Worst ever Champions League start for English clubs as Arsenal lose opening two games for first time and Chelsea frustrated in Porto

 
Joe Hall
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Olympiacos record their first win on English soil at the Emirates (Source: Getty)

English clubs are enduring their worst ever start to the Champions League in its current format after both Arsenal and Chelsea lost tonight.


Arsenal were defeated 3-2 at home by Olympiacos - the Greek side's first ever win on English soil - to condemn Arsene Wenger's men to two losses from their opening two Champions League games for the first time.

Meanwhile, Chelsea succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at Porto meaning English clubs have now played six, lost five after Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City were defeated in their opening fixtures a fortnight ago.

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Even if City and United both win tomorrow night, it will still be English clubs' worst collective start to a Champions League campaign since they've had four sides in the group stage.


Wins for City at Borussia Monchengladbach and United against Wolfsburg tomorrow will give English clubs a combined nine points from two gameweeks - their worst tally at this stage since 2001 when England only had three teams in the competition.

After what is now their worst-ever start to the competition, Arsenal face an uphill battle to qualify for the knock-out stage with two games against German champions Bayern Munich and a testing return trip to Olympiacos still to come.

Only once before has an English team ever qualified from the group stage after losing their first to games - Newcastle United under Bobby Robson in 2002.

Arsenal must repeat the feat to continue their 15 year run of reaching the second round.


Diego Costa endured a frustrating night against Porto (Source: Getty)

Chelsea are the only Premier League side to record a win in the Champions League this season after trouncing Maccabi Tel Aviv 4-0 a fortnight ago, but their otherwise stuttering form continued in Lisbon.

Mourinho's men have now lost five of 11 games in all competitions so far this season - after losing just four in 54 in the last campaign.

English clubs' poor travels on the continent seem to be getting worse - last season all four representatives crashed out before the quarter-finals - and threatens to see the Premier League's allocation of places in the Champions League slashed from four to three.

Read more: England's fourth Champions League place under threat

Only the three best-performing European leagues according to Uefa's coefficient ranking are given four qualification spots for the competition.

England currently lie third but Italy are fast catching up and a repeat of last year's results - which saw Juventus reach the final - would see the country's swap places.

The coefficient is based on a country's results in the Champions League and Europa League over rolling five-year spell.

Thankfully for the elite English clubs hooked on the large revenues promised by qualification to the competition, Italy's chances of overtaking England were hampered by Lazio's failure to make it through the qualifying stage, while Roma suffered a damaging loss to Belarussians BATE Borisov tonight.

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