Football

Liverpool and Man City lead English Champions League charge

Liverpool and Man City have both sent warnings to the rest of Europe with their latest Champions League displays. The Reds defeated Atletico Madrid 2-0, with City easing past Club Brugge 4-1.

Both English sides are now top of their respective groups. Jurgen Klopp’s men have qualified with four wins from four, while Pep Guardiola’s outfit are top of Group A with two games remaining.

It mustn’t be forgotten that Man Utd also sit top of their group. And holders Chelsea, despite occupying second spot in Group H, have all but confirmed their place in the next round.

It begs the question then, are English clubs the most feared in Europe?

Liverpool and Man City among favourites to win Champions League

It’s still very early in this season’s competition, but Liverpool have already put forward a strong case for European success. They’ve scored 13 goals, conceded five, and remain unbeaten. Moreover, the Reds have made Anfield a fortress.

Playing against the in-form Merseyside outfit is difficult enough, but that task is made almost impossible in front of a packed home stadium on a Tuesday or Wednesday night.

As for City, the footballing world is well aware that what Pep really wants is to have his hands on the famous trophy once again. The Spaniard hasn’t won the competition since 2011, his second title with Barcelona. The Manchester outfit came close last time out, and are showing signs that they might go one step further this time around.

In the red half of Manchester, things may not be going exactly to plan, but Cristiano Ronaldo’s heroics have fired his side to the top of Group F. The phenomenal forward has yet again rescued the club.

It would also be foolish to look past Chelsea. Thomas Tuchel’s men may be second in their group, but such talent and such squad-depth should definitely see them into the latter stages.

Bayern Munich also eyeing Champions League glory

But amid all of this promise from English clubs, there was of course another warning shot sent by a giant of European football. German outfit Bayern Munich thrashed Benfica 5-2.

It’s their fourth win from four games in a very tricky group also involving Barcelona and Dynamo Kyiv. But Julian Nagelsmann’s side haven’t seen things that way. They have scored an incredible 17 goals so far, conceding just two.

Ajax and Juventus must also be considered. Like Liverpool and Bayern, both have already qualified thanks to four wins from four.

Is Spain’s European dominance over?

From 2013/14 to 2017/18, a Spanish club was crowned the champions of Europe. Real Madrid won four of those titles, with rivals Barcelona lifting the other. Neither look overly impressive this season.

Incidentally, prior to that period, the last time the competition was won successively by a club from the same country was all the way back in the late 1980s. AC Milan won back-to-back European Cups in 1989 and 1990.

Between those two periods, it was a major battle between the top clubs in Spain, Italy, England and Germany. Portugal’s Porto also got their hands on the trophy. As did Red Star Belgrade, Marseille and Ajax.

But is now the time for English clubs to really come to the fore in Europe?

About the author

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Peter Lynch

Sports Journalism graduate from the University of Stirling, huge Liverpool and Northern Ireland fan, currently working as a freelancer.

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