Defeats put English Euro place at risk
Published 18/09/2015 | 02:30
The closure of Zagreb airport on Wednesday night was an appropriately infuriating end for Arsenal to a Champions League week that has deepened the threat of England losing one of its four places in the competition.
After a dreadful season in European competition last year, the Premier League had dropped behind the German Bundesliga as UEFA's third-ranked domestic competition and it will also be passed by Serie A if it is again decisively outperformed by the Italian clubs.
Should that happen, there will be only three English teams in the 2017-18 Champions League.
The rankings are calculated over a five-year period, and the decline of the Premier League clubs is stark.
Between 2007 and 2009, English teams supplied 11 quarter-finalists and nine semi-finalists or better. In the most recent three years they have supplied two quarter-finalists and one semi-finalist.
Chelsea's win in 2012 is England's only final appearance in the past six years. From 2004 until 2012, they had at least one finalist in seven out of eight seasons.