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Defending EPL champions Chelsea suffered another setback in the latest Champions League match day, falling 2-1 to Porto in the second fixture of the UCL.

Fellow EPL giants Arsenal are now on the brink of elimination from the tournament after their second straight defeat, a 3-2 loss to Olympiakos.

EPL giants Manchester United and Manchester City are also both struggling for points in the group stages of the Champions League.

The slow start to the European season continues the EPL's poor run in the tournament.

Chelsea was the last English side to lift the famous big eared trophy back in 2011-12 after putting together a run that can be remembered as both spectacular and unlikely.

They were massive underdogs throughout the tournament, yet despite struggling in their national league, were able to beat the likes of Barcelona and Baynern Munich en route to winning their first crown.

Although it has only been three seasons since then, it's fair to say no side representing the EPL has looked like troubling the likes of Real Madrid, Barca, or Bayern.

Once again, although it is early days, I honestly can't see any of the English sides making too much of an impact in this season's tournament.

From this point on, all four sides will be flat track trying to qualify, let alone looking toward the business end of the competition.

On paper, it's easy to suggest that the last three winners of the competition (Bayern, Real, Barca) had world class squads far superior to any other sides in the world.

That being said, I'd argue that Chelsea, with the likes of Hazard, Costa, Fabregas and co. would rival any squad in the world on paper, or on the park.

Manchester City hardly struggle for superstars either, and both are lucky enough to have two of the best managers in the world at the helm.

Despite this, both City and Chelsea were beaten in the round of 16 in last year's competition.

City, although they fought hard, never at any stage looked as though they would account for eventual winners Barcelona, while Chelsea fell to PSG in extra time.

Arsenal was also knocked out in the round of 16 stage by Monaco.

Three genuine English superpowers knocked out in the first of the elimination rounds, two by sides who play outside the traditional big four leagues.

As for England's fourth representative team, Liverpool, they failed to emerge from their group, finishing third behind FC Basel.

So why do English sides continue to struggle in Europe's top knock out competition?

The answer may be closer to home than most realise.

I'd argue that the EPL is the toughest competition in the world. Although Real, Barca and Bayern are arguably the three most powerful sides in the world, the week-to-week level of competition is not as tough for those sides as it is for the traditional big four or five in England.

I will likely cop a lot of grief for this, but I don't think either Messi or Ronaldo, as good as they are, would score 40 goals each a season if they plied their trade in England.

The game is much more physical, and as dominant as Ronaldo was for United, there is no comparison with his stats achieved while playing in Spain.

I'm not for a second saying that Spain is a weak competition, but the gap between the big three sides and the middle pack is much larger than it is between Chelsea/City and say Southampton and Everton.

Although Chelsea romped to a huge margin in last year's EPL title race, they had to work hard in every single fixture of their season.

Games against the likes of Palace and Villa aren't seen as easy points, they're seen as games where players are going to get roughed up and have to fight for every contest.

Meanwhile Real Madrid are banging in six goals against Espanyol and barely breaking a sweat in doing so.

With all due respect to the mid-table sides in Germany, no side outside of the big two (Bayern and Dortmund) have won the title for six years. That doesn't look like it will change this year either.

I'm certainly not saying this is the ONLY reason that EPL sides have not enjoyed success in the UCL over the past few years, but I certainly believe it is a genuine reason.

Barca and Real would likely battle each other to win any competition in the world, but I'm strongly of the opinion that if they were to play in England, they'd have to work a lot harder to do so.