberg.

They've failed to secure victory in any of their last four games, with Wednesday's 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur leaving their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread.

         

5. Paris Saint-Germain (+1)

League: 1st | Coupe de France: Quarter-finals | Coupe de la Ligue: Out (Quarter-finals) | Champions League: Round of 16

SAINT-ETIENNE, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 17: Kylian Mbappe of PSG celebrates his winning goal during the French Ligue 1 match between AS Saint-Etienne (ASSE) and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on February 17, 2019 in Saint-Etienne, France. (
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

No Neymar, no Edinson Cavani, no Thomas Meunier and still no problem? Paris Saint-Germain hobbled into Old Trafford last week but had no problem sweeping Manchester United aside, playing a smart, tactical, experienced game to win 2-0.

They then turned in a professional showing against Saint-Etienne with a heavily rotated squad, winning 1-0 and crowning Leandro Paredes' full league debut in style.

        

4. Juventus (+1)

League: 1st | Coppa Italia: Out (Quarter-finals) | Champions League: Round of 16

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 15: Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus  during the Italian Serie A   match between Juventus v Frosinone at the Allianz Stadium on February 15, 2019 in Turin Italy (Photo by Peter Lous/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Juventus received about as kind a pre-Champions League fixture as they could have asked for: 19th-placed Frosinone, at home, scheduled for Friday night to allow for maximum resting time.

They made light work of the Serie A minnows, winning 3-0 thanks to goals from Paulo Dybala, Leonardo Bonucci and Cristiano Ronaldo, and now focus turns to Atletico Madrid.

          

3. Liverpool (Stay)

League: 2nd | Carabao Cup: Out (3rd round) | FA Cup: Out (3rd round) | Champions League: Round of 16

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 09:  Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool celebrates after scoring his team's second goal with teammate Fabinho during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield on February 9, 2019 in Liverpool,
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Liverpool will take on Bayern Munich on Tuesday fresh off a 10-day rest, having taken the weekend off due to their earlier elimination from the FA Cup. Presumably they spent much of that time figuring out how to defend without Virgil van Dijk, who is suspended for the first leg.

        

2. Barcelona (Stay)

League: 1st | Copa del Rey: Semi-final | Champions League: Round of 16

BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 16: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Real Valladolid CF at Camp Nou on February 16, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Usually it's the home goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who is in monstrous form at the Camp Nou nowadays, but this weekend it was turn of the visiting No. 1 to steal the show.

Real Valladolid's Jordi Masip made seven stops (including one penalty save against Lionel Messi). He was only beaten by a second penalty, this time scored by the Argentinian, a strike that led Barcelona to a crucial 1-0 victory.

Masip's a former Barcelona player and La Masia graduate; perhaps it was all that insider info that led to such a showing?

       

1. Manchester City (Stay)

League: 1st | Carabao Cup: Final | FA Cup: Quarter-finals | Champions League: Round of 16

NEWPORT, WALES - FEBRUARY 16:  Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Newport County AFC and Manchester City at Rodney Parade on February 16, 2019 in Newport, United Kingdo
Harry Trump/Getty Images

Perhaps the 4-1 scoreline against Newport County flattered Man City a little—it was 2-1 in the 88th minute, after all—but there's no doubt they deserved to win the game.

They're now into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and are facing a massive week in other competitions: Their Champions League round of 16 begins on Wednesday against Schalke, then they play Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.

      

Instagram.com/brsamtighe

All statistics via WhoScored.com.

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