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Champions League: Premier League is after LaLiga's throne


Chelsea's impressive Champions League display at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday left me thinking. Almost all of a sudden, it felt like I was watching the Premier League catch up with LaLiga. Above and beyond the scoreline, decided by THAT last-gasp goal, what struck me was the Blues' superiority throughout the evening. Eden Hazard gave Juanfran a torrid night over on his flank. From there, the visitors fashioned their equaliser, a sweetly delivered cross from the Belgian nodded in with clinical precision by Álvaro Morata. Their second, aided by general sloppiness from Atlético Madrid and finished off by Michy Batshuayi, then sealed a 2-1 win - and a symbolic Premier League victory over LaLiga that we'll ignore at our peril.

Chelsea's players celebrate Michy Basthuayi's late winner at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday.
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Chelsea's players celebrate Michy Basthuayi's late winner at the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday.PEPE ANDRESDIARIO AS

Premier League clubs mean business in Champions League

England's top flight is on the up. Watching Chelsea in Madrid, I thought: Blimey, they mean business. There's so much TV revenue in the Premier League, while it's also a world opening itself up to the outside more and more. As far as football is concerned, there's little hint of the Brexit spirit. English clubs are to an ever greater extent feeding off foreign figures; not least in the dugout, where they've always been a bit short. Look at the coaches of the Premier League's five Champions League representatives: Pep Guardiola, José Mourinho, Antonio Conte, Mauricio Pochettino and Jürgen Klopp. Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Argentinian, German. Put them in whichever order you wish, but that's five major influences from abroad.

The Brexit spirit is certainly lacking in English football

In football, at least, the insularity across the channel is going the other way. They don't drive on the left when it comes to that; they're open to the outside world. Initially in terms of players; now also coaches. England, the inventors of the game and a nation which, back in the day, was able to come up with a switch between 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 revolving around Bobby Charlton, is now flinging its doors wide open to every possible incoming foreign influence, be it in the shape of players or coaches. And it is being enriched by figures such as Pep, David Silva, Morata, Marcos Alonso, Pochettino and so many others who've arrived there. So, we'd better watch out: the Premier League is after LaLiga's throne, and it'll have a job holding onto it.