Two defeats and a draw from the trio of Premier League protagonists in the Champions League, in addition to two of the three eliminated from the Europa League, has rekindled the ancient debate of whether the English top-flight really is as supreme as it’s so frequently billed.
The sight of the division’s most ferocious forces flopping on the continental stage with alarming regularity across the past few campaigns has prompted the brainwashed masses to question the quality of those operating at the apex of the football pyramid in England.
Real Madrid and Bayern Munchen’s dominance in recent campaigns, as well as the exploits of exotic superpowers such as Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona, have prompted many to assume the top leagues in the world are those belonging to Spain and Germany, but a superpower of a bygone era is on the way back.
Italy’s Serie A has come in for much derision in recent years, but there are several factors suggesting former glories are about to be restored.
While all the English clubs involved in the Champions League failed to win in the last-16 first legs, the only party representing the kingdom of calcio, Juventus, bested football hipster-heartthrobs Dortmund 2-1.
This victory has given them an excellent chance of becoming the second Italian quarter-finalists in three seasons.
As it stands, they’re 3/5 to advance to the last eight and beefy 20/1 shots to win the competition outright.
England, by contrast, have had two since Chelsea won the competition in 2012.
The Europa League has a staggering five Italian sides vying to become the first winners of the tournament this century, with Inter Milan, Roma, Napoli, Torino and Fiorentina all in the last 16.
Spurs will attest to the strength of the latter, who beat one of England’s main players 3-1 over two legs.
In terms of entertainment, Serie A detractors point to the overly cautious approach of the teams involved as a reason for its inferiority.
Yet, those very same naysayers are probably unaware games in Italy’s highest echelon produce more goals on average than both the Premier League and La Liga this term.
The Italian’s 2.64 strikes per game comfortably bests the 2.58 registered in the England’s elite league, while Spain’s finest can only muster 2.62.