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Top four next season will still earn Chelsea a return to the Champions League

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

England's best have been truly terrible in Europe for the past five years, with the exception of Chelsea, who have won both the Champions League and Europa League, as well as making another semifinal run in that period. Fortunately, Bayern Munich and Manchester City-bound manager Pep Guardiola did a huge favor for the Premier League on Wednesday, when they came back from two goals down to beat Juventus, eliminating the Serie A champions from Europe's elite competition.

With the Bayern win on Wednesday, Serie A are down to just one side left in Europe, Lazio, who could also go out tomorrow. That means that even if the remaining English sides lose out (with the exception of tomorrow's Manchester United/Liverpool matchup), it's still mathematically impossible for Italy to overtake England in the UEFA rankings until the end of next season, at the earliest.

For the Blues, this means that the route to a Champions League return is enough matches to finish in the top four, making it just a one-year absence from the competition. It would also be nice if our English counterparts started to win a few more European matches, as sweating a ranking at the end of the season is a lot less fun than simply enjoying the inevitable Arsenal round of 16 loss.

Thanks again, Pep.

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