LONDON (AP) — Borussia Dortmund's impressive display over the weekend earned it first place in The Associated Press global football poll on Tuesday.
Dortmund routed Hamburg 6-2 on Saturday, and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's two goals put him at the top of the player vote. Aubameyang finished 16 points ahead of Mesut Ozil, who made his Arsenal debut on Saturday. Ozil finished only one point ahead of teammate Aaron Ramsey, who scored twice in the 3-1 win at Sunderland.
"Ramsey has been a revelation this season. Five goals so far, including a high-class double that almost overshadowed Ozil's impressive debut," Julien Bennetts of Hayters news agency said. Arsenal was second in the team vote with 112 points, 50 behind Dortmund's 162 from the 19-man panel. Napoli was third and Atletico Madrid fourth, only three points ahead of Everton, which beat Chelsea 1-0.
Everton midfielder Gareth Barry, who was playing his first match since arriving on loan from Manchester City, impressed in the victory. "It is amazing to think Barry hadn't played a minute of first-team football before a man-of-the-match performance against Chelsea on his Everton debut," Richard Jolly of ESPN said. "It was quite a way to announce himself as Marouane Fellaini's replacement."
Barry finished ninth in the player poll with 36 points. There were two other players from Dortmund, Robert Lewandowski and Marco Reus, in the top 10 at fifth and sixth, respectively. "Jurgen Klopp claimed that Reus would be 'going to heaven' for his clever step over that brought about BVB's fourth goal," said James Thorogood, editor of Bundesliga.com. "But his intricate passing and majestic footwork were just as much a reason for the 24-year-old to be worthy of reaching the pearly gates."
Gareth Bale, who scored on his Real Madrid debut in a 2-2 draw against Villarreal, came in eighth with 40 points, nine behind Barcelona forward Lionel Messi. Messi scored the second goal before a final-minute winner from Alexis Sanchez meant Barcelona maintained its 100 percent winning record this season with a 3-2 home win over Sevilla.
The victory also saw Barcelona finish seventh in the team rankings. "Gareth Bale may be the world's most expensive player and he also scored on his debut, but Lionel Messi still holds the title of world's best player," Mike McGrath of The Sun and Wardles news agency said. "He showed again that he is priceless to Barcelona."
Despite conceding twice, Real Madrid goalkeeper Diego Lopez made it into 10th in the player poll with 35 points. He made a string of impressive saves that helped earn his side a point.
AP Global Football Rankings (for week ending Sept. 17)
1.Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, 103 points.
2.Mesut Ozil, 87.
3.Aaron Ramsey, 86.
4.Mounir El Hamdaoui, 67.
5.Robert Lewandowski, 57.
6.Marco Reus, 51.
7.Lionel Messi, 49.
8.Gareth Bale, 40.
9.Gareth Barry, 36.
10.Diego Lopez, 35.
1.Borussia Dortmund, 162 points.
4.Atletico Madrid, 74.
8.Bayern Munich, 44.
9.Paris Saint-Germain, 38.
10. Roma, 24.
(tie) Monaco, 24.