Start brushing up on your rendition of "God Save the Queen."
The Premier League secured a clean sweep of European finalist berths on Thursday after both Arsenal and Chelsea advanced to the Europa League's showpiece encounter. The London rivals earned their spots in Baku, Azerbaijan with wins over Valencia and Eintracht Frankfurt, respectively.
Those victories – the former in comfortable fashion, the latter in a penalty shootout – followed a manic two days of Champions League action in which both Liverpool and Tottenham claimed stunning comeback wins to reach the final of that competition. The surreal turnarounds came at the expense of Barcelona and Ajax.
It's the first season in history in which all four European tournament finalists represent the same country.
4 – This is the first time that all four places in the Champions League/European Cup and Europa League/UEFA Cup finals will be filled by one country. Domination. pic.twitter.com/GrXFPvAemA— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 9, 2019
4 – This is the first time that all four places in the Champions League/European Cup and Europa League/UEFA Cup finals will be filled by one country. Domination. pic.twitter.com/GrXFPvAemA
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 9, 2019
Though the sweep is unprecedented, intra-league squabbles in the marquee match aren't unheard of in either individual tournament.
When Arsenal and Chelsea meet on May 29 in Baku, it will be the 10th time the same domestic league has provided both Europa League finalists. It last happened in 2012, when Atletico Madrid cruised past Athletic Bilbao, 3-0.
The Champions League final, meanwhile, has witnessed five such clashes in the past. Atletico were, once again, the last to partake, falling to bitter city rivals Real Madrid on penalties in 2016.
That Spanish dominance, so prevalent over the past decade, has now given way to England's resurgence.
Football's coming home.
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