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Wenger: Too Early to Pronounce England's UCL Decline

  • Reuters, Thursday, February 27, 2014 2:15 PM
Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger thinks it is too soon to judge whether English teams are in decline using evidence from the poor outings each of England's four UEFA Champions League participants endured during their Round of 16 first-leg clashes. Chelsea, which drew 1-1 at Galatasaray, was the only team that managed not to lose, while Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United each lost 2-0 in their respective first games. In an interview, Wenger, whose team lost 2-0 at home to Bayern Munich last Tuesday, said no conclusions should be drawn until after each series is decided.

"After only one game, you cannot judge a general trend," the Frenchman said. "Man City played with 10 men, Arsenal played with 10 men, Man City played against Barcelona, Arsenal played against Bayern Munich, who are world champions. Of course you know that with 10 men it will be a difficult game.” He added: “After that the other two teams are still in positions, Man United and Chelsea, where they can turn the results around. Let's wait until the end of the second game before talking about a trend of strength or weakness."

England’s Premier League is ranked second to Spain’s La Liga in UEFA's UCL rankings but it is now in danger of having no team in the quarterfinals of Europe’s top club competition for the second consecutive season.

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