What's the worst European defeat for any English club?

(Image credit: PA Images)

It was a setback in the second game of a rookie’s managerial career. Halmstad got a 2-2 draw at the Estadio da Luz, ensuring their first-leg lead was decisive. Benfica were out of the 2000/01 Uefa Cup. It remained the only time Jose Mourinho was knocked out of the competition in its various incarnations until last month. Until Dinamo Zagreb 3 Tottenham 0. Until the team whose manager was in prison beat the side whose manager should… well, insert your own gag here.

It was a spectacularly bad result. Quite how bad, however, may not have been acknowledged. The worst of Mourinho’s two decades in continental competitions? Definitely. But, arguably, it is the worst by any English club in Europe since 2005.

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Richard Jolly

Richard Jolly also writes for the National, the Guardian, the Observer, the Straits Times, the Independent, Sporting Life, Football 365 and the Blizzard. He has written for the FourFourTwo website since 2018 and for the magazine in the 1990s and the 2020s, but not in between. He has covered 1500+ games and remembers a disturbing number of the 0-0 draws.