English clubs have made European football history by securing all four places in the Champions League and Europa League finals.
It is the first time that all four places in the two major European finals have been taken by one country.
Arsenal booked their place in the Europa league final on Thursday, easing past Valencia after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s hat-trick helped secure a 4-2 victory (7-3 on aggregate) at the Mestalla, while Chelsea edged past Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties at Stamford Bridge to complete England’s quartet of finalists.
Before that, there were two nights of drama in the Champions League as Liverpool and Tottenham completed thrilling comebacks to set up the first-all-English final in 11 years.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool progressed to the Champions League final in sensational fashion by coming back from 3-0 down to beat Barcelona 4-0 in the second leg at Anfield on Tuesday.
Tottenham thrillingly beat Ajax 3-2 in Amsterdam on Wednesday night, with Lucas Moura completing a hat-trick in stoppage time, to go through on away goals after the tie finished 3-3 on aggregate.
Historic dominance in Europe
As the graphic below shows, Spain have been dominant finalists across both competitions in recent years, claiming three out of four spots in 2013/14 and 2015/16.
Italy enjoyed a decade-long period of success in the 1990s, achieving three out of four finalists on three occasions during that period, while Germany are the only other nation to shore up three places in a season, back in 1980.
This season has also seen England become the most dominant finalists across both competitions since 1972, with 37 teams competing for the trophy – one more than Italy and Spain.
‘Premier League best in the world’
Chelsea were the last English team to secure their place in the finals after needing penalties to beat Eintracht Frankfurt.
Head coach Maurizio Sarri said afterwards that English clubs have shown their strength.
Here the level is very high, Sarri added. It’s not easy for an English team to arrive in the last month in a good condition physically. We play more than other countries. We played match 61 today. It’s a big difference with other countries.
To get into the League Cup final (in February) we had to play Liverpool and Tottenham and then played the best team in Europe, Manchester City. The Premier League is the best league in the world.
Mauricio Pochettino described his Tottenham players as superheroes after their remarkable win over Ajax. He also praised Liverpool for beating Barcelona and said he is relishing meeting them in the final.
I want to congratulate Jurgen Klopp and all the players and Liverpool, because I think they were amazing. We enjoyed a lot, watching the tie against Barcelona, they are heroes too and of course it is going to be an amazing final between two English teams that for sure we are going to enjoy.
When is the Champions League final?
The Champions League final, the 27th in its current format and 64th of Europe’s elite-club competition, will take place on June 1, 2019.
The final will take place at the Wanda Metropolitano, home to Atletico Madrid, with kick-off at 8pm (BST), 9pm (CEST).
When is the Europa League final?
The Europa League final, the 10th in its current format and 48th overall of Europe’s second-tier competition, will take place on May 29, 2019.
The Olympic Stadium in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, will host the final with kick-off at 8pm (BST), 9pm (CEST).
How to get to Madrid and Baku?
Flights are getting booked up and prices are soaring; so how do fans of the four English clubs get to the finals? Travel journalist Simon Calder had some advice on Sky Sports News.
I would not be buying right now to go to Madrid. There has been so much demand that there are likely to be extra aircraft drafted in or they will put jumbo jets onto the Madrid flights and there will be extra seats. As it’s all a matter of supply and demand you have some more supply the fares should drop.
My preferred option is get a package holiday to Costa del Sol or Costa Blanca and then just take 24 hours off, get a car or a bus into Madrid and watch the match and continue with your holiday. That is probably going to be the cheapest way to do it.
Baku is so extreme I don’t think there will be anything like the same demand. It’s 2,500 miles from Stamford Bridge or the Emirates. There are three flights a week with Azerbaijan Airlines but don’t think you will get the one before the match and the one back afterwards, they sold out a long time ago. The way to go is via Turkey, almost always Istanbul. The tricky thing is you need to get a visa, which takes three days.
Have your say
Another all-English final to look forward to
The feats of Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea mean their will also be an all-English UEFA Super Cup final.
The UEFA Super Cup is contested by the winners of the Champions League and the winners of the Europa League and it will be the first time that it will be contested by two English teams.
It will be the eighth time overall that the Super Cup to feature two teams from the same country.
The game takes place at Vodafone Park in Istanbul, Turkey on August 14, three days after the opening weekend of the new Premier league season.
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