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No Premier League Side in the Semi-Final of the Champions League! Is it a Sign of EPL’s Fall?
Strong followers of UEFA competitions and especially the Champions League can attest to the fact that in the previous six seasons, ie 2003-2009, EPL sides were in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
In the past six seasons, EPL teams have regularly appeared in the Champions League semi-finals (Liverpool FC, Manchester United FC, Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC) in some form or another, leaving the English and even foreigners wondering about their absence in this season, in the semi-finals of the elite European club competition.
In 2005, Liverpool (all red) and Chelsea (true blues) in an entertaining semi-final with both sides led by managers who managed his team for barely two seasons, Liverpool won the match after a close semi-final match. Liverpool ended up triumphant in that year’s Champions League after beating Ac-Milan in an epic final that saw one of the greatest comebacks in football history, 3-0 to 3-3 and then victory.
In the past year, Arsenal appeared in both the semi-finals and final of the Champions League to mark a turnaround in their footballing history, but were unlucky enough to win the trophy after only qualifying for their first ever final in the championship. league. They battled Barcelona in that year’s final, the 2006 final, but were beaten 2 goals to 1, with Jens Lehmann 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 to be played at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea had the opportunity to progress and took full advantage of the home factor by beating Liverpool by a single goal after a highly contested game. At Anfield, Liverpool played cautiously while also rushing forward in search of a goal to bring them level with Chelsea, luckily for Liverpool the goal came. A low cross from Steven ‘The General’ Gerard found an unmarked Daniel Agger, who cut the ball through the bodies of the Chelsea players and slammed into the net early in the first half. Liverpool maintained their one-goal lead after 90 minutes until the end of extra time, then it was time for the final decision; penalty kicks, Pepe Reina was the hero of the day as he saved the decisive free-kick to send Liverpool into the final for the second time in three seasons and a repeat of the 2005 final with AC-Milan, which sent Manchester United into the second semi-final. – final match by a total of 5 goals to 3.
The final was highly anticipated as two of Europe’s club football powerhouses clashed to decide the winner of the 2007 Champions League, eventually with two goals from Pippo Inzaghi making him the top scorer in the Champions League. , Ac Milan won the trophy for the seventh time in their football history.
The following year saw the best of England’s teams in the Champions League. All four English teams advanced to the quarter-finals, with three (Liverpool, after eliminating Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United) of the four advancing to the semi-finals, with Liverpool eventually eliminating English team Chelsea. Chelsea’s progress to the final in 2008 was the first time they had played in a Champions League final; they battled Manchester United for the coveted trophy, matching United strength for strength, skill for skill, technique and technique, but were unlucky to miss out on free kicks as United won their third and Sir Alex Ferguson’s second UEFA. The Champions League trophy that also helped Cristiano Ronaldo win the world’s best player award.
In 2009, the team demonstrated a different football style. Spain’s Barcelona won the 2009 Champions League after showing the football world how to play; neat defending, accurate passing and clinical finishing: characterized Barcelona’s play on the way to winning the trophy for the third time in history, following triumphs in 1992 and 2006.
2010 was very promising for the English sides after bright starts from all sides in their respective groups; Liverpool won their first game against Debrecen at Anfield with the only goal scored by Dirk Kuyt, making him the club’s third highest scorer in Europe with 12 goals. Chelsea also won their first game against FC Porto with the only goal scored by Nicolas Anelka in a dull encounter due to a waterlogged pitch.
Manchester United did not do badly in their first game; same was the case with Arsenal, all the England representatives represented well to the delight of the England faithful. Things started to get dicey as the contest progressed further into its key stage. Liverpool were eliminated very early in the competition as they were knocked out in the group stage, 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 had a consolation and impressively reached the semi-finals after conceding fewer than three goals in the previous one. rounds, namely the 32nd, 16th and quarter-finals, earning them a clash with Athletico Madrid away in Spain.
Chelsea were next to be eliminated, after a partially successful progress in the group to the round of 16. Chelsea had a big scare in a few games in the group stage, Athletico Madrid away in Spain was one where they had to settle for 2 all draw after they went through Didier Drogba only to see Athletico lead brace Sergio Diego Aguero but Drogba proved very clinical in the finish as he slotted home his second Athletica goal. Chelsea’s most surprising group result came on the final day of the group. Apoel Nicosia, making their Champions League debut, beat Chelsea with a full first-team squad at Stamford Bridge in a 2-0 draw.
Arsenal produced the most impressive performance in the group stage, taking 16 of the 18 available points in a group that consisted of Olympiakos, Standard Liege and Az Alkmaar, teams with low pedigree and often with the Champions League due to their inability to progress past the Champions League. preliminary.
Manchester United, I would say, had an indifferent group campaign. He got off to a great start but was flattered during key games in the middle, needing the last game to confirm qualification but scrapped any doubts after Michael Owen’s hat-trick canceled out Edin Dzeko’s opener for VFL Wolfsburg at Old Trafford.
With the top three teams from England advancing to the round of 16, hopes and expectations were extremely high. However, the English teams did not achieve the ideal draw, Chelsea faced Inter-Milan, coached by Jose Mourinho, Manchester United were drawn into a battle with the 7-time European champions, Ac-Milan and Arsenal won a rematch in the 2009 group against Porto Fc, the winners of 2004.
In the first rounds, the English teams awaited a real test of strength, skill and technique.
Manchester United were tested in all of the aforementioned matches against Ac-Milan, first at the Giuseppe Meazza, San Siro and then at Old Trafford, but then emerged victorious in both legs, winning 7-2 on aggregate, with Wayne Rooney scoring four times. seven goals, i.e. 2 goals in each stage.
Arsenal was in a similar situation, against Fc Porto the Portuguese national team had a good fight, especially in Portugal, where the first match was held, which Fc Porto won 2 goals to 1, in a match that Porto Falcao’s second goal was a bit controversial and it looked like an offside goal.
Arsenal showed no mercy at the Emirates Stadium, firing 2 goals in quick succession through Helton in the Porto goal and it was Arsenal 2 Porto 1 at half time. Porto started the second half brightly and attacked Arsenal from all angles of the pitch. As the game grew, Arsenal became more confident and started to play like the Arsenal we are used to seeing in league matches. Samri Nasri sent the Emirates into ecstasy when he dribbled past three Porto defenders and fired past a helpless Helton who tried to run out to prevent the goal but to no avail. Super sub Emmanuel Eboue came on minutes later to seal the win with a clean finish, after outrunning a Porto defender and set up by Andre Arshavin, with only the keeper to beat, he neatly rounded him before netting four points for Arsenal. hats off to a great performance from some really smoking gunners. Nicklas Bendtner, who had earlier netted 2 superb strikes, added a third to record his first career hat-trick for Arsenal.
It wasn’t all a bed of roses for Chelsea either as they suffered defeats at the hands of Inter-Milan over both legs which put paid to their Champions League campaign. In a wonderful Giuseppe Meazza, Inter tested Chelsea for wits, work-rate and technique as both teams played for their lives to advance in the competition. Chelsea partially outplayed, but all the “possession” could not bring them the win they set as their goal. Possession favored Chelsea in the first leg of the match but these did not translate into goals or attempts on goal, shots on goal and so on. Of all the teams to start their European campaign in September, it’s safe to say that Liverpool are the biggest disappointment of all, having been knocked out in the group stage.
There are currently only two English teams in the European competition, Liverpool FC and Fulham FC, and both have interesting fixtures in the semi-finals as they face Athletic Madrid and Hamburg respectively.
There is the possibility of an all-England Europa League final, which has not been achieved for over 6 seasons.
The absence of Premier League teams in the Champions League semi-finals does not in my opinion mean the downfall of the Premier League, but the only reason is the reality that we have encountered, the fact that teams from other countries have sat down and reviewed the methods of English teams that they have applied and it has also worked magically and very effectively.
English teams were neither totally outclassed nor outplayed but rather 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 so people don’t say champions the league is an English competition. English teams will rise to take what is rightfully theirs, the prestige they have earned over the years, a prestige that I believe is in jeopardy given their failure to reach the semi-finals of Europe’s elite club competition.
It follows that the absence of English teams in the semi-finals of the Champions League in no way equates to the fall of the first league, and besides, what other league is as erratic as the first league? A league where any team can beat any team, home or away; name the league.
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