Pitchside Europe

Power Rankings: Milan on the rise

Milan players celebrate after beating Juventus in Serie A (Reuters)

It was a good week for AC Milan, who sealed their progress in the Champions League before inflicting a rare defeat on Juventus, making the Rossoneri the biggest climbers in our European Power Rankings.

Milan eased the pressure on their coach Massimiliano Allegri with a 1-0 Serie A victory over Juve - who only lost their 49-match unbeaten record three weeks ago - after having beaten Anderlecht 3-1 to seal a place in the knockout phase of the Champions League, courtesy in part to a stunning Philippe Mexes overhead kick.

All of which means that Milan return to the top 20 of our elite list, entering at 16 while their bitter city rivals Internazionale, thrashed 3-0 by Rubin Kazan in the Europa League and then beaten 1-0 at Parma, drop out at their expense. All in all, a pretty satisfactory day for the red and black half of Milan.

At the top end of our table, Manchester City drop a place after two draws in a week - against Real Madrid and Chelsea - allowing Borussia Dortmund to climb above them after the Bundesliga side's victory over Mainz was followed by a thumping of Ajax in Europe.

Madrid stay second, despite that draw and a defeat at Real Betis, behind runaway leaders Barcelona, who reinforced their status as Europe's best team with a 4-0 thrashing of Levante and a 3-0 win at Spartak Moscow.

Chelsea remain in ninth place, defeat the stalemate at Stamford Bridge and a damaging 3-0 defeat to Juventus, which led to the sacking of manager Roberto Di Matteo.

Paris St-Germain, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic back  in the side, are the week's second biggest climbers behind Milan, the French capital club moving up three places to 17, while Atletico Madrid and Porto exchange places in the top 10, and Benfica and Valencia do likewise further down.

Zenit St. Petersburg are the week's biggest losers, falling four places to 20th thanks to a couple of draws.

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 November 27, 2012