Bellingham Bayern Man City GFXGetty/GOAL

Champions League masters Real Madrid & Bayern Munich bust Premier League empire myth - Man City are the only elite English team

After four breath-taking ties of the highest quality, the line up for this season's Champions League semi-finals has been confirmed, along with the fact that there won't be an English team appearing in the showpiece event at Wembley on June 1. This is only the eighth time in the past 25 years the final four has not included a single Premier League club, and the first time since 2019-20, which suggests something has gone badly wrong.

In fact, a Premier League side has lifted the Champions League trophy in three of the last five editions, and there have been two all-English finals during that time. Manchester City were the holders, but relinquished their crown after an agonising penalty shoot-out defeat to 14-time winners Real Madrid, while Arsenal went down without much of a fight against Bayern Munich.

Make no mistake, their failure is a disaster for English football. The spending power of the Premier League dwarfs the rest of Europe's 'Big Five' divisions, and so they attract all the best players and managers, and provide the tools for them to thrive.

A failure of this magnitude is, therefore, inexcusable. Madrid and Bayern's unmatched experience at this level told in the end, as they managed to bust the myth of a Premier League empire through a mix of discipline and tactical nous. Worst of all, it doesn't feel like a anomaly, but rather a clear sign that a serious power shift has taken place.

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