A lot has been said about Athletic Bilbao’s extremely impressive win over Manchester United last week.
Defeating the current English champions both home and away led to a comprehensive score line and a place in the quarter finals.
A lesson in football and incontrovertible proof that the Spanish league is superior to the English Premier - I’m afraid not.
Firstly, it was one tie.
Not 5 seasons of dominance.
Secondly, you have to question the motives of Sir Alex Ferguson and look at the benefits of getting knocked out.
The Europa League is a great competition for the likes of Shamrock Rovers, Stoke City and Athletic Bilbao.
But it quite simply isn’t entertained by clubs the size of Manchester United, Manchester City or Tottenham Hotspur.
Especially when they are going for the league.
They all want to be sitting at the top table with Europe’s finest and if they fail to do so, see very little point in taking part in European competition.
So while Athletic did so comprehensively defeat United, you can’t help but think that Sir Alex was more concerned with his weekend trip to face Wolves.
This season has been a strange one for English clubs.
So dominant for much of the previous 5 years, they now find themselves with only 1 team remaining in the Champions League quarter finals.
Chelsea are the only side performing to a similar level that we have come to expect.
Manchester United took a calculated risk in trying to qualify from a relatively easy group.
Unfortunately for them, they got their calculations wrong.
It doesn’t make them a bad team overnight.
They took a risk and it backfired.
Had they scraped through against Basle however, they would surely be vying for what would have been their 4th final in 5 years.
Manchester City had the misfortune of being drawn in the group of death.
Roberto Mancini’s expensively assembled side is still on a building process and will no doubt be serious contenders for next seasons crown having tasted some Champions League action for the first time.
It’s worth noting however that it was Spanish side Villarreal who finished bottom of that group with 0 points.
Arsenal’s campaign finished with a thumping at the hands of AC Milan in the last 16.
They however, similar to another one of England’s Champions League stalwarts Liverpool, are undergoing a rebuilding process.
A process that the English league seems to be going through too.
This seasons results have not seen the shift in power to Spain.
But rather England’s dominance suffering a blip.
Next season should see the return of Tottenham Hotspur - a team on the up.
The two Manchester clubs will see themselves as major contenders.
And one of either Chelsea or Arsenal, who have both come through a tough season looking that bit stronger will no doubt be looking to reach the quarters at least.
Which league is stronger will not be answered by one victory by Athletic Bilbao.
But it did raise some interesting questions.
English teams, so dominant for 5 seasons now - have had a major blip.
Repeating this next season will cause much concern.
Maybe then the Spanish league will be able to stake their claim as the best in the world.
But for now - they must make do with the best side in the world.
Leagues ahead of everybody else in Europe.
Just not in the best league...