With all-English Versus ties having been a regular fixture of European club competition over the past decade or so, it’s perhaps surprising that before Chelsea defeated Arsenal in the Champions League Quarter-Finals of 2004, you had to look all the way back to 1978 for the last all-English match-up.
In the last century England v England ties were not at all common with just 8 played over five decades, and just one of those in the European Cup – that 1978-79 First Round tie between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. The modern rise of the number of Champions League participants per country and a successful era for English teams broadly changed that; a glut of these fixtures meaning that more all-English ties were played in the seven years between 2004 and 2011 than had been played in the 48 years before that.
A dozen clubs have been involved in all-England ties with Chelsea and Liverpool comfortably having played the most, a bi-product of their statistically improbable run of fixtures against each other between 2005 and 2009. There’s been just two all English Finals – a similar number to Germany but fewer than Spain and Italy – and statistically the strongest team overall is Manchester United. The current League champions has never lost an overall tie to a fellow English side. Curiously Liverpool, England’s most successful club in Europe, has a rather more modest record against their compatriots.