Since many years, EPL has had its top four sides qualify to the UCL because of the point system and their good performances in the competition. This meant only the three sides from Italian Serie A would make it to the biggest European club tournament each year. But in the previous few years, English clubs have gone out of the competition in the early stages, while Juventus and Napoli performed well. The old lady made it to the finals of the UCL last year.
None of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal made it to the quarter-finals of the UCL and the fourth spot in England was under threat. But Liverpool and Manchester City came to the rescue for the English sides as they reached to the last eight of Europa and UCL respectively. To make things even better for the EPL clubs, Juventus got knocked out by Bayern Munich in the group of 16 which meant the safety of the top 4 qualifications of English sides into the UCL until the end of 2017-18 season.
This comes as a huge sigh of relief for the big clubs in England as not qualifying for the Champions League has a lot of adverse effects. Not only do you lose out financially but it’s hard to hold onto your star players and to attract new ones. So it was vital for England to hold their fourth spot and the Reds and the Citizens did them a solid.
Liverpool knocked Manchester United in the round of 16 of the Europa League and booked a mouth-watering quarter-final tie with Borussia Dortmund. On the other hand, Manchester City registered a comfortable victory over FC Dynamo Kiev and faced the mighty PSG in the last eight.
Leicester, Spurs and Arsenal look certain to qualify for the UCL. While the race for the final fourth spot will go right down to the wire as only one point is separating fourth place city and sixth place United. With eight games to go, it would be really interesting to see which Manchester club qualifies for the UCL next season. Will LVG guide his side to a top-four and ruin Guardiola’s plans for next seasons?
Words by: Hassan Shahid