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Moscow memories: Will penalties settle either all-English European Final?

Leigh Copson 13 May 2019
John Terry watches the ball as it strikes the post in the 2008 shootout. (credit:Martin Rickett/PA Archive/PA Images)

The last time two English clubs went head-to-head in a major European Final it took a penalty shoot-out to determine the winner – so could history repeat itself when Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur go head-to-head in the Champions League Final or when Arsenal take on Chelsea in the Europa League Final?

It took two spectacular fightbacks, a penalty shoot-out and a hat-trick from a superstar striker, but for the first time in history both major European finals will be contested by two Premier League teams in late May/early June.

Liverpool kicked off a dramatic semi-final, second-leg week as they overturned a 3-0 deficit with a sensational 4-0 win at home to Barcelona in the Champions League, and Tottenham then followed their example in even more dramatic fashion as they came back from 2-0 down on the night and 3-0 down on aggregate to beat Ajax on away goals, with the decisive goal coming deep into added time.

It was now down to Arsenal and Chelsea to ensure that both European finals would be locked out by English clubs, and while the Gunners stormed into the Europa League Final thanks to a second-leg hat-trick from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Blues needed some penalty shoot-out heroics from goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to see off Eintracht Frankfurt after 210 minutes of play.

It was enough though and it means that the Premier League will definitely provide the winner of the Champions League and the Europa League this season – the last time that was the case in either competition was back in May 2008 when Manchester United and Chelsea went head-to-head in Moscow for the European crown.

Frank Lampard cancelled out a Cristiano Ronaldo effort on the a night that saw Chelsea hit the woodwork twice and have Didier Drogba sent off for slapping Nemanja Vidic, and it took a dramatic penalty shoot-out to finally separate the two teams.

United found themselves staring defeat in the face during the spot-kick battle when Ronaldo saw his effort saved by Petr Cech, but John Terry handed them a lifeline when he slipped during his run-up and struck the upright, and the Red Devils were crowned Champions League winners when Edwin van der Sar saved from Nicolas Anelka in sudden death.

So, could we see more of the same when Liverpool meet Spurs and Arsenal face Chelsea?

Bookmaker bet365 has priced up the possibility of a penalty shootout settling either the Champions League Final or the Europa League Final, going 11/2 that the Liverpool and Tottenham need spot-kicks to determine a winner, while offering the same price about Arsenal and Chelsea going the distance.

The firm is 11/1 that Liverpool win the Champions League Final on penalties and 12/1 that Spurs take it on spot-kicks, while the bookmaker has been unable to split Arsenal and Chelsea in this market, offering 11/1 on the Gunners and 11/1 on the Blues winning a shoot-out in Baku.

Latest bet365 Odds


* Odds correct at 13:51 BST on 12/5/2019

Champions League Final

Game To Be Decided After Penalties: 11/2 Yes, 1/9 No

To Win On Penalties: 11/1 Liverpool, 12/1 Tottenham Hotspur

Europa League Final

Game To Be Decided After Penalties: 11/2 Yes, 1/9 No

To Win On Penalties: 11/1 Chelsea, 11/1 Arsenal


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Moscow memories: Will penalties settle either all-English European Final?

The last time two English clubs went head-to-head in a major European Final it took a penalty shoot-out to determine the winner – so could history repeat itself this year?

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