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Spanish FA was right to fire Lopetegui


How Panama made World Cup dream a reality


Power Rankings: Chelsea start the season on top

Diego Costa was in full force with a brace to help the Blues double up the Toffees.
Diego Costa has made a fine start to his Chelsea career.

With the league seasons underway across Europe, Shaka Hislop returns with the first edition of his 2014-15 Power Rankings.

1. Chelsea

With 11 goals scored in three consecutive wins, Jose Mourinho's men have started the campaign in ominous form. The impressive Diego Costa has scored four times, while Cesc Fabregas has slotted effortlessly back into the Premier League.

2. Barcelona

They've had two straight wins to open the season but not, perhaps, in the way you'd expect. While Lionel Messi has been influential, it's been a pair of teenagers -- Munir El Haddadi and Sandro Ramirez -- who have led the way with key goals against Elche and Villarreal respectively.

3. Atletico Madrid

The reigning Spanish champions saw their title-winning squad decimated by the team on top of this week's top 10 but have made shrewd signings over the summer, including Mario Mandzukic and Antoine Griezmann, and look set to challenge again.

4. Bayer Leverkusen

An opening-day win at Dortmund served notice that the Bundesliga race may involve more than one -- or two -- teams this season. Leverkusen followed up that triumph with a 4-2 win versus Hertha and have also won through to the group stages of the Champions League.

5. Bayern Munich

Pep Guardiola's side are unbeaten to start the season but the early weeks have not been without problems for Bayern. Injuries to Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger have forced transfer activity, with Medhi Benatia and Xabi Alonso quickly being drafted in.

6. Liverpool

Luis Suarez may have departed but last season's Premier League runners-up showed versus Tottenham that they will be a threat again. How Mario Balotelli works out remains to be seen, but what is certain is that Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling are getting better and better. 

7. Real Madrid

Not even the presence of World Cup golden boot winner James Rodriguez, right, could save Madrid in San Sebastian.

Having led 2-0, the European champions capitulated to defeat at Real Sociedad, and there are signs that the sales of Alonso and Angel Di Maria may have left Carlo Ancelotti's side a little top-heavy. They'll score plenty, but how many will they concede?

8. Manchester City

I know what you're saying: "How can they be below Liverpool after they beat them?" Well, that was last week! Mame Biram Diouf's solo goal earned Stoke a shock win last weekend and, while it may have just been a blip for City, blips cost places in my countdown!

9. Porto

They lost key men over the summer, including Fernando and Eliaquim Mangala to Man City but, with three wins in three games, featuring six goals scored and none conceded, Porto have made an impressive start to their bid to regain the Portuguese title. 

10. PSV Eindhoven

A down season in 2013-14 saw PSV finish fourth in the Eredivisie but Phillip Cocu's men have made a fine start to the new campaign. 14 goals have been scored in four league wins, while a place in the Europa League group stage has also been secured.


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