“The Premier League, it’s the greatest league in the world” is a phrase often used and arguably true; quite possibly no other league provides the type of excitement, drama and unpredictability.
Something that perhaps gave the statement more validity 10 years ago was how well English teams were performing in the Champions League. 2005 to 2012 an English team reached the final of the Champions League every year bar 2010.
To add to that in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 three English teams were in the semi final of the tournament with an all English Champions League final in 2008 between Manchester United and Chelsea. More regularly would you get an English team playing another in the quarterfinal or semi final as well with the Chelsea vs Liverpool Champions League showdowns first coming to mind.
Statistics like these show how well English teams were doing in the champions league defeating the great teams of Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich on famous European nights more regularly than today.
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If they were eliminated by a world class level team it was more often than not a close aggregate score or away goals. The premier league teams weren’t just competing with the world’s best, they were part of the world’s best.
Since 2012 no English team has won or gotten to the final of the champions league. Chelsea and Manchester City have reached one semi final each coming closest. In the last six seasons Premier League teams have reached the quarterfinals of the champions league on only four occasions meanwhile in the six seasons before English teams reached the quarterfinals 17 times.
Defeats to world class teams in the competition are coming less from English teams. It’s always a special moment but I feel like it is made into an even bigger deal today due to most of the time a Man City falling to a Barcelona.
When it comes to facing the best teams in the world, English teams have regressed as this statistic shows a drop in quality of the top teams in the premier league or is it due to certain foreign teams getting better. Or were English teams being unlucky with the draw having to face those teams? I’ll leave that one for you think to think about.
Currently in the Champions League with a record number of English teams in the competition seem to be on course to qualify for the knockout rounds. Spurs have probably been the headline act in the Champions League after their victory over Real Madrid and are one win away from cementing qualification as the first place in the group.
Both Manchester teams are leading their groups and have achieved qualification meanwhile Chelsea and Liverpool are still in solid positions to qualify both in second place right now. What will happen if/when these teams compete in the knockout stages? Will we get 5 English teams in the quarterfinals? How many will get to the semi finals if any? Could there be another all English final?
Emmanuel Ladapo (18), wrote in from London.