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).
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.
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.
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
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