EPL produces all four European finalists as Chelsea and Arsenal join Spurs and Liverpool in showpieces


England has become the first country ever to have all four finalists in Uefa’s flagship club competitions in the same year after Arsenal and Chelsea booked their places in the Europa League final.

It comes a day after Tottenham miraculously overcame Ajax to guarantee their spot in the Champions League final with Liverpool, who pulled off a stunning second-leg comeback against Barcelona at Anfield. The Blues needed a penalty shootout to beat Frankfurt at Stamford Bridge while Arsenal eased past Valencia on Thursday evening to set up the all-English final.

There have been several occasions when three of the four finalists in the two main European competitions have been from the same country.

However, after Maurizio Sarri’s side confirmed their spot at Stamford Bridge, both finals will be contested by English teams in the unprecedented feat.

London will also become the first ever city to have three teams compete in Uefa’s flagship club competition finals in the same year. Former Tottenham and Chelsea midfielder Glenn Hoddle was delighted to see English teams dominating on the European stage once again.

He said after Chelsea’s win over Frankfurt: ‘It’s wonderful for English football, and you can only see those four clubs getting stronger.

“Don’t be surprised if finals will be full of English teams (in the future). Let’s celebrate this season. All four teams should be proud of the way they played.

“Chelsea weren’t so good tonight, but what a good sign, you’re not playing your best and you win the match.”

Former Arsenal striker John Hartson was blown away on how Liverpool and Spurs made their way to the final of Europe’s elite club competition.

Hartson said: ‘It is remarkable the way it has happened, not many fancied Liverpool 3-0 down against one of the best teams in the world.

“Spurs were gone 2-0 down, they were gone, they were out before they turned it around. All these teams have shown great character to get there.”

Sportsmail’s Martin Keown said it was down to the quality of managers that now ply their trade in the Premier League.

“The quality of our managers now, I think they are getting better all the time,’ Keown said. ‘It was almost an out of body experience when you saw those Liverpool players.

“It is one night after another. At the weekend we still have Liverpool/Man City to look forward to.”

Germany are the only other country that have come closest to achieving the feat. In 1980, German sides Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Monchengladbach faced each other in the UEFA Cup final, while Hamburg took on Nottingham Forest in the European Cup final.

In 1990, Juventus faced Fiorentina in an all-Italian UEFA Cup final, with AC Milan reaching the Champions League final. Eight years later Juventus were in the Champions League final, with two other Serie A sides, Inter Milan and Lazio, competing in the UEFA Cup final.


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