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It shows in the Champions League, where the Premier League's best sides have struggled since Chelsea won the competition in 2012, especially when the opposition take the pace out of the game.

I googled but it seems not an Idiom. In my own opinion, I would say "take the pace out" refers the opposition increases more pressure on the English team. I really want a more detailed discussion on it. Please explain it to me.

5

It means to purposefully play slower. This would be a disadvantage to a team that plays quickly, as it interrupts their natural flow and frustrates them.

If a game has a high pace, then it's likely that both teams are looking to attack and/or counter-attack quickly, as opposed to patiently gaining ground and concentrating on keeping the ball.

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