Jamie Carragher joked the Champions League final line-up is an ‘absolute nightmare’ after two of Liverpool’s biggest rivals – Chelsea and Manchester City – booked their place in the showpiece event.
Pep Guardiola’s Man City, who are on the verge of becoming Premier League champions, saw off last season’s runners-up Paris Saint-Germain to progress to their first Champions League final. Chelsea, meanwhile, beat 13-time winners Real Madrid 3-1 on aggregate to set up an all-English final as they bid to win the tournament for a second time.
Liverpool won the Champions League in 2019 – a year after losing to Madrid in the final – but have suffered early exits for the past two seasons and Carragher joked the upcoming final was an ‘absolute nightmare’.
But the former England defender was quick to praise Chelsea for ‘battering’ Real Madrid in their semi-final tie and says it should have been even more comfortable for Thomas Tuchel’s in-form side.
Speaking to CBS Sports, Carragher said: ‘It’s an absolute nightmare, really! Listen, I’m delighted in a way because it shows where English football is right now.
‘After tomorrow [the Europa League semi-finals] we could have four English teams in the European finals.
‘We go back to a big story in the last couple of weeks with the European Super League, I think it tells you why [Florentino] Perez and [Joan] Laporta at the two Spanish giants [Real Madrid and Barcelona] are desperate for a Super League because at this moment in time they can’t cope with the Premier League.
‘It’s not just the quality of football, it’s the finances of the teams and the great managers. You look at Thomas Tuchel, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp… at the moment the Premier League is the place to be and it’s a sorry tale for the rest of Europe because they seem a fair bit away.
‘Chelsea didn’t just beat Real Madrid, they battered them over two games, it should have been four of five really.’
Blues boss Tuchel, who replaced Frank Lampard in the Stamford Bridge hot-seat earlier in the year, is set to take charge of back-to-back Champions League finals, with his PSG side losing to Bayern Munich in last season’s clash.
Chelsea are the first football club to have both their men’s and women’s teams in the Champions League final in the same season!
‘We deserved to win,’ Tuchel said after knocking out Real Madrid. ‘First off it’s difficult because Real had a lot of possession and they made us suffer.
‘But then we were dangerous with counter-attacks and never lost the hunger, never lost their desire to defend.
‘Second half was even better, the structure to defend and in the second half, we could’ve scored much earlier. It’s a fantastic achievement and big congratulations to the team.’