Champions League: Did Juventus vs. Chelsea Give Serie A an Upper Hand on EPL?

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2012

Fear the Bearded One
Fear the Bearded OneClaudio Villa/Getty Images

Fans of Italian football will wake up this morning with a sense of euphoria after witnessing the beating that Juventus administered to Chelsea.

The Bianconeri completely dominated the defending European champions in every phase of the game, and the result was a resounding 3-0 win.

Is this really the best English football has to offer?

You could look at statistics or fixtures played in last years' Champions League (for example, Chelsea vs.Napoli and Milan vs. Arsenal), but I prefer to use some common sense.

What we witnessed last night was the very best the Serie A has to offer, and a Chelsea team that is struggling.

I don't want to discredit Juve's performance, as I believe they could hang with just about everyone in Europe, but their opponents last night were a team in disarray. I can't look at this win and use it as a decisive tool to claim Serie A's superiority over the Premier League.

Italian football is trying to restore itself to the dominant league it once was, and we can clearly see the potential. Juventus might be the most visible example, but teams like Inter Milan and Napoli have also looked very impressive this season with young rosters and fresh football. And despite their terrible form, AC Milan has too much talent and history not to return to their former heights.

But for all of that talent and potential, the results have not been that impressive so far.

Juventus might have made Chelsea look like a bunch of scrubs, but it was their first truly dominant performance on the European level this season.

AC Milan have also struggled in the Champions League, and desperately need a win against Belgian side Anderlecht on Wednesday night.

No other Italian team made it to the highest level of competition in European football this year.

Meanwhile, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal are underwhelming in the Champions League, but at least one of those teams will make it out of the group stages. Manchester United have already clinched their ticket for the next round.

The Premier League has a wider group of top teams that look like valid title candidates. Serie A only has three real contenders at the domestic level and two teams that are in the race for the Champions League title.

The British league also seems to have more quality top-to-bottom. On a neutral field, any sane person would pick Everton over Fiorentina or Swansea over Palermo.

The economical situation doesn't help the Serie A.

AC Milan are a perfect example of the financial state of Italian football, having had to sell their two top players in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva and failing to bring in adequate replacements due to debts. It's no surprise the Rossoneri are struggling this season.

Put all of these factors together and you can only come to the conclusion that, while Tuesday night was definitely a step in the right direction, Italian football still has a long way to go before it can catch up with the British Premier League.

That's not to say fans of the Serie A shouldn't rejoice. At the very least, Juventus showed everyone last night that there is more to European football than England, Spain and Germany.

And if history has shown us one thing, it's that you should never overlook the Italians.


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