When it comes to the UEFA Champions League final, only Spain has outdone England. Spanish clubs have produced a record 18 title wins in the tournament to determine the finest club team in Europe. English squads are next in line with 13 titles, one more than Germany.
From 1976-77 through 1981-82, clubs from England won the cup a record six successive times. Between 1974-75 and 1984-85, there was an English side in the final in nine of 11 years. This year, England will pull even with Spain in another category, the most finals in which both teams involved were from the same country. Each nation has seen two squads from their top league - Spain’s La Liga and the English Premier League - square off against each other in the final match of the UEFA Champions League season.
Manchester City are the +105 favorites to win the Champions League Final over fellow EPL side Chelsea. This even though Chelsea has won two of three meetings between the two sides already this season and both matches since Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard as Chelsea manager.
Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0 in the FA Cup semi finals, bringing a halt to Manchester City’s unprecedented dream of becoming the first English club to win quadruple titles in the same season. Already the Carabao Cup champions by virtue of a 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the final, City have also clinched the EPL title for the third time in four seasons.
If they defeat Chelsea in the Champions League final, Manchester City will join cross-city rivals Manchester United (1998-99 Premier League title, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League) and Liverpool (1983-84, English League title, European Cup and League Cup) as the only English sides to compile a treble of trophies in the same campaign. In 1976-77 Liverpool came close to doing it as well. The lads from The Kop copped the English League title and European Cup, but fell 2-1 to Manchester United in the FA Cup final.
In the UEFA Champions League final for the first time, City will be hoping to join Manchester United, Liverpool, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa as English sides that won UEFA Champions League/European Cup final on their first try.
They’ll be seeking to avoid the fate of Leeds United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, who all came up on the short end of the scoreline in their first final.
Interestingly, both Chelsea and Tottenham were victimized in all-England UEFA Champions League finals. No English side has even lost its first two appearances in the UCL final.
There have been eight UEFA Champions League finals in which both finalists were from the same country. The first time this happened was in 1999-2000, when Real Madrid beat Valencia 3-0 in the final. In 2002-03, AC Milan beat fellow Serie A residents Juventus on penalties following a scoreless final match. Bayern Munich topped Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on an 89th-minute Arjen Robben goal in an all-Bundesliga final played at London’s Wembley Stadium.
There were two more all-La Liga finals in 2013-14 and 2015-16 and both saw Real Madrid upend Atletico Madrid. So not only were the two clubs from the same league, but also the same city.
Real Madrid were easy 4-1 victors in 2013-14. However, a 1-1 match went to penalties two years later, with Real outscoring their Madrid rivals 5-3 on spot kicks.
Let’s take a closer look at the two previous all-England UEFA Champions League finals.
2007-08: Manchester United 1 Chelsea 1 (Manchester United won 6-5 on penalties)
Cristiano Ronaldo gave United a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute. However, of all people it was Lampard, the Chelsea manager at the start of this season, who hit for the 45th-minute equalizer.
In the penalty shootout, Chelsea goalkeeper Peter Cech stopped Ronaldo’s spot kick. With a chance to win the match, Chelsea captain John Terry slipped as he approached the ball and hit the post.
Ryan Giggs slotted home United’s sixth goal on seven penalties. When United keeper Edwin van der Sar stopped Nicolas Anelka, the Cup was off to Manchester for the third time.
2018-19: Liverpool 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0
Egyptian international Mo Saleh scored the only goal the Merseysiders would need on a penalty two minutes into the match.
Divock Origi added an insurance tally in the 87th minute. The win gave Liverpool a sixth European title.