European Club Rankings After May 17-19 Matches

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMay 20, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling of Manchester City celebrate with the FA Cup after winning the Emirates FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Watford FC at Wembley Stadium on May 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

Strike Germany, Portugal and Spain off the list of top-tier domestic leagues still in play. This weekend closed the campaigns of all three and crowned two champions—Bayern Munich and Benfica—who we can add to a list already featuring Manchester City, Barcelona and Juventus.

We also saw Man City complete an unprecedented men's domestic treble in England by winning the FA Cup, and the Eredivisie's European play-offs got underway! So much to sink our teeth into, so much to consider with regard to the rankings.

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. Manchester United (Stay)

The summer rebuild is underway. Mike Phelan has been confirmed as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's assistant, and the wheels are in motion on the first signing: According to the Evening Standard's James RobsonSwansea City winger Daniel James looks like he'll be first through the door.

                 

19. RB Leipzig (-1)

Leipzig's form has sloped right off lately—they're winless in May—and, as Watford outlined rather explicitly at Wembley on Saturday, that's not good preparation for facing the best team in your country in a cup final.

They'll need to pick it up fast if they're to beat Bayern on Saturday.

              

18. Valencia (New!)

Valencia closed their La Liga campaign with three straight wins. That, in conjunction with a drop-off in form from Getafe and Sevilla, was enough to swoop in and take fourth place—and with it secure Champions League football for next season.

They'll face Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday. Win it, and this could yet turn out to be a campaign to remember.

             

17. Lyon (Stay)

Lyon rubber-stamped their hold on third place in Ligue 1 with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Stade Malherbe Caen. Great finishes from Memphis Depay, Moussa Dembele and Maxwel Cornet made it a fantastic watch.

Lyon's French forward Moussa Dembele (L) and Lyon's Dutch forward Memphis Depay (C) celebrate at the end of the French L1 football match between Bordeaux (FCGB) and Lyon (OL) on April 26, 2019 at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux, southwestern Fra
NICOLAS TUCAT/Getty Images

                     

16. Lille (Stay)

Not to be outshone by Lyon, Lille went one better this weekend, beating Angers 5-0 and moving to 75 points in the process. Nicolas Pepe bagged a couple, taking his goal tally to 22 in Ligue 1 this season.

                 

15. FC Porto (Stay)

Porto did their bit, beating Sporting, but were relying on the very unlikely (Benfica losing at home to Santa Clara) to win the title, and it didn't go their way.

The league was lost by two points. The Taca da Liga final was lost on penalties to Sporting. They were dumped out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals unceremoniously by Liverpool. 

Saturday's Taca de Portugal final, in which they'll face Sporting once more, is their last shot at securing something silver from this campaign.

              

14. Napoli (Stay)

Napoli are playing for nothing, but that doesn't seem to have put them off. They've notched four wins in a row, the latest one a crushing 4-1 victory over Champions League-chasing Inter Milan.

                  

13. Arsenal (-1)

Arsenal would dearly have loved to prepare for the Europa League final quietly, but instead they've been busy demanding explanations from UEFA over the location (Baku, Azerbaijan), the measly ticket allowance (6,000) handed to them and considering whether it's safe for Henrikh Mkhitaryan to even travel to the game, per the Guardian.

LISBON, PORTUGAL - MAY 18: Haris Seferovic of SL Benfica and Jardel of SL Benfica celebrate with trophy after winning the Liga NOS Championship at the end of the Liga NOS match between SL Benfica and CD Santa Clara at Estadio da Luz on May 18, 2019 in Lis
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

                                           

12. Benfica (+1)

Saturday's 4-1 win over Santa Clara secured Benfica's 37th Primeira Liga title. Nine straight wins to finish the season saw off competition from Porto, and the final match featured a fitting goal from wonderkid and driving force Joao Felix.

                 

11. Paris Saint-Germain (Stay)

There isn't a lot to glean from PSG matches at this stage. They won 4-0 at the weekend with a 17-year-old playing at centre-back and only six substitutes named, affirming how (un)important these last few Ligue 1 fixtures really are to them.


10. Atletico Madrid (Stay)

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

VALENCIA, SPAIN - MAY 18: Antoine Griezmann of Atletico de Madrid looks down prior to the La Liga match between Levante UD and Club Atletico de Madrid at Ciutat de Valencia on May 18, 2019 in Valencia, Spain. (Photo by David Aliaga/MB Media/Getty Images)
David Aliaga/MB Media/Getty Images

Atletico closed their 2018-19 season by waving goodbye to two legends (Diego Godin and Juanfran) and booing another off (Antoine Griezmann). Predictably, his decision to leave the club hasn't gone down particularly well with fans.

                   

9. Borussia Dortmund (Stay)

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

MONCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY - MAY 18: Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund during the German Bundesliga  match between Borussia Monchengladbach v Borussia Dortmund at the Borussia Park on May 18, 2019 in Monchengladbach Germany (Photo by Etienne Zegers/Soccrate
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Like Porto, Dortmund had to win and see their title rivals slip up on the final day if they were to lift a trophy. And like Porto, they won but it wasn't enough.

Next season, they'll be a year older, a year smarter and will likely be reinforced by Thorgan Hazard. More signings of that ilk could put them in a fantastic position to go one better next season.

                  

8. Chelsea (Stay)

League: Third | Carabao Cup: Out (Finalist) | FA Cup: Out (fifth round) | Europa League: Final

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 12:  Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Chelsea is challenged by Ricardo Pereira during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Chelsea FC at The King Power Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Roge
David Rogers/Getty Images

There's no official guideline on how to prepare for a Europa League final, but if there was, it would definitely rule out what Chelsea have just done: Go on a post-season tour designed solely to make money and lose one of your key players to a serious injury in a pointless game.

Without Ruben Loftus-Cheek, beating Arsenal next week just became a much more difficult task.

               

7. Bayern Munich (Stay)

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

MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 18: Arjen Robben of FC Bayern Muenchen substitutes Serge Gnabry of FC Bayern Muenchen during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Eintracht Frankfurt at Allianz Arena on May 18, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Im
TF-Images/Getty Images

Bayern produced a great performance when it really mattered, beating Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1 in a match that sealed a seventh straight Bundesliga title.

That they've still managed to win the division despite enduring a pretty poor season (by their own lofty standards) is testament to their overriding quality and ability to grind out victories with their backs against the wall.

With club legends like Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery leaving and the summer recruitment drive already well underway, Die Roten's off-season will be among the most interesting in Europe.

                  

6. Juventus (Stay)

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

TURIN, ITALY - MAY 19: Head coach Massimiliano Allegri of Juventus greets supporters during the Serie A match between Juventus and Atalanta BC on May 19, 2019 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images)
Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

It was confirmed on Friday that Max Allegri would not continue as Juventus manager into next season, meaning the Old Lady are on the hunt for someone they believe can take them to the next level: Champions League success.

With the quality already in that squad, it's guaranteed to be the choice destination of the summer, but who will take the reins?

             

5. Tottenham Hotspur (Stay)

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

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on May 12, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Tottenham's season isn't done yet, but that hasn't stopped them being mentioned in some big potential summer transfer deals.

Telefoot (h/t Sport Witness) suggests they are "best positioned" to sign Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon, while Ryan Sessegnon and Andre Gomes are also being looked at, per Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail.

                    

4. Ajax (Stay)

League: Winners | KNVB Cup: Winners | Champions League: Out (semi-finals)

Rasmus Kristensen of Ajax, Joel Veltman of Ajax, Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax, Donny van de Beek of Ajax, David Neres of Ajax, Daley Sinkgraven of Ajax, Klaas Jan Huntelaar of Ajax, Dusan Tadic of Ajax, Noussair Mazraoui of Ajax, Carel Eiting of Ajax, Lisandr
VI-Images/Getty Images

Ajax rounded off their phenomenal 2018-19 campaign with a 4-1 win over De Graafschap in the league. The title had already effectively been secured the week before, so this match served as an excuse to throw another party—an excuse supporters seized with both hands.

After full-time, Matthijs de Ligt and Erik ten Hag were named Eredivisie Player of the Year and Manager of the Year, respectively. 

                         

3. Barcelona (Stay)

League: Winners | Copa del Rey: Final | Champions League: Out (semi-finals)

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (R) celebrates with Barcelona's Brazilian midfielder Malcom after scoring a goal during the Spanish League football match between Eibar and Barcelona at the Ipurua stadium in Eibar on May 19, 2019. (Photo by ST
STRINGER/Getty Images

Barca bowed out of La Liga with a 2-2 draw with Eibar, in which Lionel Messi scored twice in two minutes, finishing on 87 points as a result.

It's the first time since 2009 that a team has won the division and not exceeded the 90-point mark—a sign, perhaps, of the fall in quality at the top end of La Liga over the last year.

                  

2. Liverpool (Stay)

League: Second | Carabao Cup: Out (third round) | FA Cup: Out (third round) | Champions League: Final

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool looks on during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield on May 12, 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Liverpool fans don't have any football to fret over at the moment, so they're finding other avenues.

Current topics of concern are reported transfer target Lloyd Kelly joining Bournemouth, per the Bristol Post, and how on earth Fabinho didn't make Brazil's Copa America squad.

                      

1. Manchester City (Stay)

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

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Vincent Kompany of Manchester City lifts the trophy following the FA Cup Final match between Manchester City and Watford at Wembley Stadium on May 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

City's incredible 6-0 victory over Watford in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday secured their third trophy of the season (four if you count the Community Shield).

It caps a frankly ridiculous campaign in which they dominated the domestic path once again, going one better than last year's EFL Cup-Premier League double.

What's mad is they did it with a former attacking midfielder, Oleksandr Zinchenko, at left-back and without Kevin De Bruyne for long spells. It's difficult to overstate how good a job Pep Guardiola has done.

                          

Instagram.com/brsamtighe

All statistics via WhoScored.com.

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