Following their performance in the Conference League on Thursday, Tottenham will be ranked higher than Arsenal by UEFA for the first time since the Premier League’s inception.
Arsenal was bottom of the Premier League before edging Norwich 1-0 on Saturday, after failing to qualify for European competition last season in their worst league season in a century. Last season, Jose Mourinho left Spurs in a disaster, and they only finished seventh, but that was enough to get them into the brand-new Europa Conference League.
Trips to Stade Rennes, Vitesse, and NS Mura in Slovenia’s top division may be a bother for Nuno Espirito Santo, but the competition for European minnows gives Spurs some bragging rights over their neighbors.
Santo’s Spurs will receive bonus points for each round they win or draw in during the competition, with two points provided for a win and one point awarded for a tie. Arsenal will not be able to surpass their current total of 80.0 until next season, and Spurs, along with Roma, are the favorites to win the competition.
Bayern Munich leads the rankings, with Manchester City in third place and Chelsea in fifth after winning the Champions League and the UEFA Super Cup this season.
After getting through their two-legged qualification encounter against Pacos Ferreira, the north Londoners will move onto 80.5 points for merely obtaining a group stage place. Spurs last led Arsenal in European rankings in 1991-92, highlighting the Gunners’ tragic slide from grace.
An ode to Martin Odegaard Arsenal defeated Spurs 2-1 in the most recent North London derby, but the club that has long been in the shadow of its adversary is finally on top. Since 2015, Spurs have won six derbies and Arsenal has won four — with five draws.
Espirito Santo’s side will face Rennes first, traveling to France on Thursday for the encounter before meeting Chelsea at home in a crucial London derby. On Saturday, Arsenal will face Burnley.
Arsenal was placed 12th, while Spurs were ranked 13th, according to the UEFA rankings, which are based on results over the previous five years. But that was before the start of European football this week. Tottenham will receive bonus points for each round they complete in the competition, with two points provided for a win and one point awarded for a tie.