LONDON (AP) - Borussia Dortmund returned to first place in this week’s Associated Press global soccer poll after a 6-1 win over Stuttgart. Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski, who scored a hat trick in the Bundesliga win, topped the player rankings.
Dortmund was only one vote ahead of Arsenal, which opened a five-point gap at the top of the English Premier League with a 2-0 win over Liverpool.
Arsenal travels to Dortmund for a crucial match in Group F of the Champions League on Wednesday. After losing 2-1 at home, another defeat would mean Arsenal might have to win at Napoli to ensure qualification for the next round.
“Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal made statements this weekend, with convincing victories against tough opposition,” Ubiratan Leal of trivela.com in Brazil said. “Both performances increase the anticipation for the Champions League rematch this Wednesday.”
Lewandowski will be going into the match at the peak of his form. After scoring three against Stuttgart, his goal tally for the season is 12 from 14 games and he received 170 votes out of a possible 220 from this week’s panel of 22 global football writers.
Cristiano Ronaldo was Lewandowski’s closest challenger in the player rankings, but was still 31 points behind the Poland striker despite scoring five times last week.
Manchester City was third in the club rankings after routing Norwich 7-0, and three of its players made the top 10 this week.
Sergio Aguero was tied fourth alongside Madrid winger Gareth Bale, while midfielders David Silva and Yaya Toure were ninth and 10th, respectively.
Ateltico Madrid was fourth in the club vote after a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. Goals came from David Villa and Diego Costa, who is seventh in the player poll.
“They destroyed Athletic Bilbao, which is a good team,” Axel Torres of Marca Radio in Spain said. “Bilbao did not even have a goal opportunity in the whole game.”
Barcelona dropped to seventh after beating rival Espanyol 1-0, and was even with Bayern Munich.
Munich won 2-1 at Hoffenheim to maintain its one-point lead over Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga, equaling a league record in the process.
“(Even) though Bayern weren’t as impressive as they have been, they equaled Hamburg’s 30-year-old league record of 36 consecutive matches without defeat to stay top,” James Porteous of the South-China Morning Post said.
AP Global Soccer 10 rankings (for week ending Nov. 5)