Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham have all created Champions League history by qualifying for the knock out stages. This is the first time any country has had five teams in the top 16, making it a very exciting time for football fans throughout the country. 2017 was also the first time that England had five times in the group stages, with Manchester United qualifying due to their Europe League win for the 2016-17 season.
All Teams Have Been Dominant
All five English teams have been dominant in the group stages of the Champions League. Manchester United, Manchester City, Spurs and Liverpool all finished top of their groups, with Spurs doing extremely well in group H – a tough group that contained Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid. Spurs ended up finishing the group stages on 16 points, which was higher than any other team. Liverpool was the second highest scoring team managing a massive 23 goals in 6 games, only being beaten on goals by PSG. Overall, England’s teams had a win percentage of 70%, which in the whole history of the Champions League group stages has only been bettered twice.
The 2017-18 season marks the first time that five English teams have made it into the Champions League knockout stages. The only other country that can boast of an achievement like this is Spain who saw Valencia, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla compete in 2015-16. That year, however, Sevilla and Valencia failed to get through the knockout stages, so what England has achieved is truly remarkable.
Over the past fourteen years, seven English clubs have made it into the English group stages. In addition to Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham, Arsenal and surprising Premier League winners Leicester City have also made it through. In those fourteen seasons mentioned, English teams have had an 84% success rate of getting through to the group stages, with the only real low point being the 2012-13 season when only Arsenal and Manchester United made it through and both got knocked out in the top 16. The best season for English clubs so far was the 2007-08 season when Manchester United beat Chelsea in the final, Liverpool made it through to the semi finals and Arsenal reached the quarter final.
What Will Happen Next?
Based on history, when four or more teams from one country have made it through to the knock-out stages, at least one of those teams has made it to the Champions League final. Bookmakers like www.Toals.Comhave already released their odds for the Champions League winners, and although PSG is currently the favourite at 7/2, Manchester City aren’t far behind at 9/2. The other odds currently stand at 14/1 for Manchester United and Tottenham, 18/1 for Liverpool, and 22/1 for Chelsea.
Whether any of the English teams will actually win the Champions League is another thing altogether, though, as the country hasn’t exactly been lucky in recent years. The last time an English team won was in the 2007-08 season when Manchester United took home the trophy, and before that is was 2004-05 when Liverpool won it.
What Do The Managers Think?
Jose Mourinho, the manager of Manchester United doesn’t believe the team is a true candidate to win the Champions League. He believes there are a lot of strong teams that have made it through. At the moment, he is encouraging his team to focus on the Premier League.
Manchester City’s manager Pep Guardiola believes that a lot of what happens is determined on the day. It depends on how your team feels when they step on the pitch and there is more luck involved than with the Premier League. He believes his team will try their best but what happens on the day will be determined by the conditions and the team’s motivation.
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool’s manager, had high hopes going into the group stages and wasn’t surprised to top the group. He believes the other teams in the top 16 are also tough, though.
Antonio Conte, the Chelsea manager, believes that with five English teams progressing, it shows how high the quality of the English league is. He believes it will be hard for Chelsea to win the trophy with the Premier League being as tough as it is.
Finally, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino seems to just be happy that they have made it through. He believes getting just this far is a massive achievement and it will depend on motivation as to how well the team does.
It will certainly be exciting to see what happens next year!