What an action-packed week of football around Europe.
To sum up:
– ALL OF SPAIN BOTTLED TOP SPOT.
– PSG FINALLY CAME UNSTUCK.
– JUVE ROLLED ON.
– THE PREMIER LEAGUE DOUBLED UP.
– JADON SANCHO NSFW-ED FREIBURG.
So, sit back, relax and enjoy another one of 90min’s DEFINITIVE. EUROPEAN. POWER. RANKINGS. This time, observed through lens of the various films penned by the late, great screenwriter, William Goldman.
15. Manchester United (-)
“Turns out your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. See, mostly dead is still slightly alive.” (The Princess Bride)
Somehow, and don’t ask me how because I’m still confused, Manchester United are still clawing onto their spot in these rankings. Unbelievable. Two contrastingly impressive 2-2 draws later, and they’re still where they were last week.
I mean it can’t last, clearly. Jose Mourinho’s got to go at some point, and thankfully this looks like it could happen sooner rather later. That is, if you take that above outfit to mean he’s got a gig playing Neo in an upcoming reboot of ‘The Matrix’.
14. Feyenoord – (New Entry)
“The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand.” (All the President’s Men)
That right there seems to be the stock response following a Feyenoord fan’s dastardly use of an extra ball to put off a threatening PSV Eindhoven attack in their 2-1 victory over the league leaders. But, counter that argument above, that moment of sh*thousery brilliance is exactly the reason they’re in these rankings for the first time.
It may be a one time offer, we’ll see, but if there’s more where that came from, then it’s vice versa on this end. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
13. Sevilla (Down 1)
“It’s over, don’t you get that? Your time is over and you’re gonna die bloody, and all you can do is choose where.” (Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid)
A harsh, harsh assessment from Sheriff Bledsoe there, but thems be La Liga rules. Sure, Sevilla were probably never going to win the league anyway, and Saturday’s draw with Alaves didn’t even rule them out from doing so, but it still felt like a reality check.
Their chances of an unexpected first title since 1945/46 seem like they’re slipping away.
12. Inter (Up 2)
“Inconceivable!” (The Princess Bride)
That iconic Goldmanism seems completely apt here – because it does feel inconceivable that Inter could go up two spots after drawing with Roma.
But it was a hard fought draw, even if it wasn’t entirely merited, and will mean they go into Friday night’s Derby d’Italia with brazen confidence – well at least I hope so, for the sake of Serie A.
11. RB Leipzig (New Entry)
“I don’t want to sound like a sore loser, but when it’s over, if I’m dead, kill him.” (Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid)
It is said that these were the dying collective words of Borussia Monchengladbach’s players as they slumped to defeat at the Red Bull Arena. Last week’s high flyers, Gladbach, despite retaining a point’s lead over their recent conquerors, have been ousted in favour of those very souls in Leipzig.
Ralf Rangnick’s side will now be looking to leapfrog Dieter Hecking’s side, in hopes of catching those pesky frontrunners in Dortmund.
10. Atletico Madrid (Down 1)
“What’s this, more bullsh*t for your thesis?” (Marathon Man)
Just when Atletico Madrid seemed like they were on the charge, Diego Simeone had to go full Diego Simeone to get a 1-1 draw at Girona.
But, speaking of ‘Matrix’ reboots, he’s got to be up for consideration. SiNEOne?
9. Tottenham Hotspur (Down 3)
“Life is Pain. Anyone who says different is trying to sell you something.” (The Princess Bride)
Spurs fans may still be smarting from their north London derby defeat, but they shouldn’t be too despondent, especially after the midweek action.
They’re still third, above their capital rivals Chelsea and Arsenal, and Harry Kane is still good. So, cheer up. It’s not all doom and gloom.
8. Arsenal (-)
“I was in a state of hysteria, you know.” (Marathon Man)
This whole game felt like it was being played with this quote in mind. The goals were ridiculous, the defences porous, the goalkeepers dodgy.
But, Arsenal came through it, and though they will likely feel they deserved all three, a point will suffice.
7. SSC Napoli (-)
“You see, uh, in a sense, one becomes more emotional with age.” (Marathon Man)
After being brought in with high expectations two seasons ago, Arkadiusz Milik has had two years of injury blighted football in Naples.
Well, so far, so good this season, and it felt like Monday night’s celebrations following his last gasp winner were a release of all that pent up frustration.
6. Liverpool (Up 7)
“Don’t rush me sonny, you rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.” (The Princess Bride)
Twice Liverpool have come from the brink to snatch victory. Both times they left it late, but sometimes you have to be patient.
They’re not miracle men just yet, but if they somehow keep this up they just become them.
5. Paris Saint-Germain (Down 5)
“If you’re gonna do it, do it right. If you’re gonna hype it, hype it with the facts. I don’t mind what you did. I mind the way you did it.” (All the President’s Men)
So, after 14 games of complete perfection, the Parisians have been undone twice in a row. Yes, they’re still unbeaten, but they should seriously take some time to mull over that proclamation above.
And on more than one level.
4. Barcelona (-)
“That is, of course, the ultimate theft!” (Marathon Man)
While others faulted in their attempts to wrestle control of La Liga, La Blaugrana did everything but. Goals from Gerard Pique and Carlos Alena were enough to take Barcelona to the summit of Spain once again.
Well, it was fun while it lasted, wasn’t it.
3. Juventus (Down 1)
“Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father! Prepare to die!” (The Princess Bride)
Ok, maybe that lacks a bit of relevance here, but we had to get it in here, because it doesn’t get much more iconic. But there is a through-line. Right now, Juve are dispatching their opponents with about as much ease and reverence as Inigo Montoya.
Someone, give them a challenge, please.
2. Manchester City (Up 1)
“You’ve fell victim for one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia but only slightly lesser known is never go in against a sicilian when DEATH is on the line!” (The Princess Bride)
Again, another classic that had to be included, but this one feels particularly apt. All you have to do is switch out ‘Asia’ with, I don’t know, the UAE, and ‘sicilian’ with Citizen, and you’ve got yourself a perfect allegory.
Because, the Citizens are indeed relentless in their pursuit of Premier League glory, and have shown no signs of weakness to their opponents, who seem foolish for thinking otherwise. Pep Guardiola’s side march on. The rest should beware.
1. Borussia Dortmund (Up 3)
“I get sick being right all the time.” (Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid)
Here at 90min’s DEFINITIVE European Power Rankings HQ, we’ve been urging you to watch Borussia Dortmund from the get-go, because they undoubtedly put on the best show in Europe.
And, once again, they proved us right, with a glittering display against Freiburg. God, we’re good.