Friday 28 October 2016

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.

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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.

Irish Independent

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