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Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Dortmund Rise, Leverkusen Plummet

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterNovember 5, 2013

Power Ranking the Top 20 European Clubs: Dortmund Rise, Leverkusen Plummet

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Welcome to the latest edition of our weekly European club power rankings.

    The Bundesliga's weekend action has provided two seismic movements on our charts, while English clubs enjoyed mixed fortunes in a crazy game week.

    Check to see where your club grades out and drop your comments below if you disagree!

Honourable Mentions

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    Epsilon/Getty Images

    Lille

    After taking down Monaco to make it four wins from four, Lille have established themselves as a contender for the Ligue 1 title.

     

    Sporting

    Sporting beat Maritimo 3-2 at home to maintain their place above Benfica in the Liga Sagres table (on goal difference).

     

    Zenit St. Petersburg

    Zenit dropped points for the first time in six league outings against Amkar this weekend.

20. FC Porto

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    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Last Week: 18

    Differential: -2

    FC Porto dropped points away to Belenenses this weekend, drawing 1-1 at the Estadio do Restelo.

    It represents only the second game they've failed to win so far this season in the Liga Sagres and is far from the ideal preparation ahead of their away tussle with Zenit St. Petersburg this week.

    They drop on our rankings accordingly.

19. Manchester United

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Last Week: 20

    Differential: +1

    There is every chance that on Saturday, the jokes about a faltering Manchester United died a permanent death.

    They were absolutely devastating at Craven Cottage, and while there may be credence in the suggestion that Fulham are awful, David Moyes' men were 3-0 up inside 30 minutes on account of their own potent attack.

    Everything fell into place, and the Red Devils' faithful will be hoping this is no anomaly.

18. Internazionale

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    Dino Panato/Getty Images

    Last Week: 19

    Differential: +1

    You can never be certain which Udinese side will show up, but regardless, winning 3-0 at the Stadio Friuli is a fantastic achievement.

    That's what Walter Mazzarri's Nerazzurri did on Saturday, with goals from Rodrigo Palacio, Andrea Ranocchia and Ricky Alvarez doing the damage.

    Inter have been guilty of drawing too many games this season, and as a result stand six points off third place in Serie A.

17. Fiorentina

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    Claudio Villa/Getty Images

    Last Week: 17

    Differential: None

    Fiorentina traveled to San Siro on Saturday and beat Milan 2-0. No matter what state the Rossoneri are in, that's one hell of a result.

    Vincenzo Montella is making big strides with the Viola yet again this season, and while they remain several points off the title race, they're beginning to peak and find their groove.

    The toils of the UEFA Europa League could either make or break this campaign for the Florence club.

16. Bayer Leverkusen

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Last Week: 12

    Differential: -4

    Bayer Leverkusen have been doing a wonderful job of winning games this season, but losing to Eintracht Braunschweig is a clear indicator that they are still the third-best side in Germany.

    It was only Braunschweig's second win of the season and it took them onto a measly seven points. Nurnberg would be expected to struggle to beat this side, but not the Werkself—a UEFA Champions League team.

    They drop in our rankings pretty harshly, as it was a pretty shocking afternoon for Sami Hyypia.

15. Liverpool

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Last Week: 14

    Differential: -1

    It was a bitter blow to lose 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium this weekend for Liverpool, as Brendan Rodgers will have wanted his side to lay down a marker for the rest of the season.

    Winning here would have tipped the scales in favour of the public's belief in a top-four finish, but now the Reds must reload and come again.

    Next up in the Premier League is Fulham at home—the ideal tonic considering their current state.

14. Chelsea

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    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Last Week: 13

    Differential: -1

    The St. James' Park curse continues.

    Jose Mourinho had never won at the ground before this weekend's clash between Newcastle United and Chelsea, and true enough the Magpies pulled off a shock 2-0 win.

    The Blues were torrid for long stretches of the match, and only after conceding were they sparked into life, but Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and Mathieu Debuchy were in Ligue 1 form to deny every incoming attack.

    The title race takes another twist!

13. Tottenham Hotspur

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    Tony Marshall/Getty Images

    Last Week: 15

    Differential: +2

    Tottenham Hotspur fans were left conflicted on Sunday as, despite securing yet another clean sheet at a tough venue, they stuttered in attack once more.

    Andre Villas-Boas needs to find the answer to their offensive woes quickly as fan pressure builds, but despite giving off the image of a club in turmoil, they sit level with second-placed Chelsea in the Premier League.

    They're tough to beat, but when will they begin to bury teams?

12. Monaco

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Last Week: 11

    Differential: -1

    Monaco lost their first league game of the season on Sunday, as they fell to in-form Lille.

    Nolan Roux grabbed a brace for the home side at the Stade-Pierre Mauroy, condemning Claudio Ranieri's men to third place in Ligue 1 as the two clubs flipped positions.

    B/R's Jonathan Johnson stated last week that this game was a must-not-lose for les Monegasques, as Paris Saint-Germain are primed to ruthlessly to take advantage of any slip-ups.

11. Manchester City

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Last Week: 16

    Differential: +5

    Given the consistency issues Manchester City have been facing recently, some fans were concerned Norwich City at home was something of a banana skin fixture.

    The fact that Chris Hughton's men turned them over last season, 3-2, on the final day added to those fears, but what followed was a 7-0 trouncing in which seven different players scored.

    Manuel Pellegrini's team are fully capable of ripping teams to shreds like this on a regular basis. Why don't they do it more often?

10. Napoli

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    Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

    Last Week: 10

    Differential: None

    It was a simple case of getting the job done at the Stadio San Paolo on Saturday, as Napoli squeezed past Catania by a 2-1 scoreline.

    It signals three wins on the bounce since losing to Roma at the Stadio Olimpico, and the fact that the Giallorossi finally dropped points meant Rafa Benitez's troops were able to close the gap at the top to three.

    Napoli face Juventus, in Turin, next week.

9. Juventus

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    Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

    Last Week: 9

    Differential: None

    Juventus aren't the first team to have trouble beating Parma this season and they certainly won't be the last.

    Paul Pogba scored a late second-half goal for the Bianconeri to claim a precious three-point haul, allowing Antonio Conte's men to escape the Stadio Ennio Tardini with a clean sheet and pile the pressure on those above.

    Their showdown with Napoli this weekend at the Juventus Stadium will be a marker for the rest of the season.

8. Real Madrid

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Last Week: 8

    Differential: None

    It's becoming more and more entertaining to watch Real Madrid, and it shouldn't surprise you to learn they scraped past another inferior opponent by a 3-2 scoreline this weekend.

    Los Blancos were firmly in control of the game at 3-0 before two penalties were conceded in the space of three minutes, and after Jonathan Viera converted both, Carlo Ancelotti's side had to dig in and see the game out.

    Gareth Bale delivered two assists on the night, continuing his renaissance in Spain.

7. Paris Saint-Germain

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    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Last Week: 7

    Differential: None

    For anyone doubting Laurent Blanc's troops, Friday night was the "eureka!" moment in which they finally realised Paris Saint-Germain are a world-class threat.

    It was only Lorient at home, but the manner in which they were taken apart to the tune of four goals at the hands of PSG was both scintillating and worrying.

    Edinson Cavani grabbed a brace to take his Ligue 1 tally to nine goals in eight starts, while Jeremy Menez and Lucas Moura netted too.

6. Roma

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Last Week: 6

    Differential: None

    The winning streak is over. It ended at 10.

    Alessio Cerci broke footballing hearts everywhere—except perhaps in the Lazio half of Rome—in equalising for Torino against the Giallorossi on Sunday night.

    Roma are still unbeaten and Rudi Garcia still infallible, but the scrutiny will now increase 10-fold as spectators crane their necks to see whether or not this record-breaking team now crumble.

5. Arsenal

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Last Week: 5

    Differential: None

    No Mathieu Flamini? no problem; Arsenal comfortably bested Liverpool 2-0 on Saturday evening despite the absence of their beloved French enforcer, and Arsene Wenger will be delighted to open up a five-point gap atop the Premier League table.

    The Gunners have played Chelsea and Liverpool in succession, and will now face up to an improved Manchester United side at Old Trafford this weekend.

     

4. Barcelona

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Last Week: 3

    Differential: -1

    Barcelona scraped through the Catalan derby this weekend, beating bitter rivals Espanyol 1-0.

    After starting well, Javier Aguirre's men have hit a rough patch in form, and this latest loss takes their tally to five for the season.

    Gerardo Martino rotated his squad again and played Martin Montoya at left-back, Alexis Sanchez on the right and Lionel Messi up front. The latter had little effect, so it's lucky his Chilean colleague is positively on fire right now.

3. Borussia Dortmund

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Last Week: 4

    Differential: +1

    Those who tuned in to watch Borussia Dortmund vs. Stuttgart on Friday night expected a close-fought game, but Juergen Klopp's troops smashed the visitors to pieces, putting six past them as Robert Lewandowski claimed his second hat-trick in yellow and black.

    It's a frightening indicator of what Dortmund can do when they hit form, and the depth they have in the forward areas is fantastic. Defensively, they remain questionable—both aerially and in terms of bodies—but if they can make it to January unscathed, they can reload and challenge on all fronts.

2. Atletico Madrid

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Last Week: 2

    Differential: None

    Atletico Madrid kept pace in the Liga title race by beating a strong Athletic Club outfit 2-0 at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday.

    David Villa and Diego Costa scored the goals, while Koke and Filipe Luis impressed once again. Los Colchoneros now sit on 33 points with 11 wins and one loss, boast a plus-22 goal difference and remain just one point shy of Barcelona at the top.

    It's starting to look like a seriously intriguing title race—can Diego Simeone's men carry on, or will they falter like last season?

1. Bayern Munich

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Last Week: 1

    Differential: None

    Bayern Munich stay atop the Bundesliga table after squeezing past Hoffenheim at the Rhein-Neckar Arena on Saturday.

    Niklas Suele had given the hosts a shock lead and die Bayern struggled to find their dominant groove all afternoon, but goals from Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Mueller secured a vital victory for Pep Guardiola—especially considering Bayer Leverkusen dropped cheap points on the same day.

    This Bavarian outfit stay first in our rankings for the time being.

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