As the dust settles on the season’s opening Champions League gameweek, where do the results leave the English clubs? Chelsea picked up the trophy in 2012, yet one English win in six years is underacheivement. Are we any closer to ending this barren run of form?
Two defeats in Germany, one a close shave, the other one of the most resounding 2-0 reversals in memory, are disappointing but perhaps not entirely unexpected. A stuttering home draw against Schalke and an unconvincing win over Champions League debutants from Bulgaria have hardly set European pulses racing.
For Manchester City and Arsenal, the toughest ties of the week confirmed some already familiar problems in the world’s greatest club competition: For the English champions, another false dawn on the continent.
Having been pummelled at times in the opening 45 minutes, Manuel Pellegrini’s side had done admirably to hang on, thanks in no small part to Joe Hart, only to fall short at the final hurdle. In their fourth season in the Champions League, still they wait for a meaningful victory against one of Europe’s top teams.