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5 of the most disappointing Champions League campaigns by Premier League clubs

As Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea sweat on their Champions League future, we look at Premier League sides who have disappointed.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

1. Everton: 2005-06

EVERTON FOUGHT OFF the challenge of city rivals Liverpool in the 2004-05 season to claim fourth position in the Premier League and a place in the final qualifying round of the Champions League.

An unlucky draw saw the Merseysiders paired with Spanish side, Villarreal, which they lost 4-2 on aggregate.

In the second leg at El Madrigal, Pierluigi Collina famously incorrectly denied Everton a perfectly fine goal by Duncan Ferguson, citing a foul by Marcus Bent, which swung the match in Villarreal’s favour.

Collina retired days after the match, after being allowed to delay his retirement by UEFA to officiate the game.

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Third Qualifying Round - First Leg - Everton v Villarreal - Goodison Park Everton's Kevin Kilbane in action against Villarreal in the Champions League. Source: Barrington Coombs

2. Manchester United: 2005-06

The 2005-06 season saw Manchester United knocked out of the group stages of the Champions League for the first time in 11 years.

United could only manage one win in the group stages, beating Benfica at home. Ferguson’s men scored only three goals in total and finished bottom in a group that also contained Villarreal and Benfica.

In the midst of this disastrous campaign, Roy Keane departed for Celtic, after criticising his team-mates after a 4-1 loss at Middlesbrough.

BRITAIN SOCCER MAN UTD TOTTENHAM Ryan Giggs made his 100th European appearance in the match against Lille. Source: AP/Press Association Images

3. Liverpool: 2014-15

After a five-year absence from Europe’s elite competition, Liverpool suffered an embarrassingly early Champions League exit.

Despite losing Luis Suarez to Barcelona during the summer transfer window, Liverpool looked odds-on make the knock-out stages even though they were in the same group as Spanish giants, Real Madrid.

In the end, comprehensive defeats to Real Madrid, coupled with disappointing draws with FC Basel and Bulgarian side Ludogorets, saw the Merseysiders consigned to a place in the Europa League.

Spain Soccer Champions League Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling started on the bench at the Bernabeu. Source: Andres Kudacki

4. Blackburn Rovers: 1995-96

After pipping Manchester United to the Premier League trophy the season before, Blackburn Rovers made their Champions League debut.

The Ewood Park side were knocked out at the group stage after achieving only one win in a group containing Spartak Moscow, Legia Warsaw and Rosenborg.

The only consolation for Rovers was Mike Newell setting a new Champions League record in December 1995 when he scored the then fastest hat-trick in the revamped tournament’s short history in a 4-1 victory over Rosenberg.

BLACKBURN V ROSENBORG 1995 Mike Newell scored a hat-trick for Blackburn against Norwegian side, Rosenborg. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

5. Manchester City: 2011-12

After spending millions of pounds and having a squad bursting with talent, Manchester City failed to qualify out of their Champions League group in their maiden season.

Despite being drawn in a tricky group containing Bayern Munich, Napoli and Villareal, City would have fancied their chances of qualifying at the first attempt. However, their failure to beat Napoli at home and a defeat away proved costly for the blue side of Manchester.

City’s relationship with the competition has been strained ever since.

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group A - Manchester City v Napoli - Etihad Stadium Man City picked up just one point against group rivals, Napoli. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

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About the author:

Shane Costello

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