Even if Manchester United were deep in their slumber on Wednesday night, football never sleeps. And it was anything but restful around Europe this week:
– Manchester City continued their indomitable journey to retaining the Premier League title.
– Paris Saint-Germain retained their title, their sixth in the last seven seasons.
– Juventus wrapped up their title for the eighth season running.
– Barcelona all-but shored up La Liga for the seventh time this decade.
– Bayern Munich continued their relentless pursuit of a seventh consecutive Bundesliga title.
With this clear monopolisation of the world’s best leagues in mind, we’ve enlisted the help of notorious system-decrier and verified ‘Slacker’ Richard Linklater, and his entire filmography, to aid us in our plight. Is that Alright? Alright…Alright.
15. Getafe (New Entry)
”Why is it that a dog, sleeping in the sun, is so beautiful, y’know, it is, it’s beautiful, but a guy, standing at a bank machine, trying to take some money out, looks like a complete moron?” (Before Sunrise)
I don’t know how it’s taken this long, but Getafe have finally wrangled themselves a place in 90min’s Definitive Power Rankings, and at the expense of their moneyed, moronic crosstown rivals. About time.
Now, if a less endearing side had held Real Madrid to a heinously dull stalemate at home, we might’ve been inclined to deplore their tactics, but not our El Geta – they’re dog-like in their beautiful destructive skills. Nice work lads.
14. Atletico Madrid (-)
“And remember: the passion for destruction is also a creative passion.” (Slacker)
Speaking of destructive sides from the Spanish capital: Atletico Madrid!
Yet, with nothing on the line, Los Rojiblancos have suddenly become La Liga’s great entertainers. Five goals, in a back-and-forth rally, and three points at the end of it!
Yes, all this effervescence and creativity is great for Diego Simeone’s side, but remember lads: the passion for destruction is also a creative passion. Don’t forget your roots.
13. Benfica (Re-Entry)
“‘Say, man, you got a joint?’
‘No, not on me, man.’
‘It’d be a lot cooler if you did’.” (Dazed and Confused)
Substitute joint with ‘league title sewn up’, and you get the picture.
Except, hold up kids, DRUGS AREN’T COOL! And neither are leagues that are won with three or more games to go, which is why Liga NOS should be seen as a shining example amid the murk of Europe’s so-called ‘bigger leagues’.
Two sides. 75 points. Four games to go.
The only thing separating Porto and Benfica? The Lisbon side’s superior goal difference, which was bolstered once more this weekend with a 6-0 victory against Maritimo. Now, that’s cool.
12. Arsenal (Down 5)
“I’ve had a total recalibration of my mind, you know. I mean, it’s like, I’ve been banging my head against this 19th century type, um, what? Thought mode? Construct? Human construct? Well, the wall doesn’t exist. It’s not there, you know. I mean, they tell you, look for the light at the end of the tunnel. Well, there is no tunnel. There’s just no structure. The underlying order is chaos.” (Slacker)
Yeh, not a great week for Arsenal. Existential crisis much?
11. Eintracht Frankfurt (-)
“I’m too philosophical for this sh*t!” (Everybody Wants Some!!)
Last week, we attributed the following quote from Noah Baumbach’s ‘Kicking and Screaming’ to Frankfurt: “If Plato is a fine red wine, then Aristotle is a dry martini.”
But, it turns out, they’re far too philosophical for that sh*t, even after frustrating stalemates with Wolfsburg. It’s Europa League or bust, baybee. Eyes on the prize.
10. Chelsea (Up 2)
“That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.” (Dazed and Confused)
Despite a frustrating week, Chelsea found themselves in a much better spot than they did last week – in both the Premier League table thing and, more importantly, these here DER! (Do you like our new acronym? It’s in a trial period.)
But, even more importantly, why the iconic Matthew McConaughey line?
Well…the way the Blues have stockpiled their youth talent in recent times implies they believe these young starlets will never age, because they’ve never actually graduated. The problem is, they do, and Callum Hudson-Odoi’s injury showed just how little it takes to derail a sportsman’s progress.
Don’t take it for granted.
9. Paris Saint-Germain (Up 6)
“Let me tell you this, the older you do get the more rules they’re gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin’ man, L-I-V-I-N.” (Dazed and Confused)
Kylian Mbappe – you just gotta keep livin’ man. No, seriously, L-I-V-I-N.
Yes, Paris Saint-Germain finally captured their inevitable Ligue 1 crown, yes Neymar made his long-anticipated return, but it was still all about you, and your indefatigable skill.
A hat-trick against your former side to seal up your third consecutive Ligue 1 title, to add to your World Cup-containing trophy cabinet. Now that’s L-I-V-I-N.
8. Borussia Dortmund (Down 1)
“I don’t know, I think that if I could just accept the fact that my life is supposed to be difficult, you know, that that’s what’s to be expected, then I might not get so pissed off about it and I’ll just be glad when something nice happens.” (Before Sunrise)
Nice work, Borussia Dortmund. A very solid 4-0 win against Freiburg kept up the pressure on rivals Bayern for the Bundesliga title.
The problem is…will it matter?
Probably not. It’d be nicer if we take this for what it was, and enjoy the moment, but its ultimate (probable) futility is tough to get over.
7. Juventus (Up One)
“You are an embarrassment to the game of pool and should be glad I even let you play at my table.” (Dazed and Confused)
Yes, that’s right, that’s what Juventus told Fiorentina after they secured their eighth consecutive Scudetto on Saturday. Bravissimo!!!
And, when you win eight Serie A titles in a row, you get two quotes for the price of one! Here’s the second:
“All I’m saying is that if I ever start referring to these as the best years of my life – remind me to kill myself.” (Dazed and Confused)
We didn’t promise that you’d like it, just that you’d get it.
6. Bayern Munich (-)
“You’re a fat loser and you have body odor.” (School of Rock)
These are the kind of insults that were slung Bayern’s way at the start of this season. They were called old, decrepit, disgusting (?) etc etc. But now they’re top of the Bundesliga and, albeit dubiously, into the DFB-Pokal final.
Clearly *tries to drag eyes away from Robert Lewandowski’s rock hard abs* this is not the case. They’re called FC Hollywood for a reason.
5. Tottenham Hotspur (Down 2)
“I know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment? I don’t know, I’m kind of thinking it’s the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us.”
Sure, they lost to Manchester City over the weekend, but they put up a helluva fight – at least compared to the efforts of the Sky Blues’ scarily sheepish neighbours – and, besides, it didn’t really matter, did it?
Not after the game that had come before. In that game, the moment seized Spurs, and they held on for dear life. Against Brighton on Tuesday, albeit in less glamorous circumstances, they took the initiative – and took three key points in the process.
4. Liverpool (Down 2)
“Give up, just quit, because in this life, you can’t win. Yeah, you can try, but in the end you’re just gonna lose, big time, because the world is run by the Man.” (School of Rock)
Wait, Jack Black didn’t finish: the world is run by the Man-chester City.
Yep, despite Liverpool maintaining their impressive hunt for a first Premier League title ever, their eternal rivals Manchester United could do them no favours during their midweek derby with the Citizens.
And, just like that, another title charge looks to be in the pan. Sad.
3. Manchester City (Up 2)
“You get a bunch of competitors together and you are addicted to winning.”
(Everybody Wants Some!!)
Speak of the devils – no, not the irrelevant Red ones – it’s Manchester City!
And, to be honest, what is there left to say? That quote is about a team of college baseball players living together in a house drenched with competitiveness at every turn.
I reckon the Etihad Campus is probably similar.
2. Barcelona (Up 2)
”All right, all right, all right.” (Dazed and Confused)
Look at Arturo Vidal and Luis Suarez and tell me everything is all right with La Blaugrana these days.
In fact, it’s much better than all right, it’s even better than McConaughey’s version of all right, which is almost as all right as it can get; Barca have one and a half hands on the league title with four games to go, and at least a couple fingers on the big-eared, big daddy of them all.
Exciting times. (If you didn’t read that in a McConaughey drawl, I don’t want to know you).
1. Ajax (-)
”I only came here to do two things, kick some ass and drink some beer. Looks like we’re almost outta beer.” (Dazed and Confused)
That’s right, the Dutch steam engine keeps rolling on. You’d think that maybe their European exploits might’ve distracted them from their domestic duties, but you’d be wrong.
No, Ajax have maintained a grip on both competitions with aplomb, heading into their final two games at the top of the Eredivisie on goal difference. They’ve also been given the added boost of an entire fixture rescheduling just to give them a bit more rest prior to that all important Champions League semi final against Spurs.
Plenty of time to finish all that beer before the ass-kicking begins, then.