As Chelsea and Manchester City prepare for the Champions League final, we look back at previous instances of all-English European finals.
Chelsea and Manchester City will face off in an all-English Champions League final on Saturday (May 29). The fact that this is an all-English final is a source of pride to fans of the Premier League and English football in general. It is also proof of the dominance of PL sides in Europe. After all, this is the third all-English European final in 2 years if the Europa League is counted. Familiarity breeds contempt, and these two sides have faced each other plenty of times already this season. In fact, Chelsea boast two wins against City – once in the league and once in the FA Cup final.
As we get set for a full English summit clash, let’s take a look back at the previous times when English sides met in the European finals.
The start of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side truly returning to football’s elite began when they won the Champions League in 2019. It was the catalyst to their Premier League title win a season later. It also saw them beat another English team to the crown.
The 2019 final wasn’t quite as dramatic as the 2018 one, but Liverpool fans won’t care. Sadly for Spurs, that final represented a pinnacle of sorts under then-manager Mauricio Pochettino. Whether or not they can get back to those heights remains to be seen.
2019 saw not one, but two all-English European finals. The London derby between Arsenal and Chelsea was also noteworthy for a number of reasons. For one, it was then-Chelsea coach Maurizio Sarri’s first trophy as a manager. It was also Belgian winger Eden Hazard’s final appearance for the Blues.
He departed in style too, scoring twice as Chelsea ran out 4-1 winners. For Arsenal, it was a missed opportunity – they needed to win the trophy for Champions League qualification, having finished outside the Top 4 in the league. It was also then-Arsenal manager Unai Emery’s only Europa League final loss.
The 2008 final was as dramatic as they come. United and Chelsea were the two best sides in England at the time and this match was highly anticipated. It was United who won the final, however, in what remains a memorable encounter for the ages.
Ronaldo scored the first goal for the Red Devils but Frank Lampard made things all square. But the game-changing moment was Didier Drogba’s red card. The striker was meant to be Chelsea’s fifth penalty taker in the event of a shoot-out. But it was John Terry who stepped up.
He slipped and his shot hit the post. Extra-time saw Nicholas Anelka miss his spot kick and United were left to celebrate a memorable final win.
The forgotten final of the lot. Spurs and Wolves met in a two-legged UEFA Cup final in 1972, with the win going the way of the London club. The first leg at Molineux saw Martin Chivers score twice as Spurs won 2-1.
Wolves fought hard in the second leg but only managed a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane. Nowadays, two-legged finals are very much a thing of the past.