Quarter-finals of the Champions League: are English teams the new dominant force in Europe? • Parlay Game

Manchester United overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat Paris St-Germain and reach the last eight

For the first time in 10 seasons, four teams from one country will participate in the last eight games of the Champions League.

Liverpool's victory over Bayern Munich in the last 16 games means that England will now provide 50% of the teams in the quarterfinals of the European club competition, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham, the other teams present in the Premier League.

This evokes memories of the 2000s and the two successive seasons when England provided four quarter-finalists (with six finalists in five years and two winners – Liverpool in 2005 and Manchester United in 2008).

But is the repeat of this season a sign of England's resurgence on the biggest stage?

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Previous dominance of the Champions League

The best time of the Champions League in England was in the mid-2000s. In 2007-08 and 2008-09, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United all reached the quarter-finals.

At least one English team has reached five consecutive finals (from 2004-05 to 2008-09) – and seven out of eight (up to 2011-12). Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea all won and lost at least one, and Arsenal lost.

The last seven seasons have been largely reserved for the English side of the Champions League, punctuated by a strange moment of success, including the triumph of Chelsea in Munich in 2011-12 and the final of Liverpool last season.

In recent years, Spain has dominated – with three La Liga teams in the past eight seasons. A Spanish team has won each of the last five leagues of the champions: Real Madrid with four and Barcelona with one. Seven of the last 10 finalists are Spanish and Atletico Madrid has lost twice.

But Real's three-year reign is over, and brilliantly finished by Ajax in the last 16 games – and Barca is the only Spanish team that remains now.

The Premier League is the only league to have ever had four quarter finalists. Italy had three before in 2005-06 and Germany never had more than two.

How are the English sides equipped?

Real Madrid are at the top of the UEFA club rankings, with Bayern Munich in second place, but both left the Champions League in the final leg.

English Champions Manchester City are the bookies favorites to win the Champions League this season. This is the third time in four seasons that they have participated in the last eight seasons and Pep Guardiola, they have a winning coach twice with Barcelona.

City has won six of its eight Champions League games this season, including a 6-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk and Schalke's 7-0 defeat to help them advance to the quarter-finals.

Sergio Aguero averaged one goal every 70 minutes of the tournament this season, five goals in five games, but Guardiola admitted that they were still "teenagers in the competition" before the game for Schalke.

Liverpool hope to do better than last season when they lost against Real Madrid in the final.

Since then, they have replaced goalkeeper Loris Karius by one of the best goalkeepers in the world, Alisson, who has become more solid at the back and has brought back nearly £ 100 million of midfielders to Fabinho and Naby Keita.

The five-time champions of Europe have won crucial stages this season. They won 1-0 against Naples, which allowed them to move from the group stage. They beat Bayern Munich 3-1 in Germany after a home first leg.

Manchester United are a reborn team under the leadership of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, winning a famous 3-1 victory at Paris St-Germain with a team ravaged by injuries to score a goal on the outside.

The champions of 1968, 1999 and 2008 became the first team in the history of the European Cup to overcome a deficit of 2-0 or more in the first leg at home.

Some of the missing players have started to come back, so United should become stronger, and of course, Solskjaer has the history of the Champions League …

Tottenham have posted good progress from year to year in Europe, in the group stage in 2016-2017 and the last 16 years. But this time, they defeated Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund, 4-0 overall, to reach the quarter-finals.

The Spurs have shown a touch of fighting this season, too. They were 12 minutes from the end of the match after four matches – but had scored twice behind PSV to stay in the tournament, before beating Inter Milan and drawing against Barcelona.

And they should finally be in their new stadium before the quarterfinals.

Is there a disadvantage to this English success?

English coach Gareth Southgate believes that the success of the Premier League teams this season could hurt the chances of the national team in the final phase of the League of Nations in June.

The final of the Champions League in Madrid will take place just five days before England tackles the Netherlands in Portugal on 6 June.

"It will be a bit like the World Cup in that players will finish at different times, so we have to get ready a bit here, in terms of pre-camps," said Southgate. "It could be a mess.

"Let's say that if two of our teams qualified for the Champions League final, we would not see them, at best, before Monday before playing on Thursday.

"With the emotion of this game [Champions League final]can these players even play realistically on Thursday night for us? "

Who stands in their path?

Lionel Messi has scored eight goals in this season's tournament

After City, the next two favorites are Barcelona and Juventus.

Barcelona have gone on to triple before qualifying for the quarter-finals of each of the last three seasons, but seem well equipped to go further. Lionel Messi made a splash in his last match at 16 with Lyon, scoring twice and helping two others in a 5-1 victory.

Messi is the tournament's top scorer this season with eight goals and the second-leading scorer in the history of the Champions League with 108.

The only man to have scored more goals – Cristiano Ronaldo – is likely to be a major obstacle for all teams he faces in the last eight.

Winner of the first leg 2-0 at Atletico Madrid since Juventus, he managed a hat trick on Tuesday to qualify for the quarter-finals. The Portuguese are trying to win the tournament for a fourth consecutive year, after winning the last three games with Real Madrid, and a sixth time overall, which would be a common record.

The other two quarter-finals are considered outsiders, Ajax and Porto. But both teams have won the European Cup several times, four for Ajax and two for Porto.

And Ajax has achieved one of the best performances of the Champions League to beat Real Madrid 4-1 at Bernabeu in the last 16.

View of Germany and Spain

German football journalist Raphael Honigstein on BBC Radio 5 Live:

Three years ago, the Bundesliga beat the Premier League by scoring all the results and the Uefa coefficient ranking, but Dortmund and Bayern came out well each year.

Now, Dortmund continues to grow and Bayern is not at its best. [in German football] and it's a moment of self-reflection.

If you do not have the most money in the world, you need something extraordinary – team spirit, tactics or coaching – and, for the moment, we have not put in place this manager of special transformation. That's why the strength and depth below Bayern and Dortmund are illustrated.

Spanish football writer Andy West:

Although only time will tell, La Liga's failure to produce more than a quarter of finalists this season is probably only a flash.

Real Madrid, without a doubt, will come back stronger. We expect them to spend money this summer for the big strikers: Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) and Inter Milan (Mauro Icardi) make part of the targets. never win the Champions League.

Atletico Madrid also expects a new challenge next season. Losing against a very good Juventus team is hardly a shame (even if he was really poor in the second leg), and the boss Diego Simeone has the necessary tools to recover from this setback – in fact, it will suit him probably better. motivation tool.

Whatever the case may be, La Liga's "disappearance" speech may well be killed by Barcelona, ​​who surely has an unparalleled chance to lift the trophy if Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez stay fit.

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