Tuesday night was jam-packed with drama, as Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur secured their passage into the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League against all odds.
Napoli headed into their visit to Anfield at the summit of Group A and required just a draw to book their place in the Round of 16. However, Mohamed Salah tarnished their European dreams with the decisive goal inside 34 minutes.
Brazilian goalkeeper Allison rescued the victory with a last-gasp wonder save to thwart Arkadiusz Milik, but the hosts fully deserved three points as they completely outplayed an out-of-sorts Napoli.
Tottenham Hotspur started their UEFA Champions League campaign in dismal fashion with successive defeats to Internazionale and FC Barcelona respectively. A 2-2 draw in Eindhoven failed to lift their spirits but a late revival kept them in contention until the final fixture.
It looked set-up for Internazionale to sail comfortably into the knockout phase. They hosted PSV Eindhoven at the San Siro, who had accumulated just one point from their previous five fixtures, but Mexican international Hirving Lozano gave the Dutch club a surprise lead to offer Spurs a valuable lifeline.
Mauro Icardi equalized for the Italians to temporarily condemn Tottenham Hotspur to elimination, but Lucas Moura grabbed the all-important equalizer with five minutes of normal time remaining to pull off a remarkable shock result against Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
Manchester United and Manchester City both confirmed their qualification for the knockout phase on Match Day 5. This means that every English club from the group stage has reached the knockout phase for two consecutive seasons for the first time since the 2008/09 season.
Are We Witnessing the Revival of English Football in Europe?
As aforementioned, this season has marked the first time that every English club has qualified for the knockout phase for two consecutive seasons since 2008. This is a monumental achievement considering the decline of English clubs over the past six years in the UEFA Champions League.
In May, Liverpool became the first English finalists since Chelsea defeated Bayern Munich on penalties at the Allianz Arena in 2012. Chelsea’s victory against the German giants unknowingly marked the conclusion of a period of English dominance in the UEFA Champions League.
In a period spanning from 2005 until 2012, seven out of eight Champions League finals featured an English club, including most notably the first ever all-English European final between Chelsea and Manchester United in 2008.
Despite those seven finals only yielding three English winners, it was an era which created a significant amount of pride for English football spectators. After 2012, only Chelsea (2013/14) and Manchester City (2015/16) reached the semi-final stage prior to Liverpool’s run to last season’s final in Kiev, but the tables could soon be turning in our direction once again.
Coefficient Ranking Rules Explained
Coefficient Rankings Rules Explained
The coefficient rankings are designed to rank each football association in Europe to determine the number of clubs that will compete in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
The rankings determine the number of clubs participating in the season after next. For example, the coefficient rankings at the end of this season will determine the number of European qualification places available to each country for the 2020/21 season.
As seen in the table above, the coefficient rankings are determined over the last five seasons. Both results in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League contribute towards each country’s points total.
Two points are awarded to a club for each win, one point is awarded for a draw and no points are allocated for a defeat. Points are also halved during qualifying and play-off rounds.
Bonus points are also awarded for the following:
Teams that reach the Group Stage of the Champions League (5 Points)
Teams that reach the Round of 16 in the Champions League (4 Points)
Teams that reach the QF, SF or final of the Champions League or Europa League (1 Point)
The amount of points awarded to each country in that season is then divided by the amount of teams from who participate in European competition in that federation and rounded down to three decimal places. For example, if England received 102 points in one season, that number would be divided by seven and rounded down to 14.571.