European Club Rankings After May 4-6 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMay 7, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona and Virgil Van Dijk of Liverpool compete for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between Barcelona and Liverpool at the Nou Camp on May 1, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

The Premier League title will be decided on the final day. The Primeira Liga and Eredivisie likely will too. The Bundesliga could be wrapped up next weekend, but a Bayern Munich slip-up would extend the spectacle.

Add all of this to the midweek Champions League and Europa League semi-final second-leg action, plus the end-of-season cup finals to come, and it's more than enough to keep you riveted as the European domestic season draws to a close.

The European Club Rankings is a list of the top teams in order of form and performance at this stage of the season.

You can read the previous set of rankings here.


20. Real Madrid (Stay)

Real Madrid's lottery of results produced a win this weekend, 3-2 against Villarreal. It was another opportunity for fringe players to stake their claim to manager Zinedine Zidane, and Brahim Diaz, Jesus Vallejo and Mariano Diaz did very well.

           

19. Lyon (Stay)

In failing to beat Lille this weekend, Lyon not only more or less waved goodbye to second place in Ligue 1, but they also allowed AS Saint-Etienne to creep within a point of them in third.

Les Gones' final three games are one of France's biggest storylines on offer, as a failure to land Champions League football (via the top three) would surely expedite some of the anticipated player departures there.

            

18. Lille (Stay)

Lille's 2-2 draw at Lyon on Sunday was like a who's who of major summer transfer targets. 

For the hosts, Houssem Aouar, Tanguy Ndombele, Nabil Fekir, Moussa Dembele and Ferland Mendy all featured, while Nicolas Pepe and Rafael Leao played for the visitors.

Watching scouts will have been impressed.

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - MAY 05:  Paul Pogba of Manchester United reacts at full time during the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester United at John Smith's Stadium on May 5, 2019 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie J
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

           

17. Manchester United (-2)

Failing to beat Huddersfield Townthe league's bottom clubin a match that ends your top-four hopes is a pretty fitting way for this dysfunctional, chaotic and ultimately poor Manchester United season to end.

The jaunt to the Champions League quarter-finals distracted from the problems lying within for a while, but now the clear-out we're all anticipating must begin.

            

16. Eintracht Frankfurt (Stay)

Frankfurt's eye-popping 6-1 loss at Bayer Leverkusen this weekend widened the race for fourth spot in the Bundesliga to a remarkable degree.

There are now five teams in play for it, all the way down to Hoffenheim in eighth (they are three points back), and Adi Hutter's men also have a trip to Stamford Bridge to mix into their preparations this week.

That Europa League semi-final first-leg draw with Chelsea is enough to keep Die Adler in 16th place in our rankings.

            

15. Benfica (+2)

Benfica and FC Porto are playing out their very own Manchester City and Liverpool situation, with the former in the driving seat a la Pep Guardiola's men.

Their task is simple: Win out and the title is theirs. So far they've been unflinching, this week beating Portimonense 5-1. Two to go.

         

14. Napoli (-1)

You can't accuse Napoli of letting this season peter out, can you? Goals in the 85th and 97th minutes beat Cagliari 2-1, with the Partenopei pushing and pushing despite it meaning little for them in real terms.

They drop here after Arsenal put themselves in a commanding position to reach the Europa League final.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 05: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium on May 5, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Phot
James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

           

13. Arsenal (+1)

Arsenal only turn up for Europa League games now, apparently.

They were very good against Valencia, scoring three goals against a side with six defenders in the XI, but once again failed to beat their Premier League opponent at the weekend, Brighton & Hove Albion, as yet another comedy of errors struck the defensive line.

The Gunners remain extremely difficult to judge.

         

12. FC Porto (-1)

Porto beat Aves 4-0 to keep the pressure on Benfica in the title race, but they fall in these rankings as Chelsea move up. 

         

11. Paris Saint-Germain (-1)

PSG have won one of their last seven games, have completely tailed off in Ligue 1 and recently lost a cup final to Rennes. 

Thomas Tuchel could be forgiven for simply wanting this season to finish—but then again, given the murmurs surrounding his job security, per the Mirror, perhaps that will only bring down the curtain on his tenure in the French capital.


10. Chelsea (+2)

League: Third | Carabao Cup: Out (Finalist) | FA Cup: Out (fifth round) | Europa League: Semi-finals

It's amazing what winning games can do for your Champions League-chasing charge, isn't it?

Chelsea decided to actually win one this weekend and it mathematically secured a top-four berth, easing the pressure slightly on their Europa League semi-final second leg with Frankfurt on Thursday.

Now Maurizio Sarri can narrow his focus and restrict the likes of Eden Hazard to European duties, only further enhancing their position from here.

          

9. Atletico Madrid (Stay)

League: Second | Copa del Rey: Out (round of 16) | Champions League: Out (round of 16)

Atletico need just a point to secure second place in La Liga, and this weekend they played like they know it. A 3-0 loss to Espanyol would usually be cause for severe concern, but it doesn't really matter.

BREMEN, GERMANY - MAY 04: Paco Alcacer of Borussia Dortmund looks dejected during the Bundesliga match between SV Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund at Weserstadion on May 4, 2019 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

             

8. Borussia Dortmund (Stay)

League: Second | DFB-Pokal: Out (third round) | Champions League: Out (round of 16)

A late collapse against Werder Bremen saw Borussia Dortmund's title hopes all but disappear this weekend. From 2-0 to 2-2 in five minutes, it was a second half that symbolised their season quite neatly.

          

7. Tottenham Hotspur (Stay)

League: Fourth | Carabao Cup: Out (semi-finals) | FA Cup: Out (fourth round) | Champions League: Semi-finals

Nine-man Spurs conceded at the death to lose to Bournemouth 1-0 on Saturday, but results elsewhere ended up more or less confirming their top-four spot for another year anyway.

What's of more concern is the other 1-0 defeat they suffered last week, at home to Ajax in the Champions League semi-final first leg, as they now need to go to the Netherlands and win by more than one.

        

6. Bayern Munich (Stay)

League: First | DFB-Pokal: Final | Champions League: Out (round of 16)

Bayern manager Niko Kovac will have breathed a small sigh of relief this weekend, as his side's 3-1 win over Hannover, combined with Dortmund's draw with Wolfsburg, created some genuine separation between the two sides in the Bundesliga table.

Given the difficulty of Die Roten's final two fixtures (RB Leipzig away, Frankfurt at home), a four-point buffer will be most welcome. 

            

5. Juventus (Stay)

League: Winners | Coppa Italia: Out (quarter-finals) | Champions League: Out (quarter-finals)

TURIN, ITALY - MAY 03: Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus reacts in frustration during the Serie A match between Juventus and Torino FC at Allianz Stadium on May 3, 2019 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Chris Ricco/Getty Images)
Chris Ricco/Getty Images

The final stages of Juventus' campaign have just become Cristiano Ronaldo's attempt to secure the title of Capocannoniere (Serie A top scorer), and even though he netted against Torino this weekend, Fabio Quagliarella's brace against Parma left the Portuguese further back (four goals) than he was before (three goals).

           

4. Ajax (Stay)

League: First | KNVB Cup: Winners | Champions League: Semi-finals

ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - MAY 5: Donny van de Beek of Ajax, Frenkie de Jong of Ajax celebrates the championship with the trophy  during the Dutch KNVB Beker  match between Willem II v Ajax Dutch Toto KNVB Cup Final at the Feyenoord Stadium on May 5, 2019 i
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

It was a truly glorious week for Ajax, who first beat Tottenham 1-0 in London to put one foot in the Champions League final and then defeated Willem II 4-0 in Rotterdam to secure the KNVB Cup.

The treble is firmly on the cards for Erik ten Hag's men, so long as they can finish the job against Spurs this week and see off PSV Eindhoven in the duel for the Eredivisie title.

          

3. Liverpool (Stay)

League: Second | Carabao Cup: Out (third round) | FA Cup: Out (third round) | Champions League: Semi-finals

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool looks on prior to the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Liverpool FC at St. James Park on May 04, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Ge
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Liverpool are facing the distinct possibility of ending this season trophyless.

Given how good they've been that would be very cruel, but unless they can perform a miracle against Barcelona on Tuesday (without the services of Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino) and/or Manchester City fail to win on Sunday, it's going to happen.

           

2. Manchester City (Stay)

League: First | Carabao Cup: Winners | FA Cup: Final | Champions League: Out (quarter-finals) 

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 06: Bernardo Silva of Manchester City celebrates victory with Vincent Kompany of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Leicester City at Etihad Stadium on May 06, 2019 in Manchester, United K
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

"Everyone was saying 'don't shoot, don't shoot!', I could really hear it.

"It was annoying me and I said: 'hold on a second'—I haven't come this far in my career for young players to tell me whether I can take a shot or not. So I just took it!"

Per Goal, that's the story of the Vincent Kompany goal that has placed one Manchester City hand on the Premier League trophy. It's incredible that the Belgian's decision to slam a 25-yard rocket into the top corner derived partially from petulance.

           

1. Barcelona (Stay)

League: Winners | Copa del Rey: Final | Champions League: Semi-finals

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between Barcelona and Liverpool at the Nou Camp on May 1, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

You can gauge how important Ernesto Valverde felt Barcelona's match with Celta Vigo was by the strength of the XI he fielded: Just one regular starter (Arthur) began the game, with even goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen given the day off.

They lost 2-0 but won't care; the Liga title was secured last week, and they've got bigger fish to fry. That magnificent 3-0 win over Liverpool at the Camp Nou has them on the cusp of a first Champions League final in four years, and all they have to do is see it out.

           

Instagram.com/brsamtighe

All statistics via WhoScored.com.

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