English clubs demise in the Champions League

Madrid's Mesut Özil gets the better of Utd's Tom Cleverley
Madrid’s Mesut Özil gets the better of Utd’s Tom Cleverley

Arsenal’s loss to Bayern Munich on March 13th, 2013 saw the last of the English Premiership sides exit this years Champions League competition. The result means this season will see the first Champions League quarterfinal phase without an English side for the first time since 1996.

In May 2012, Chelsea was celebrating being the champions of Europe – this year they didn’t even make it past the group stage, along with Manchester Utd (last sixteen) and Manchester City (group stage) – the balance of power has clearly shifted to Spain and Germany. Along with Real Madrid and Barcelona, Malaga’s surprise qualification for the quarter-finals means Spain have three teams in the last eight (for the first time in a decade) and Germany – with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund – have two.

There is of course a whole host of factors to which you could attribute the demise of Premier League teams – bad luck in the group stages (both Manchester City and Chelsea had incredibly difficult groups), Manchester Utd’s bad luck for being drawn to meet Real Madrid at such an early stage in the competition, and that’s before the controversy surrounding Nani’s red card in this match – a controversial decision that arguably cost Man Utd their place in the quarter-finals.

Then there’s the crazy fixture list in the Premier League to contend with – in Spain they will rearrange the fixture schedule to help their teams succeed in Europe, where as in England that is unheard of. Most European leagues take a short break in the winter; in England, during this period, teams play more fixtures than ever. The lack of progress this year could also be attributed to the decline in the standard of defensive play that has been seen this season in England. And finally it could also be that other leagues are just catching up to the Premiership or it could be just one of those things.

Whatever the reason, what makes the failure of an English team to reach the final even worse is that this years final is to be held in London at Wembley Stadium – it would have been nice to have a home team in there.

For now, England’s only hope for success in Europe this season is David Beckham – his side Paris Saint Germain are still in the competition – but that would mean we would have to start supporting a team from France – heaven forbid!

Champions League final stages since 1996:

  • 1995-96
    Blackburn Group stage
    Quarter-finalists Spain 1, Italy 1, Germany 1, France 1, Holland 1, Russia 1, Poland 1, Greece 1
  • 1996-97
    Man Utd Semi-finals
    Quarter-finalists Spain 1, Italy 1, Germany 1, England 1, France 1, Portugal 1, Holland 1, Norway 1
  • 1997-98
    Man Utd Quarter-finals
    Newcastle Group stage
    Quarter-finalists Germany 3, Spain 1, Italy 1, England 1, France 1, Ukraine 1
  • 1998-99
    Man Utd Winners
    Arsenal Group stage
    Quarter-finalists Germany 2, Italy 2, Spain 1, England 1, Greece 1, Ukraine 1
  • 1999-00
    Man Utd Quarter-finals
    Chelsea Quarter-finals
    Arsenal Qroup stage
    Quarter-finalists Spain 3, England 2, Italy 1, Germany 1, Portugal 1
  • 2000-01
    Leeds Semi-finals
    Arsenal Quarter-finals
    Man Utd Quarter-finals
    Quarter-finalists Spain 3, England 3, Germany 1, Turkey 1
  • 2001-02
    Man Utd Semi-finals
    Liverpool Quarter-finals
    Arsenal Last 16
    Quarter-finalists Spain 3, England 2, Germany 2, Greece 1
  • 2002-03
    Man Utd Quarter-finals
    Arsenal Last 16
    Newcastle Last 16
    Liverpool Group stage
  • Quarter-finalists Spain 3, Italy 3, England 1, Holland 1
  • 2003-04
    Chelsea Semi-finals
    Arsenal Quarter-finals
    Man Utd Last 16
    Quarter-finalists Spain 2, England 2, France 2, Italy 1, Portugal 1
  • 2004-05
    Liverpool Winners
    Chelsea Semi-finals
    Man Utd Last 16
    Arsenal Last 16
    Quarter-finalists Italy 3, England 2, Germany 1, France 1, Holland 1
  • 2005-06
    Arsenal Runners-up
    Liverpool Last 16
    Chelsea Last 16
    Man Utd Group stage
    Quarter-finalists Italy 3, Spain 2, England 1, France 1, Portugal 1
  • 2006-07
    Liverpool Runners-up
    Chelsea Semi-finals
    Man Utd Semi-finals
    Arsenal Last 16
    Quarter-finalists England 3, Italy 2, Spain 1, Germany 1
  • 2007-08
    Man Utd Winners
    Chelsea Runners-up
    Liverpool Semi-finals
    Arsenal Quarter-finals
    Quarter-finalists England 4, Spain 1, Italy 1, Germany 1, Turkey 1
  • 2008-09
    Man Utd Runners-up
    Chelsea Semi-finals
    Arsenal Semi-finals
    Liverpool Quarter-finals
    Quarter-finalists England 4, Spain 2, Germany 1, Portugal 1
  • 2009-10
    Man Utd Quarter-finals
    Arsenal Quarter-finals
    Chelsea Last 16
    Liverpool Group stage
    Quarter-finalists England 2, France 2, Spain 1, Italy 1, Germany 1, Russia 1
  • 2010-11
    Man Utd Runners-up
    Tottenham Quarter-finals
    Chelsea Quarter-finals
    Arsenal Last 16
    Quarter-finalists England 3, Spain 2, Germany 1, Italy 1, Ukraine 1
  • 2011-12
    Chelsea Winners
    Arsenal Last 16
    Man City Group stage
    Man Utd Group stage
    Quarter-finalists Spain 2, England 1, Italy 1, Germany 1, France 1, Portugal 1, Cyprus 1
  • 2012-13
    Man Utd Last 16
    Arsenal Last 16
    Chelsea Group stage
    Man City Group stage
    Quarter-finalists Spain 3, Germany 2, Italy 1, France 1, Turkey 1

(data source: guardiannews.com)

(photo: http://www.mirror.co.uk)

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