Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

So are we set for another all-English Champions League final?

February 26, 2009

There’s still a long way to go to the final in Rome but from what we saw over the first legs of the opening knock-out round of the Champions League a lot of people will be expecting another all-English affair at the Olympic Stadium.

If you take Mark’s dad as an authority, and I’m sure he knows as much as anyone, serie A sides are unlikely still to be challenging but is there anyone else capable of preventing another Premier League tour match?

Manchester United are actually the most precariously placed of the four English sides. A goalless draw away from home is not a great result, as United will doubtless remember from their trip to the Bernabeu in 2000.

Arsenal and Chelsea had better results at home to Italian sides, winning their home legs 1-0 against, respectively, Roma and Juventus, while Liverpool nicked a great result, 1-0 away to Real Madrid thanks to a late Yossi Benayoun header.

Barcelona should probably go through after salvaging a 1-1 draw away to Lyon but their performance in France will have given rise to more doubts from their fans.

Have Pep Guardiola’s team peaked too early?

Of the rest, Bayern Munich hammered out a reminder of their European glory days by winning 5-0 at Sporting and I guess the Bavarians can’t be discounted but I don’t think any of the other teams, from Panathinaikos to Villarreal, Atletico and Porto, would provide too many problems for United and co.

Anything’s possible, but I’d expect all four English teams to make it through to the quarter-finals and from there, who knows?

But let me know if you think I’m wrong. My predictions usually are…

Kevin Fylan, London

PHOTO: Liverpool’s Yossi Benayoun celebrates his goal during their Champions League win over  Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, Feb. 25, 2009. REUTERS/Juan Medina

Comments

I believe the possibilities of an all English Final is stabilized by the quality of the top 4 clubs of England. Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool match up to the best clubs in Europe. When you look around Europe, there’s no country with four champion clubs…Spain has Barca and Real, Italy has AC, Milan and Juve and Germany has Munich….so without doubt, English Premier League is the best in the world…Personally, I am a huge Manchester United fan and nothing could satisfy me more than to see us defend 2 trophies successfully and grab both the Carling Cup and F A Cup

Posted by Deepungsu Pandit | Report as abusive
 

HI Deepungsu. I definitely think there’s a sort of arms race going on in English football that no other league in Europe can match. English clubs have to keep improving and adding quality players to safeguard their places in the CL. there’s just so much competition here.

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive
 

No, Liverpool and Arsenal will falter

Posted by gerard jansen | Report as abusive
 

I can’t agree completely with you! English teams are strong but only United is in another level. Chelsea can recover the pace but I think it’s still fragile. Arsenal is weak. Very young team, without the winning mentality needed for win the Champions. About Liverpool, very tough to beat in two games but…Real is playing well. My favourites are Man Utd and Barcelona. If Messi return to the big form, no one can stop him! And, pay attention to Porto and Hulk…they’re in a good shape!

Posted by Carlos | Report as abusive
 

It would be very possible to have an all English final. What I’d like to see is Liverpool continue to play well, and take home the hardware

http://www.soccershop.com

 

Let’s be fair to the rest of Europe – it will be two English clubs in the final, but not an all-English final.

When we see Wembley host the Champions League final, then we’ll call it an all-English final.

Posted by Hans Moman | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •