Dominance of English clubs in European competitions
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Last week, I mentioned to my wife that the European Champions League started with four English clubs, but none of them would be featured in the final. This comment was based on the fact that Liverpool were trailing 0-3 after the first leg semi-final and Tottenham were trailing 0-1 and would be playing the second leg away. As Ajax led 2-0 at half-time during the second-leg match, I gave Spurs not the ghost of a chance.
How wrong can one be! Examples that quickly come to mind are the 1982 World Cup match between West Germany and France and the Coupe de France final 1983 between Nantes and Paris Saint-Germain.
Who would have thought that Liverpool, without Firmino and Salah, would have scored four goals without reply against Barcelona? The European nights at Anfield are back! And then Tottenham, without their talisman Harry Kane, came back from three goals down to qualify, with Lucas Moura scoring a triple. He had not scored a single goal at the knock-out stage and he comes good in his 22nd match at this level.
Perhaps Manchester United have chosen the wrong coach. The French are boasting about the strength of Ligue 1 (Origi and Moura).
And, if that were not enough, both Arsenal and Chelsea have qualified for the final of the Europa League in Baku. Three London clubs in the European finals of 2019!
NORMAN W. M. THOMPSON