PREMIER LEAGUE clubs have re-emerged as a force to be reckoned with with a series of emphatic displays in the Champions League this season.
After years languishing in the wilderness while other countries have flourished, English clubs have quickly sent out a message they are finally ready to mount a serious challenge in Europe.
Manchester United’s victory over CSKA Moscow and Chelsea’s dominant display in winning at Atletico Madrid confirmed their positions as genuine contenders for European Cup glory.
And their dominant displays are in sharp contrast to the kind of performances English clubs have turned in over recent seasons when they have looked poor relations compared to their rivals.
The Premier League clubs have a win percentage of 80 per cent in the Champions League this season, with only Liverpool letting them down with two draws from their opening matches.
Contrast that with a year ago when the overall win percentage was just 43.8 per cent as Tottenham failed to make it out of the group and City and Arsenal lost in the first knock-out stage.
The Premier League’s overall decline has been steady since 2010/2011 when they finished the campaign with a winning percentage of 58.5.
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Since then the competition has been dominated by sides largely from the Spanish and German leagues with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid setting the standard.
Atletico, Borussia Dortmund, Monaco and Juventus have also flourished playing the kind of football that indicated the English clubs were no longer up to the required level.
But this year the Premier League clubs finally look to have got their acts together as they set down an early marker of their strength.
Tottenham’s demolition of a highly-rated Dortmund side was impressive and they back it up with a 3-0 win away to Apoel Nicosia.
City have gone about their business in ruthless fashion, with a 4-0 win in Feyenoord followed up with Tuesdsay’s comfortable win over Shakhtar Donestk.
United look a powerful unit on the back of their wins over Basel and CSKA as they look to build on the Europa League win last season.
And the way Chelsea controlled Atletico last night after their 6-0 thrashing of Qarabag shows the champions of England are now equipped to make an impact in Europe.
Tougher tests are sure to follow for the Premier League clubs this season, but Europe is already sitting up and taking notice that they will be feared for the first time in years.
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