Five rubbish Champions League finals involving English teams

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Champions League finals are the pinnacle of the European football calendar, but the performance on the pitch doesn't always represent it.

Even this year's final between two of the most storied clubs across the globe failed to produce the fireworks expected of it.

Liverpool and Real Madrid have won 19 European Cups and Champions Leagues between then, but the finale between the two sides produced just one goal across 90 minutes.

But it's not the only European showpiece to have disappointed. Here, Planet Sport look at five Champions League finals involving English sides which failed to live up to expectation.

Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool (2019)

I'm sorry Tottenham fans. I know you waited a long time to reach a Champions League final and may never do it again, but this one really didn't make for a good spectacle at all.

In fairness, that was probably more down to the pattern of the game than anything that was Tottenham's fault. Liverpool were the clear favourites to win it, and when the favourites take a lead after just two minutes, a contest is always likely to lose its intrigue.

Mohamed Salah scored from the spot early on and Tottenham chased it all the way to the 87th, when man-for-all-occasions Divock Origi put it to bed at the death. In all honesty, the game was not a good advert at all for the Premier League. Perhaps that was just a degree of familiarity and viewers from other countries enjoyed it, but probably not.

Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea (2008)

When a final is best remembered for a dreadful penalty, it's probably fair to say the football itself didn't live long in the memory.

In fairness, the penalty miss was quite funny. Outside of Stamford Bridge, John Terry is and always has been an unpopular figure. So when he stepped up in the penalty shootout to win the Champions League for Chelsea, it could have gone very wrong for the neutral.

Gloriously, it went the other way. Terry slipped on his run-up and hit the post. Four penalties later, Manchester United were Champions League champions.

For the record, it was actually Nicolas Anelka who missed the crucial kick, while Cristiano Ronaldo missed one for Man Utd.

Before that, both sides laboured through 120 minutes of football, only hitting the target eight times - a pathetic 22% of the 36 attempts they shared. Chelsea alone got just three of their 24 shots on target.

There was a late red card for Didier Drogba too, apparently.

It feels like no exaggeration to say that had it been anyone else but Terry who missed that penalty, and had he not missed it in such a gloriously comical fashion and at the worst possible time, no neutral would remember the 2008 Champions League final at all.

Milan 2-1 Liverpool (2007)

It's hard to know, in many ways, whether the 2007 Champions League final was rubbish in it's own right or just rubbish compared to the famous Istanbul final that came two years before it.

In 2005, AC Milan and Liverpool played out an absolute classic, with Liverpool coming back from 3-0 down to draw the game and win on penalties.

When the two sides were fated to meet again just two years later, this time in Athens, hype was naturally abound that we were in for another classic. Sadly, Milan went and spoiled it a bit by making it all about the exorcism of their demons and liberation from pain. Yawn.

From the very start and perhaps not surprisingly, Milan looked supremely motivated and determined to get closure on what had happened in Istanbul. Liverpool were unable to cope, and a Filippo Inzaghi double put the Serie A giants in complete control of the game.

A Dirk Kuyt goal a minute from time did give us a full minute or two of thinking history could be repeat, but it didn't and Milan got the redemption their brutally efficient display merited.

Maybe it wasn't that bad but, be honest… if someone starts talking to you about a Champions League final between Milan and Liverpool, this one isn't going to be the one they're talking about, is it?

Manchester City 0-1 Chelsea (2021)

Did you know there was a Champions League final last season? If you did, I have to applaud your memory, because I pretty much had to look it up.

Chelsea played Man City with the Citizens finally looking to break their Champions League duck, and they were pretty strong favourites to do so. They had finished 19 points ahead of Chelsea in the Premier League, although Chelsea's 2-1 win at the Etihad towards the end of the campaign did prove they could hurt them.

When they met at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto it felt like Man City's to lose, but a midfield masterclass from N'Golo Kante and a Kai Havertz goal saw Chelsea take the spoils instead.

You might remember it differently as an absorbing tactical battle and all that, but for me when a match produces more offsides than it does shots on target, it's not worthy of committing to memory.

Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United (2009)

I suppose this one may raise a few eyebrows, but it's mainly in here because of just how good Barcelona were on the day.

This was back in the days when Barcelona were a full-on dedicated hobby for the self-styled 'football-hipsters' of the noughties. For anyone who missed it, it was an era when you could barely walk down the street without a complete stranger carrying a worn copy of Jonathan Wilson's Inverting The Pyramid: The History of Soccer Tactics informing you that Barcelona simply *have* to retrieve the ball back within five seconds of losing it.

I digress. It wasn't actually the football hipsters who made this final so dull, it was Barcelona being so good that Manchester United were completely unable to lay a glove on them for the full 90 minutes.

For the purists, it was probably a joy to watch just how good Barcelona were. However, for anyone wanting to see a Champions League final as an actual contest, it was a total damp squib.

The article Five rubbish Champions League finals involving English teams appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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