An English-free Champions League semis

A dream come true?

Another context to Ferguson's emphatic reordering of his side was that England's flame was burning low in a competition the Premier League has come to dominate. Not since 2003 had an English side failed to reach the semi-final stage and the last five finals have featured members of the top four cartel: Liverpool in 2005 and 2007, Arsenal in 2006 and United in each of the last two, against Chelsea (2008) and Barcelona last year.

One more win for an English club will bring our national game level with Spain on 12 wins (Real Madrid nine, Barcelona three) and ahead of Italy on 11 (Milan seven, Juventus two, Internazionale two), though those figures may change next month in Madrid.

Published: April 08 2010

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