All English Champions League final-the beginning of a new era of domination
The 2021 Champions League final is set and it is an all-English affair for the second time in three seasons. Manchester City & Chelsea ultimately progressed from their semi-final ties with relative ease despite City facing last years finalists, Paris Saint Germain & Chelsea going up against the 13 time European Champions, Real Madrid.
City showed the world they are arguably the most dominant team in European football at the moment in their semi-final tie while also showing the world that PSG are a group of individuals rather than a cohesive unit. While Chelsea dominated both legs against Madrid and were it not for 'lady luck' being on the side of Madrid the aggregate score would have been bordering on humiliation.
The last decade of European Competition has been largely dominated by Spanish teams with Real Madrid & Barcelona combining for six triumphs (4 & 2). However as this years Champions League has shown, the Spanish giants are both shadows of the team they once were and appear set to engage in a rebuilding of sorts. Last years champions, Bayern Munich were limited by injuries this season and are heading towards a new beginning with Julian Nagelsmann taking charge in the summer.
Juventus are on the decline and in danger of failing to qualify for next years competition along with Borussia Dortmund and the stage appears set for a new era of Premier League domination in Europe.
From the mid-late 2000's the latter stages of the Champions League was the Premier League's playground. Of the 20 semi-final places up for grabs between 2005 & 2009, 12 of them were filled by English teams with six going on to reach the final and two being crowned European Champions, the only thing that stopped it from being three English champions & back to back all Premier League finals during this period was some horrendous refereeing decisions in the 2009 semi-final between Chelsea & Barcelona.
Now with the second all-English final in three seasons we appear set for a new era of domination to begin. Man City may be entering their first ever Champions League final but they are currently the most dominant team in European football that will only improve over the next few seasons. As for Chelsea, they have been completely revitalised by new manager Thomas Tuchel and with their great blend of youth and experience they appear primed to succeed for many years to come.
Outside of this years finalists, you instantly look to Manchester United, who currently sit 2nd in the Premier League & appear set for a Europa League final place and Liverpool, the 2019 Champions League winners & 2020 Premier League champions, who's season has been curtailed by serious injuries to Virgil Van Dijk, Jordan Henderson & Joe Gomez.
United have been striving to return to their former glories ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 and in this moment appear as close as they have ever been to achieving this goal, with the right investment this summer they will be well positioned to succeed on all fronts next season and beyond.
Liverpool may have to settle for Europa League football next season but most believe they can return to their success of the past few seasons once they have a healthy squad. This still remains a slight question mark with their dynamic forward line having shown major signs of struggle this season despite remaining fit. If they can bounce back however they will be back to dominating at home and across Europe.
The traditional English 'BIG 4' from the noughties has become a big six with Man City & Tottenham showing improvements at home and abroad. However both Tottenham and Arsenal of the big six appear to be entering into different forms of turmoil, Spurs looking for a new manager and trying to keep hold of their stars while Arsenal are being peppered with rumours of a takeover bid.
Leicester City & West Ham United are currently threatening to disrupt the status-quo within the Premier League but this should only encourage the top teams to improve themselves.
The traditional European Giants are regressing, the English teams are improving and Champions League domination is coming with it!