English Teams In The Champions League | Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd, City

English Teams In The Champions League | Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd, City

Liverpool’s Champions League win in 2005 turned the tide for English teams in the competition. Since then, there have been many English teams who have done well in the latter stages. Last season was potentially the year that the English teams’ reputation suffered as England did not manage to have a team in the quarter final stage. After the first leg of the Round of 16 games, English teams are again in danger of not being well represented in the quarter finals.

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Manchester City

Manchester City went into the first leg believing that they would be able to beat Barcelona. Barcelona’s great reputation has been damaged in recent seasons, particularly by the 7-0 aggregate defeat they suffered at the hands of Bayern Munich last season. Many forgot and underestimate the European pedigree that they hold and the neutral was treated to a typically possession based master class from Gerardo Martino’s side. Demechelis’ sending off turned the game, but Barcelona were already in control. City done well to hold out for so long, but Barcelona’s second goal may have put the tie beyond City’s reach. City have done well to reach the Round of 16 for the first time in their history. They may have suffered from coming second in their group, but coming second to Bayern Munich is no shame. Some may feel that Pellegrini’s lack of understanding of the rules may have cost his side, but City are just happy to be in the knockout stages for the first time.

What they need to progress:

City must score at least two goals to stay in the tie and three goals to win it. Bayern Munich showed last year how counter attacking football with purpose and a clinical edge can beat Barcelona. A fit Sergio Aguero will also help.

Arsenal

After losing 2-0 at home to Bayern Munich, Arsenal find themselves in a tough position heading into the second leg. The Gunners played well until the sending off of Wojciech Szcezesny and indeed after it, but playing a man light against Bayern Munich was always going to be a thankless task. Mesut Ozil’s missed penalty grabbed all of the headlines and a goal would have given the Gunners a lot more hope. Arsenal’s 2-0 win in Munich last year shows that they are capable of getting a favourable result, however Bayern Munich are unlikely to take the Gunners lightly again. Arsenal have gone out in the Round of 16 in their last three Champions League campaigns. In two of those years, this has been the result of coming second in a group they should have won. That has again been the case this year and Arsene Wenger’s men have suffered for it by facing the current European Champions.

What they need to progress:

Arsenal must score at least two goals to stay in the tie and three goals to win it. A solid defence performance aided by fluent counter attacking football. They must be clinical with any chance that they get.

Manchester United

Manchester United’s performance on Tuesday night mirrored the results of both Manchester City and Arsenal losing 2-0. After winning their group, a tie against Olympiakos had United fans feeling more confident of progressing in the competition. This confidence was not evident in the players as United were well beaten on the night. Manchester United were guilty of sitting back and for a team with such European experience, they seemed to play the occasion.  Olympiakos were very good and exploited the passiveness of United’s performance. Robin Van Persie missed a great opportunity to give United an away goal and now they have it all to play for at Old Trafford. Although their league form has not been good, United swept aside all in front of them in the group stages of the Champions League.

What they need to progress:

United will need to overturn a 2-0 deficit. They cannot afford to concede as they will then need 4 goals to progress. An attacking performance unlike the one on Tuesday night is required.

Chelsea

Like Manchester United’s opponents Olympiakos, Galatasaray were seen as an easier draw for Chelsea than the ones handed to Manchester City and Arsenal. The Blues were set up well as all Jose Mourinho sides are and were able to get a 1-1 draw. Fernando Torres was able to get on the score sheet again, continuing the good form he has shown in Europe for Chelsea. The Blues were able to marshal the threat of former player Didier Drogba. Wesley Sneijder was able to claim an assist as Chelsea conceded a disappointing equaliser from a corner.  A 1-1 draw for Chelsea is not the worst result in the world. The Blues will feel confident that they can get the job done at Stamford Bridge and have the best chance of getting to the quarter final of all the English teams. They will have to be wary of the threat of Drogba and co, but they should have enough to get through.

What they need to progress:

A typical Mourinho performance. Two goals should give Galatasaray no chance of progressing. Chelsea cannot afford any defensive lapses like they showed for the goal in the first leg,