Lewis Ambrose·24 March 2023
Lewis Ambrose·24 March 2023
It may be the international break but there’s still plenty of club football from last week to catch up on. Here’s the latest Power Rankings.
It’s now five wins in a row and six from the last seven as Xabi Alonso makes his Power Rankings debut as a coach. Leverkusen have been much improved since his October appointment but they’re now also delivering consistently, earning a place in the Europa League quarter-finals and beating Bayern Munich before the international break.
Some of the early games under the Spaniard could be a little uneventful but Leverkusen are now combining their natural pacy attacking instincts and midfield aggression with Alonso’s wish to dominate the ball. It’s working.
With an unbeaten LaLiga run now up to 10 games, Atleti are suddenly just five points behind local rivals Real Madrid.
For a while it seemed this would be Diego Simeone’s final season with the club but they have turned things around and look as formidable now as they have for years, consistently winning games without conceding again and blowing teams away when the chance presents itself, as Sevilla (6-1) and Valencia (3-0) can testify after recent encounters.
It has been a week at Bayern Munich. First, two penalties conceded meant defeat to Bayer Leverkusen and allowed Borussia Dortmund to go top of the table.
Then, the bombshell news that Julian Nagelsmann would be fired. A case of acting quickly to save the season or panicking and rushing into a peculiar decision? Ultimately, they have not quite been themselves this season in the Bundesliga and the pressure is on enormously as they gear up to face Dortmund in just over a week.
A big 6-1 win over Köln piled the pressure on Bayern and means Dortmund are top during the break.
It was the perfect response to the disappointment of losing to Chelsea in the Champions League and drawing with rivals Schalke in the Bundesliga, plus the game saw Marco Reus and Sébastien Haller each bag a brace to join Raphaël Guerreiro and Donyell Malen in top form. The boat rocked but Dortmund have remained on course.
Steaming ahead in the league — it’s now 11 without defeat and nine wins in a row — and awarded with a friendly-looking Champions League draw, this João Mário-powered Benfica side is giving fans every reason to dream of something special.
As long as they keep winning, we’ll have to keep picking them.
It looked like a tricky week for Juve but they won in Freiburg to book their place in the Europa League quarter-finals and then won in Milan to make it six wins from seven in the league and close the gap to fourth to just seven points.
A Europa League exit on penalties is not what Mikel Arteta wanted but Arsenal seemed to be fully focussed on the Premier League title race and now have more space to prepare for those games.
They followed up their shootout defeat to Sporting with a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace, just in case there were any fears they were likely to be rocked by the loss. Normal service resumes.
There is nothing left to say about Napoli, right?
With 10 wins from their last 11, they’re doing all the talking on the pitch and the Champions League draw has made them favourites to reach the final to go along with the Scudetto they are almost certain to seal in the coming weeks.
A Clásico win to go 12 points clear is as good as it gets in LaLiga.
Barcelona have conceded just nine goals in the league all season as they’ve marched to 22 wins from 26 games, including 10 of the last 11. There may be no European glory alongside it but another good Clásico result will leave them 90 minutes away from making it a domestic double this season.
It was only Burnley and it was only the FA Cup but another dominant Erling Haaland display meant another dominant win for City, whose run of form still seems to be sliding under the radar.
They are now ten unbeaten in all competitions, winning six in a row and accumulating an aggregate scoreline of 23-1 across those six matches. Formidable. Inevitable.