A new Champions League era or just a blip?

March 18, 2010

As many French teams in the Champions League quarter-finals as English clubs and only one Spanish side through.

Does this mark a sea change in Europe or is it just a freak season like 2004 (the last time two French teams reached the last eight)? 

To be fair to Lyon and Bordeaux, they deserved to qualify with Lyon overcoming the mighty Real Madrid and Bordeaux beginning to look a real good outside bet to go all the way. You’d get decent money on Arsenal and Bayern Munich too, who could easily chart a path to the Bernabeu in May. 

Eliminated Liverpool are having one of those terrible seasons which afflict top sides now and then but Chelsea’s exit and the manner of their weak home defeat to Inter Milan was the biggest surprise of the last 16.

Italian football had been castigated after AC Milan’s thrashing by Manchester United but Inter showed Serie A is not done for yet, especially with a maestro like Jose Mourinho in charge.

Most teams will fancy CSKA Moscow in Friday’s last-eight draw but after the Russians impressively disposed of Sevilla that might be too much wishful thinking.

Of course there is one side we haven’t mentioned, wonderful defending champions Barcelona. They are clear favourites for the trophy after more Messi magic finished off Stuttgart but Wayne Rooney and the United boys are only just behind with most bookmakers.

It’s an open draw on Friday and a Barca v United tie would be a shame so early on, but this year’s Champions League seems full of surprises.

PHOTO: Girondins Bordeaux coach Laurent Blanc reacts during their Champions League soccer match against Olympiakos at the Chaban Delmas stadium in Bordeaux, southwestern France, March 17, 2010. REUTERS/Olivier Pon

3 comments

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/

[...] more from the original source: Reuters Soccer Blog » Blog Archive » A new Champions League era or … Tags: help-edit, like, london, london-alongside, muscles, officials-have, reuters [...]

just a blip. ac milan chelsea, real madrid will be back in teh next few years. then teams like lyon and beudox will have it more difficult. but they do deserve to be throught this time on merit.

Posted by moshahid | Report as abusive

interesting you say that moshahid. If Bordeaux can cling on to mercurial Gourcuff and Blanc (Juventus and others are interested in the top young coach according to media reports) then i see can see them being just as strong next year although Chamakh seems to want to go to Arsenal.
Milan are surely regretting letting Gourcuff go so cheap and not playing him more when he was there. Oddly Ancelotti was not a fan

Posted by MarkMeadows | Report as abusive

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by ReutersSoccer: A new Champions League era or just a blip? http://link.reuters.com/xuw34j…

[...] Reuters Soccer Blog » Blog Archive » A new Champions League era or … [...]

oh definetly, the french teams will be as strong if not get stronger. but the big teams will come back one day and become teh better teams. for some reason over teh past few decades. its always been real, ac milan, utd liverpool barcelona and couple others have been challenging and have won teh champions league. par porto . one of in my view. these teams have gone throught blips before and have come back. they have too much history, prestigue and money not to come back. everyone wants to play for teh big clubs especially real madrid barcelona and hpefuly utd.

Posted by moshahid | Report as abusive

[...] Reuters Soccer Blog » Blog Archive » A new Champions League era or … [...]

[...] Reuters Soccer Blog » Blog Archive » A new Champions League era or … [...]