European Teams of the Week: Juventus beat Napoli for top, too easy for Barcelona in eighth

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The only thing in football more contentious than a dubious refereeing decision is a rankings system.

There are plenty of them out there, though many are deliberately divisive, but given the tribal nature of football they do drum up some interesting debates among supporters.

We’re going to add our twist to the list. Each week we pick out the 10 best teams from Europe’s top-five leagues (minus cup competitions).

It’s not cumulative, the rankings is based on a team’s performance in that particular game week.

So, who makes the top-10 this week? Check it out below:

1) Juventus (beat Napoli 2-1)

Juventus, virtually, wrapped up an eighth-successive Serie A crown with a turbulent 2-1 win at second-placed Napoli that contained a red card apiece and late missed penalty for the hosts. A 16-point lead is now theirs.

The victory also ended an unbeaten home run that stretched back exactly a year until March 3, 2018.

2) Bayern Munich (beat Borussia Monchengladbach 5-1)

Buoyed by long-term leaders Borussia Dortmund’s shock 2-1 loss at Augsburg on Friday, more on that later, Bayern Munich dismantled, then, third-placed Borussia Monchengladbach 5-1 to go level on 54 points.

The champions were nine points in arrears just nine rounds ago. Bayern also became the first team to score 4,000 Bundesliga goals.

3) Lazio (beat Roma 3-0)

A surprisingly one-sided contest in the Eternal City saw Lazio smash Roma 3-0.

This was only the second time that the Biancocelesti had recorded a three-goal winning margin in the Derby della Capitale’s 90-year history, plus it ended the vanquished’s eight-match unbeaten run in Serie A. It’s getting tight in the race for the top four.

4) Augsburg (beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1)

BVB continue to stumble towards the Bundesliga’s finishing line after they incurred a damaging 2-1 loss at Augsburg.

South Korea’s Ji Dong-won scored both goals to inflict a first league defeat since December on his former employers. This ended Augsburg’s three-match losing run and kept them out of the relegation play-off spot.


5) Getafe (beat Real Betis 2-1)

Head coach Jose Bordalas would have taken multitudes of joy out of Getafe’s 2-1 win against Real Betis.

The result kept his Madrid minnows on course for remarkable Champions League qualification. It also saw Bordalas strike a hammer blow to Quique Setien’s job prospects – animus caused by contrasting styles stretches back to 2013.

6) Stuttgart (beat Hannover 5-1)

In the relegation dog fight with Hannover, Stuttgart roared to a 5-1 victory.

This result followed a debilitating run of two points from eight matches and also saw a star emerge in Turkey youth centre-back Ozan Kabak. In Bundesliga history, only Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson were younger when they got braces.

7) Cagliari (beat Inter Milan 2-1)

Cagliari eased worries of the drop and increased the pressure at Inter Milan with Friday’s impressive 2-1 victory.

Leonardo Pavoletti’s 43rd-minute strike proved the difference, ending the Nerazzurri’s three-match winning streak in Sardinia. A healthy nine-point gap to 18th-placed Bologna is ample reward for Cagliari’s efforts at Sardegna Arena.

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8) Barcelona (beat Real Madrid 1-0)

Victory at Santiago Bernabeu would usually earn top ranking in our team of the week.

Barcelona, however, have made results like Saturday’s 1-0 triumph seem de rigueur. They became the first away club ever to win four La Liga matches in a row at Real Madrid, plus now lead the head-to-head for the first time in 87 years.

9) Fortuna Dusseldorf (beat Schalke 4-0)

Dusseldorf heaped more misery on Domenico Tedesco’s sorry Schalke with a 4-0 thrashing.

Striker Dawid Kownacki got a double to seal a second-successive win for the promoted side. They’ve now emerged victorious from seven of their last 10 Bundesliga matches, racing clear of the relegation places.

10) Brighton & Hove Albion (beat Huddersfield Town 1-0)

Brighton’s long wait for a first top-flight win in 2019 is over – at the eighth time of asking.

Substitute Florin Andone’s superb header ended this dire run, that had included taking just two points from 21 available. A five-point gap to the drop zone provides welcome breathing space.

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