Champions League fifth place: England’s hopes of securing extra spot take big hit

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Arsenal players look dejected while Bayern Munich celebrate
Bayern Munich beat Arsenal 3-2 on aggregate to reach the Champions League semi-finals

England’s hopes of securing a fifth Champions League spot have taken a big hit over the past two nights.

With Italy clear at the top of Uefa’s coefficient rankings, the second of the two available spots has turned into a battle between Germany and England.

Before this week, Germany had a narrow lead even though they only had three teams left in the quarter-finals compared with England’s five.

That position has strengthened further with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich both reaching the last four.

It meant the pair each collected three coefficient points this week, two each for the win and a bonus point for getting through. Those points are divided by seven – the number of German teams who started out in Europe this season – which takes them to 17.642.

While Manchester City’s defeat by Real Madrid ends their Champions League hopes, as penalties do not count in coefficient terms, the game ended in a draw, meaning England have amassed only one point so far this week, which has to be divided by eight. It leaves England on 16.875.

It puts more pressure on West Ham in particular to overturn their two-goal deficit against Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League, with the hope that Liverpool can somehow overhaul Atalanta’s three-goal first-leg lead in Italy and Aston Villa get through against Lille in the Europa Conference League.

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