Football: European Champions League power rankings after week four
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Football: European Champions League power rankings after week four

TOTTENHAM Hotspur rightly stole the headlines on the fourth week of Champions League action, beating Real Madrid 3-1 at Wembley to hand the Spanish giants their first group-stage defeat for five years.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team now lead Group H and have secured their place in the knockout phase for only the second time in the Champions League era.

While Spurs bolstered their European pedigree, they remain outsiders with the bookmakers – ranked eighth favourites to lift the trophy in Kiev next May.

We rank all 32 Champions League teams after the opening four rounds of group stage action, as the tournament really starts to take shape. (Previous position in brackets).

Kurzawa

Unlikely hat-trick hero Layvin Kurzawa celebrates a goal for Paris St Germain against Anderlecht. Source: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

THE ELITE

1 (3) Paris St Germain

Are PSG now the real deal? Not since the days of George Weah and David Ginola have they reached a Champions League semi-final – and until they do, question marks will persist.

But, bolstered by Neymar’s arrival, they certainly look the business this season.

They have won all four group games, scoring 17 goals and conceding none in the process, and Layvin Kurzawa’s hat-trick in their 5-0 win over Anderlecht this week showed they are anything but a one-man team.

2 (2) Barcelona

Barça encountered a bump in the road as they were held 0-0 by Olympiacos on Tuesday – but they remain unbeaten in the league and Champions League this season.

This week’s setback was the first time they had failed to score in a Champions League group game for five years – and, if their season so far is anything to go by, they will respond positively.

3 (1) Real Madrid

Real have been champions in three of the past four seasons, yet they are exhibiting some traits that are concerning their fans and players alike.

After their 3-1 humbling against Spurs, Cristiano Ronaldo admitted losing players such as Pepe, Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez over the summer had hurt the team.

“The players who have arrived have a lot of potential but Pepe, Morata and James made us stronger and the players are younger now,” he told reporters. “Our squad isn’t worse, but it’s less experienced and experience is very important. But it’s no excuse and we shouldn’t be alarmed.”

4 (4) Manchester City

City’s rampant domestic start – and their 100 per cent record in Europe, which was extended with Wednesday’s impressive 3-2 win at Napoli – has launched them into the European elite.

While they have never gone further than the semi-finals of the Champions League, Pep Guardiola’s team look the part. In 14 league and European games this season, they have won 13 and drawn one, scoring 47 goals and conceding nine.

Aguerogoal

Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero celebrates scoring their winning goal against Napoli. Source: Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

THE CHASING PACK

5 (8) Bayern Munich

Bayern responded to their humbling defeat against PSG in round two with back-to-back wins over Celtic, which have secured their place in the knockout phase for the tenth straight season.

While they are perhaps yet to click as they have in previous years, they know this competition so well and are always a danger.

6 (6) Manchester United

Jose Mourinho’s side underlined their domestic prowess with a weekend victory over Tottenham – and then as good as wrapped up Group A with a 2-0 Champions League win over Benfica.

They are yet to be tested in Europe this season but have brushed aside those they have faced.

7 (9) Tottenham Hotspur

Arguably behind the result of this season’s tournament to date, Spurs – with the triple threat of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen – must be taken seriously. Their 1-1 draw at Real Madrid in their previous game showed they can punch their weight on the road – and this could be the season they finally announce their arrival as major European contenders.

8 (7) Juventus

Since losing at Barcelona in their opener, Juventus are unbeaten in Group D – and, although they required a late Gonzalo Higuain goal to salvage a point against Sporting, they look well set to reach the knockout phase.

9 (5) Chelsea

Antonio Conte’s men endured a nightmare in Italy, losing 3-0 against Roma, but with Atletico Madrid slipping up against Qarabag, things could have been much worse for them.

With a four-point lead over Atleti – and the Spanish side still to visit London – Chelsea are overriding favourites to qualify from the group.

10 (14) Roma

Roma were outstanding against Chelsea, with Stephan El Shaarawy scoring twice and Diego Perotti the other in a 3-0 win against the English champions. Roma will be tested by their trip to Atletico Madrid next time – but have a home game against Qarabag to end the group stage.

ChelseaDejected

Chelsea were left dejected by their 3-0 defeat against Roma in Italy. Source: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

THE MIDDLE RANGE

11 (15) Besiktas

12 (10) Napoli

13 (18) Liverpool

14 (11) Atletico Madrid

15 (21) Shakhtar Donetsk

16 (12) Sevilla

17 (16) Porto

18 (20) Basel

19 (25) Spartak Moscow

20 (17) Sporting

21 (24) CSKA Moscow

22 (23) RB Leipzig

Sturridgescores

Liverpool eased past Maribor, with Daniel Sturridge scoring their third goal in a 3-0 win. Source: Reuters/Phil Noble

THE STRAGGLERS AND STRUGGLERS

23 (19) Monaco

24 (13) Borussia Dortmund

25 (22) Celtic

26 (27) Olympiacos

27 (30) APOEL Nicosia

28 (32) Qarabag

29 (28) Maribor

30 (26) Benfica

31 (29) Feyenoord

32 (31) Anderlecht