Pitchside Europe

European Power Rankings: United back on track

Jonny Evans gets in on the act for Manchester United

Manchester United's return to domestic form was mirrored in the European Power Rankings, with the Premier League champions the biggest movers this week.

With little change in the top 10 of Europe's premier club list — Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund swapping ninth and 10th places being the only net movement after BvB drew twice — the marginal gains favoured United, who remained third but picked up a cool 51 points after away wins over CFR Cluj and Newcastle United.

A good response to going down 3-2 to Tottenham in that Old Trafford humdinger, while Internazionale were rewarded for their 1-0 win at Milan with a 77-point and five-place increase, although they're still just outside the top 20 in 23rd.

Ironically, Barcelona and Real Madrid's magnificent Clasico played into United's hands, cancelling each other out with a 2-2 draw played at a frantic pace with remarkable sportsmanship.

Otherwise it's all nip and tuck in the football equivalent of the pan-European pop charts, with Milan 20 points and one place up overall thanks to their thrilling 3-2 Champions League win at Zenit St Petersburg.

Chelsea and Atletico Madrid are two of the form sides in Europe right now, as befits the winners of last season's continental competitions, and they are quickly closing in on a stalling Manchester City and a Bayern Munich hoping their shock defeat to BATE Borisov in the Champions League was just a blip. Crisis? What crisis?

HOW IT WORKS

To determine our Power Rankings, we use the Euro Club Index, which scientifically analyses hundreds of thousands of matches from the top divisions in all European nations as well as Europa League and Champions League games.

The Index takes into account all matches played over an eight-year period but with recent results carrying more weight than older ones.

The performance of a league's teams in the Champions League and Europa League reflects the rise or fall of the sporting level in that league.

So, for example, if English teams perform well in Europe, all Premier League teams receive a small bonus in their ECI score. The ranking and its predictive power are thus made even more accurate.

European Power Rankings, October 8 2012