Home Sport England, Spain, Italy out of Champions League semis for the first time...

England, Spain, Italy out of Champions League semis for the first time since 1991

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The semis in Lisbon are two French-German duels, Paris Saint-Germain vs RB Leipzig and Olympique Lyon vs Bayern Munich.

Lyon players celebrate after winning the Champions League quarter-final match against Manchester City. Picture: Franck Fife, AP

LISBON – While France have two semi-finalists for the first time, this campaign marks only the second time in the 65-year history of the European Cup that the big leagues of England, Spain and Italy are not represented among the last four.

The only other year was 1991 when later champions Red Star Belgrade, runners-up Olympique Marseille, Spartak Moscow and Bayern Munich were among the last four.

This time around Manchester City, Atalanta and Barcelona were the last to fall in the quarter-finals from the big three leagues.

The semis in Lisbon are two French-German duels, Paris Saint-Germain vs RB Leipzig and Olympique Lyon vs Bayern Munich. Five-time winners Bayern are the only one of the four to have played in the final.

While Ligue 1 have two teams in the last four for the first time, the Bundesliga also achieved this in 2013 when Bayern went on to beat Borussia Dortmund in the final.

The two leagues lag far behind the other three when it comes to overall success, with the trophy going to Spain, England or Italy in 43 of the 65 seasons which include this campaign.

Spain’s La Liga is top with 18 titles and has the record winners in 13-time champions Real Madrid, English clubs have lifted the trophy 13 times and a Serie A team have won the competition 12 times.

The Bundesliga is a distant fourth with seven titles, five of them from Bayern, while Olympique Marseille are the only French club to win the competition, back in 1993.

Reuters