The first set of failures brought down a city full of soccer glory when both Manchester teams, Manchester United and Manchester City, could not advance from the group stage of the European Tournament.
The current leader of the Premier League, Manchester City, could not advance from the group stage despite having huge stars like David Silva and Sergio Aguero on the team. In City’s defense, they were in the most difficult group of the tournament with Bayern Munich, Napoli, and Villarreal.
The second Manchester team to fail was Manchester United. The team could not advance despite being in one of the easiest groups with Benfica, Basel, and Otelul Galati. In their defense, after defeating Bayern Munich, Basel is looking much stronger.
The teams that seemed to be floundering in the Premier League, Arsenal and Chelsea, could suddenly gloat about having advanced further in the tournament.
The gloating didn’t last long, though. Arsenal was destroyed by A.C. Milan in the first half of the Round of 16 match, losing 4-0 and showing zero personality. It was one of the worst loses in a European Tournament for the English side.
Then came Chelsea, ready to carry what was left of the country’s dignity, against a candidate that seemed a lot more accessible in Napoli. The team lost easily 3-1 in a score line that could have favored the Italian team by a lot more.
Now come the second leg of the Round of 16, and it seems impossible for Arsenal (without a distinct leader) to overcome an A.C. Milan team that looks ready to reclaim its Champions League glory.
Chelsea enters the second phase with a new coach (or quite possibly, without one) and looks more lost than ever. With Napoli’s great defense and the inspired play of Edinson Cavani, it also looks quite unlikely the team can come back.
It seems the death and disappointment of English teams in this Premier League is almost complete and in its wake comes a much underrated but increasingly frightening Italian renaissance that could easily take the title.
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