Real Madrid’s ruthless week of goals and glory makes them the new No. 1 in Shaka Hislop’s Power Rankings, with Sevilla leaping up to second place.
1. Real Madrid (+3)
It’s been a good week for Zinedine Zidane’s side. After four consecutive draws from Sept. 21 to Oct. 2, Los Blancos have racked up four straight wins. In the past seven days, Cristiano Ronaldo Co. notched a 2-1 home win vs. always-difficult Athletic Bilbao before putting SEVEN goals past Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey. Marco Asensio continued his torrid form, scoring twice in the midweek cup win.
2. Sevilla (+7)
To leap seven places in the table requires something special, and Jorge Sampaoli’s side did just that, stunning La Liga’s then-leaders, Atletico Madrid, with a gritty 1-0 win. Former Stoke midfielder Steven N’Zonzi applied a cool finish to Luciano Vietto’s through-ball to help Los Rojiblancos move up to second behind Real in La Liga, just a point back. Impressive for a team that sold Ever Banega and Ciro Immobile over the summer.
3. Benfica (+2)
When you set a new Portuguese record for consecutive away wins, you deserve to vault into the top three. Rui Vitoria’s side completed a routine 2-0 win at Belenenses on Sunday to make it 16 in a row on the road. Incredible, right?
4. Juventus (-2)
It’s been an up-and-down week for Massimiliano Allegri: After a stunning 1-0 defeat to a fledgling Milan side at the weekend, the Old Lady dusted off and strolled to a comfortable 4-1 midweek win over Sampdoria that kept them atop Serie A. Two goals from rock-solid defender Giorgio Chiellini is also cause for celebration.
5. Barcelona (+1)
Barcelona’s only real result of note this week — we’ll forgive them for losing 1-0 to Espanyol in the Catalan Super Cup with a heavily rotated XI — was a tough, hard-fought and somewhat controversial 3-2 away win at Valencia. The Mestalla Stadium is never an easy place to play, but Lionel Messi’s injury-time penalty earned Luis Enrique’s side all three points to remain in touching distance of the top. The glory of that win, though, was significantly tarnished by a serious injury for Andres Iniesta that will keep the influential midfielder sidelined for at least two months.
6. Atletico Madrid (-5)
Diego Simeone’s side are still a force, but their 1-0 defeat at Sampaoli’s Sevilla is a blip they can ill-afford given their free-scoring rivals across town at the Bernabeu. Koke’s sending off for two yellow cards at the weekend is an added frustration.
7. Arsenal (-4)
Typical Arsenal: Riding high heading into a winnable home clash with Middlesbrough, Arsene Wenger’s side were lucky to hang on for a 0-0 draw. The midweek EFL Cup win over Reading cushions the blow somewhat, but the Gunners need to rediscover their ruthless form in a hurry. Maybe they can just pretend every Premier League opponent is Ludogorets instead.
8. Nice (no change)
The tiny French club are ticking along in admirable fashion, scooping up another win in Ligue 1. Lucien Favre’s side thrashed Metz 4-2 on the road, with three more goals for red-hot striker Alassane Plea, to remain top of the table four points clear of AS Monaco. The Eaglets have yet to lose in the league this season, with eight wins from 10 games.
9. Villarreal (new)
A 2-1 win over everyone’s favourite side-team, Las Palmas, keeps Fran Escriba’s fledgling squad in the hunt for the European places with a third of the season gone. It’s been an interesting campaign so far for the Yellow Submarine, who are unbeaten in both the league and Europe so far.
10. AS Roma (no change)
For all the talk of Napoli being Juve’s main rival for the Scudetto this season, it appears that the nearly there boys from Rome might finally be ready to challenge. Two big wins this week, 4-1 vs. Palermo on Sunday and 3-1 at Sassuolo, and three more goals for in-form Edin Dzeko have Luciano Spalletti’s side ticking along nicely.
Dropping out: Tottenham