ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE RULES EUROPE!

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE RULES EUROPE!

What England missed by not winning the World Cup last year will be compensated for in 2019.

A day after Tottenham set up an all-English Champions League final against Liverpool, Arsenal overcame Valencia in Spain, while Chelsea held its nerve to defeat Eintracht Frankfurt 4-3 on penalties.

It is the first time one country has provided all four finalists for both the Champions League and Europa League. The closest that this had happened before was the six times that a country produced three of the four finalists. The most recent was in 2016 when the trio of Spanish La Liga sides, Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid (Champions League final) and Servilla  (Europa Cup) got to the final. The latter beat English Premiership side, Liverpool to win the Europa Cup.

Both trophies will end up in England this season

Prior to that were that of 1980 when trio of German sides, Hamburg, Eintracht and Mönchengladbach were three finalist while England first division side (No Premiership then), Nottingham Forest won the European Cup of Champions Clubs. Italy in 1990 had AC Milan, Juventus and Fiorentina in the finals while Portugal’s Benfica was the fourth club.

In 1995 Italy also had three clubs in the finals{ AC Milan, Parma and Juventus just as they did in 19998 with Juventus, Internazionale and Lazio. In 2014, Spain’s dominance of  the European clubs’ competitions manifested with the trio of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla in the finals.

The exception could be in 1990 when UEFA had three clubs’ competition as against the current two –  the European Cup Winners Cup, European Cup and UEFA Cup. Italy had four clubs in the three finals and the three trophies all ended in Italy.

That is in the ancient past. Currently, it is the English Premier League, the most followed national league that is reigning.

And so, the English Premiership will not only produce this year’s UEFA Champions League and Europa League winners, the Super Cup which pitches the winners of both leagues in one contest is destined to be won by any of the quartet of the English Premiership clubs.

While Arsenal’s route to the final was rather more sedate, Chelsea’s was anything but after it was taken all the way to penalties by an exciting and adventurous Eintracht Frankfurt.

With the tie level at 1-1 after the first leg, it was Chelsea that struck first at Stamford Bridge through Ruben Loftus-Cheek after 28 minutes.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek gave his side the lead at Stamford Bridge.

The visiting side hit back four minutes after the interval through Luka Jovic, one of the most sought after strikers in Europe, with the forward racing through to slot the ball past the stranded Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Chelsea goal.

Both teams had chances to win the tie in the additional 30 minutes of extra time but David Luiz’s spectacular block on the line denied Sebastien Haller, while Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta’s effort was ruled out for a foul on the Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper.

With the scores level at 1-1 on the night and 2-2 on aggregate, it was left to penalties to separate the side with Kepa the hero for Chelsea.

The Spaniard saved two spot kicks, allowing Eden Hazard to fire home the winner and send Chelsea into the final.

For Kepa, who was caught up in controversy after refusing to be substituted during Chelsea’s shootout defeat by Manchester City in the League Cup final earlier this year, it was a moment of redemption.

“Penalties are down to luck. Today we won and in the Carabao Cup final we lost, but this is football,” Kepa told BT Sport.

“Today was really good and we played against a very difficult team and we are very happy.

“Our season was a little bit difficult but we have reached two finals and we have qualified for the Champions League so I think it’s a good season. Now we will have a strong London derby with Arsenal in Baku.”

While Chelsea was made to sweat, Arsenal enjoyed a more comfortable evening as it eased past Spanish side Valencia.

Leading 3-1 from the first leg, Arsenal came from behind to win 4-2 on the night and 7-3 on aggregate.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a hat-trick and Alexandre Lacazette was also on target as Arsenal became the third English club to reach a European final in as many days.

The victory was particularly sweet for Arsenal head coach Unai Emery, formerly of Valencia, who is attempting to win the competition for a fourth time.

After a difficult opening 15 minutes in which Valencia took the lead through Kevin Gameiro, Arsenal grew into the contest and hit back through Aubameyang’s exquisite finish.

That goal appeared to knock the home side’s confidence and when Lacazette added Arsenal’s second five minutes after the interval.

But Valencia rallied and Gameiro leveled just eight minutes later to set up a tense final half hour.

Yet, any hopes the home side may have had of a comeback were quickly curtailed when Aubameyang grabbed his second and Arsenal’s third with a neat finish

The Gabon international then completed his treble with just two minutes remaining to send Arsenal into the final on May 29.

Emery, who won the trophy three times in succession with Sevilla between 2014 and 2016, will now hope his side can overcome Chelsea in the final.

“I am very proud of the players and the supporters,” Emery told BT Sport after the game.

“The players did all they could and we can be proud of the whole club.

“We knew we had to be calm after they scored and we needed to control our emotions. It is very difficult to score four goals against this team because they are very organized. It gave us confidence to score quickly we know our strikers are taking chances.”

FOUR FINALISTS IN ONE SEASON

  • European Cup: AC Milan 1-0 Benfica
  • UEFA Cup: Juventus 3-1agg Fiorentina
  • Cup Winners’ Cup: Sampdoria 2-0 Anderlecht, aet

THREE FINALISTS IN ONE SEASON*

  • 1980 GER – Nottingham Forest 1-0 Hamburg, Eintracht 3-3agg Mönchengladbach (Eintracht won on away goals)
  • 1990 ITA – AC Milan 1-0 Benfica, Juventus 3-1agg Fiorentina 
  • 1995 ITA – Ajax 1-0 AC Milan, Parma 2-1agg Juventus
  • 1998 ITA – Real Madrid 1-0 Juventus, Internazionale 3-0 Lazio
  • 2014 ESP – Real Madrid 4-1 Atlético Madrid (aet), Sevilla 0-0 Benfica (4-2 on pens)
  • 2016 ESP – Real Madrid 1-1 Atlético Madrid (Real Madrid won 5-3 on pens), Sevilla 3-1 Liverpool

ONE-NATION EUROPEAN CUP/UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINALS

This season will be the seventh UEFA Champions League final between domestic rivals in 20 seasons:

  • 2000 ESP Real Madrid 3-0 Valencia
  • 2003 ITA AC Milan 0-0 Juventus (3-2 on pen)
  • 2008 ENG Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea (6-5 on pens)
  • 2013 GER Bayern München 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
  • 2014 ESP Real Madrid 4-1 Atlético Madrid (aet)
  • 2016 ESP Real Madrid 1-1 Atlético Madrid (5-3 on pens)
  • 2019 ENG Tottenham v Liverpool

ONE-NATION UEFA CUP/UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE FINALS

This season’s final in Baku is the first all-English decider since the competition’s very first season in 1971/72, when Tottenham got the better of Wolves. It is the tenth one-nation final in all.

  • 1972 ENG Tottenham 3-2agg Wolverhampton
  • 1980 GER Eintracht 3-3agg Mönchengladbach (Eintracht won on away goals)
  • 1990 ITA Juventus 3-1agg Fiorentina
  • 1991 ITA Internazionale 2-1agg Roma
  • 1995 ITA Parma 2-1agg Juventus
  • 1998 ITA Internazionale 3-0 Lazio
  • 2007 ESP Sevilla 2-2 Espanyol (3-1 on pens)
  • 2011 POR Porto 1-0 Braga
  • 2012 ESP Atlético Madrid 3-0 Athletic Club
  • 2019 ENG Chelsea v Arsenal

TWO WINNERS IN ONE SEASON*

With a monopoly on finalists, both trophies are obviously destined for England. It is the 12th time one nation has won both competitions – and remarkably, the fifth time in six seasons! 

  • 1975 GER Bayern München, Mönchengladbach
  • 1981 ENG Liverpool, Tottenham
  • 1989 ITA AC Milan, Napoli
  • 1990 ITA AC Milan, Juventus (Sampdoria won the Cup Winners’ Cup, too)
  • 1994 ITA AC Milan, Internazionale
  • 1997 GER Dortmund, Schalke
  • 2006 ESP Barcelona, Sevilla
  • 2014 ESP Real Madrid, Sevilla
  • 2015 ESP Barcelona, Sevilla
  • 2016 ESP Real Madrid, Sevilla
  • 2018 ESP Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid
  • 2019 ENG ???

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.