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No Premier League Side in the Semi-Final of the Champions League! Is it a Sign of EPL’s Fall?
Firm followers of UEFA competitions, and especially the Champions League, can confirm the reality that there were EPL teams in the semi-finals of the Champions League in the previous six seasons, ie 2003-2009.
In the past six seasons, the EPL regulars in the Champions League (Liverpool FC, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal) have somehow represented themselves in the semi-finals of the Champions League in the past six seasons, which has made Englishmen and even foreigners wonder at their absence this season. season, in the semi-finals of the elite European club competition.
In 2005, Liverpool (all reds) and Chelsea (true blues) locked horns in an entertaining semi-final with both sides led by managers who had managed his team for barely two seasons, Liverpool winning the match after a tight semi-final. Liverpool eventually triumphed in the Champions League that year, after beating AC Milan in an epic final that featured one of the greatest comebacks in football history, 3-0 to 3-3 and then victory.
The following year, Arsenal appeared in both the semi-finals and final of the Champions League, to mark a turning point in their footballing history, but were unlucky to win the trophy after only qualifying for their first ever championship final. league. They fought Barcelona in the final of that year, ie the 2006 final, but were defeated 2 goals to 1, and Jens Lehmann was sent off in that match.
In 2007, Liverpool and Chelsea were again drawn to battle it out in the semi-finals of the 2006/2007 season. With the first leg tied at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea had the opportunity to progress and they took full advantage of the home side factor by beating Liverpool by a solitary goal after a closely contested match. At Anfield, Liverpool played cautiously while also pushing forward in search of a goal to draw them level with Chelsea, luckily for Liverpool, the goal arrived. Steven “The General” Gerrard’s low cross found an unmarked Daniel Agger, who slotted the ball through the bodies of the Chelsea players and into the net early in the first half. Liverpool maintained their one-goal lead after 90 minutes until extra-time, and then it was time for the final decision; penalties, Pepe Reina was the hero of the day as he saved the decisive shot to send Liverpool into the final for the second time in three seasons and a repeat of the 2005 final with AC Milan, who knocked out Manchester United in the second semi-final – a 5-3 final clash in total.
The final was highly anticipated as the two European powerhouses in club football battled it out to decide the winner of the 2007 Champions League, in the end two goals from Pipo Inzaghi, making him the top scorer in the Champions League, won Ac Milan the trophy for the seventh time in his football history.
The following year, the best English teams were in the Champions League. All four English representatives advanced to the quarter-finals, and three (Liverpool, after knocking out Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United) of the four that progressed to the semi-finals, Liverpool were eventually knocked out by English team Chelsea. Chelsea’s run to the 2008 final was the first time they had played in a Champions League final; they battled Manchester United for the coveted trophy, matched United strength for strength, skill for skill, technique for technique, but were simply unlucky to miss from the spot as United claimed their third, and Sir Alex Ferguson’s second, in UEFA The Champions League trophy, which also helped Cristiano Ronaldo win the World Player of the Year award.
In 2009, the team showed a different style of football. The 2009 Champions League was won by Barcelona from Spain, after showing the football world how it should be played; neat defending, precise passing and clinical finishing: characterized Barcelona’s game on the way to winning the trophy for the third time in their history, after triumphs in 1992 and 2006.
2010 came with a lot of promise for English sides, after great starts from all sides in their groups; Liverpool won the first leg against Debrecen at Anfield, the only goal coming from Dirk Kuyt, making him the club’s third top scorer in Europe with 12 goals to his name. Chelsea also won the first leg against FC Porto with a goal from Nicolas Anelka, in a boring encounter due to a waterlogged pitch.
Manchester United did not do badly in their first game; the same was the case with Arsenal, all the English representatives represented well to the joy of the English faithful. Things began to falter as the contest progressed further into its crucial phase. Liverpool were knocked out very early in the competition, being knocked out in the group stage, even before the final group game. Fiorentina’s win over Olympique Lyonnais in the penultimate game meant Liverpool were forced into the Europa League where they recently consoled themselves, making an impressive run to the semi-finals, having not scored less than three goals on aggregate in the previous period. rounds, i.e. round of 16, round of 16 and quarter-final, which brought them a clash with Atletico Madrid on the road in Spain.
Chelsea were next to be eliminated, after a partially successful run in the group to the round of 16. Chelsea had major scares during several of their group stage games, Atletico Madrid away to Spain being one of them, where they had to settle for a 2 all draw after going past Didier Drogba, only for Sergio Diego Aguero’s cross to put Atletico in the lead but Drogba proved very clinical in the finish when he smashed his second past the Atlético goal. The most surprising result of Chelsea’s group stage came on the final day of the group. Apoel Nicosia, who were making their Champions League debut, held Chelsea to a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge with a full first team.
Arsenal had the most impressive performance in the group stage, picking up 16 of the 18 available points in a group that included Olympiakos, Standard Liege and Alkmaar, who are low-pedigree teams often placed in the Champions League due to their inability to get past the preliminaries.
Manchester United had, I would say, an indifferent group campaign. He got off to a great start but was flattered during key games in the middle, needing the final match to confirm qualification but put all doubt into the thrash after Michael Owen’s hat-trick canceled out Edin Dzeka’s opener for VFL Wolfsburg at Old Trafford.
With the progression of England’s top three teams to the round of 16, hopes and expectations were extremely high. The English teams, however, did not achieve perfect draws, Chelsea were to face Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan, Manchester United were drawn to face 7-time European champions AC Milan, and Arsenal again in the 2009 group stage. .vs Porto Fc, 2004 winners.
In the first games, the English teams faced a real test of strength, skill and technique.
Manchester United were tested for all of the above against AC Milan, first at Giuseppe Meazza, the San Siro and then at Old Trafford, but then emerged victorious over both legs, winning 7-2 on aggregate, with Wayne Rooney scoring four naked. seven goals, that is, 2 goals in each game.
Arsenal had a similar situation, against FC Porto, the Portuguese representatives gave them good value for their money, especially in Portugal, where they hosted the first game, which FC Porto won 2:1, in a match where Porto scored the second goal Falcao, was a bit controversial, it seemed like an offside goal.
At the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal showed no mercy, firing 2 goals past Helton in quick succession for Porto, and at half-time it was Arsenal 2 Porto 1. Porto started the second half brightly, attacking Arsenal from all corners of the pitch. As the game progressed, Arsenal became more confident and started to play like the Arsenal we are used to seeing in league games. Samri Nasri sent the Emirates into ecstasy when he dribbled past three Porto defenders and past a helpless Helton, who tried to rush out to prevent the goal, but to no avail. Super substitute Emmanuel Eboue came on a few minutes later to seal the win, with a clean finish after he outpaced the Porto defenders and was set up by Andre Arshavin, with only the keeper to beat, neatly rounding him before slotting home four Arsenal caps for a great performance from a true smoker. Nicklas Bendtner, who had earlier scored 2 superb strikes, added a third to mark his first career hat-trick at Arsenal.
It wasn’t all a bed of roses for Chelsea either, as they had to suffer defeats against Inter-Milan over both legs which put paid to their Champions League campaign. At the magnificent Giuseppe Meazza, Inter tested Chelsea’s wits, work-rate and technique as both teams played for their lives to progress in the competition. Chelsea partially overplayed, but all the “possession of the ball” could not bring them the victory they intended to achieve. Possession of the ball favored Chelsea in the first match, but they were not translated into goals, nor in goal attempts, shots on goal and so on. Of all the teams that started the European campaign in September, it can be concluded that Liverpool were the most disappointing due to the fact that they were eliminated in the group stage.
There are currently only two English teams in the European competition, Liverpool and Fulham and both have interesting games in the semi-finals, having to meet Atletico Madrid and Hamburg respectively.
There is the possibility of an English Europa League final, a feat that has not been achieved for over 6 seasons.
The absence of the Premier League in the semi-finals of the Champions League, in my opinion, does not mean the decline of the Premier League, but the only reason is the reality that we faced, which is the fact that teams from other countries sat down and reviewed the methods of the English teams, which they applied, and it worked like magic and very effective.
English teams were neither totally outclassed nor outplayed nor outplayed but the element of luck was against them and also English teams had a good run in the past so let other teams enjoy the same lest people say champions league is an English competition . The English teams will rise to take what rightfully belongs to them, which is the prestige they have gained over the years, a prestige that, in my opinion, is threatened given the impossibility of qualifying for the semi-finals of Europe’s elite club competition.
In that regard, the absence of English teams in the semi-finals of the Champions League is by no means equal to the decline of the Premier League, and besides, what other league is as unpredictable as the Premier League? A league where any team can beat any team, home or away; the name of the league.
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