UEFA Champions League memorable comebacks

15 minute read.


Roma overturned last week’s 4-1 first leg defeat to reach the UEFA Champions League semi-finals at Barcelona’s expense. Barcelona who achieved the biggest comeback in UEFA Champions League history against PSG last season, have been on the wrong end of the joint second biggest second-leg reversal in this tie. Yesterday’s comeback adds to the drama of the game. It wasn’t the only one.

Here are some of the most memorable comebacks in the UEFA Champions League.

 Paris Saint-Germain – Barcelona  4-0

Barcelona – Paris Saint-Germain  6-1

UEFA Champions League finalists  2016/17

barcellona paris st Germain.jpgFor the first time in the most prestigious competition in Europe, a team managed to recover four goals after ‘gone. The Blaugrana, beaten 4-0 in Paris two weeks before, are going forward 3-0 in the arc of 50 minutes but Edinson Cavani puts back in order in favor of the Paris thanks to a beautiful conclusion of power. The goal on a free-kick by Neymar on 88 ‘changes, however, the crazy fate of the match: the Brazilian turns a penalty kick a few minutes later and Sergi Roberto completes the historical blaugrana’ s comeback at 95 ‘.

Chelsea FC – FC Barcelona 3-1  

FC Barcelona – Chelsea FC 5-1 (dts)

Quarter-finals 1999/2000

Barcellona Chelsea.JPGBefore the arrival of Roman Abramovich, Chelsea was not considered a superpower of European football and the victory over Barcelona of Louis van Gaal is a real surprise for Gianluca Vialli’s team. In the return the English team is seven minutes from the qualifying when Tore André Flo scores his third goal in the challenge, bringing the result to the Camp Nou on 2-1. Dani García however takes the challenge to extra time and Rivaldo (penalty) and Patrick Kluivert decide the contest. Luís Figo comments: “Today we played the perfect match”.

“It’s the best night of my life”, the words of Gabri García: “We suffered a bad blow with that goal, but we were good at reacting immediately – adds Figo -. It’s really an evening to remember. “” We did what we did not want to: defend ourselves passively – the comment of the disappointed Vialli. “We only managed to run after the ball tonight,” added Didier Deschamps, who then came out in the semi-finals.

AC Milan – RC Deportivo La Coruña 4-1

RC Deportivo La Coruña – AC Milan 4-0

Quarter-finals 2003/04

deportivo milan.jpegThe previous record. Walter Pandiani continues Depor at San Siro, but Milan responds with Kaká’s double and an overall poker. Before the return to Riazor, Depor Javier Irureta’s coach was attacking a dream. “It will be very complex, a difficult and demanding challenge,” he said, “but in football sometimes miracles happen, things that can not be rationally explained to us.”

Incredibly, his team is already in the lead in the double comparison to the interval of the return thanks to the networks of, Pandiani, Juan Carlos Valerón and Alberto Luque. Fran González rounds the result in the 76th minute. Irureta had promised to go on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela if successful. “It was worth it after this victory – his comment – I will walk to Santiago because a promise is a promise”. The Depor then came out in the semifinals 

 Real Madrid CF – AS Monaco FC 4-2 

AS Monaco FC – Real Madrid CF 3-1

Quarter-finals 2003/04

Real Monaco.jpegThe undefeated Monaco seemed to be at the final whistle of the first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu on 24 March 2004. Four goals from Real Madrid after the interval had stunned the team of the Principality who had however hung on the network of Fernando Morientes 83 ‘. The coach Didier Deschamps continued to believe: “Otherwise I’d better stay home,” he said.

Under a goal a few seconds from the interval in the return, Monaco equalized with Ludovic Giuly. Morientes – on loan from Real Madrid – scored the second goal and still Giuly signed 3-1. In the final Raúl González shot high from good position missing the goal-qualifying for Real. Morientes is not even sure whether to celebrate or not. “I’m happy for Monaco’s victory, of course, but I have a lot of friends in Madrid who will have a bad time.”  The Monaco then lost in the final 

SSC Napoli – Chelsea FC 3-1

Chelsea FC – SSC Napoli 4-1 (dts)

Round of 16 2011/12

soccer-ufea-champions-league-round-sixteen-second-leg-chelsea-v-napoli-stamford-bridge.jpgA change on the bench inspires Chelsea’s comeback. The last European competition of André Villas-Boas with the Blues ends with a clear defeat in Naples; Juan Mata had brought the Londoners ahead, then punished by Ezequiel Lavezzi’s double and Edinson Cavani’s goal. “Thanks to this away goal there is a good chance of a comeback,” Villas-Boas said at the end of the race.

The Portuguese coach, however, is replaced by Roberto Di Matteo for the return when the goals of Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard (75 ‘on penalty) lead the challenge to extra time, Branislav Ivanović completes the comeback at 105’. “I remember many great evenings but this belief that will pass in the history of the club”, the words of Di Matteo, not being able to know what the rest of the competition would have reserved for them. Chelsea then beat Bayern in the final 

AC Milan 2-0 FC Barcelona 

FC Barcelona 4-0 AC Milan 

Final Rounds 2012/13

Laga-AC-Milan-vs-Barcelona.jpgNo team had ever recovered a defeat with two goals left in the first leg without the help of a goal scored away, but Barcelona succeeds in the undertaking thanks to the deafening support of the Camp Nou. A sensational double of Lionel Messi in the first half cancels the Rossoneri advantage and David Villa’s goal in the start of recovery completes the overtaking.

The Catalans are also helped by fate – on the result of 1-0 M’Baye Niang catches the post for Milan – and must wait for recovery for the goal of safety signed by Jordi Alba. At the final whistle Massimiliano Allegri admits that Barcelona played “extraordinarily well”, while Messi declares to UEFA.com: “This is the Barça that we and the fans would always like to see”. To get the better of Bayern, the Catalans will have to repeat that performance.  The Barcelona then came out in the semifinals 

Olympiacos FC – Manchester United FC 2-0 

Manchester United FC – Olympiacos FC 3-0 

Final Round 2013/14 

Man Utd Olympiakos.jpegSir Alex Ferguson’s spirit lives at Old Trafford! The Scot had left the previous summer but Manchester continues to never give up as in his time. Alejandro Domínguez and Joel Campbell had brought Olympiacos one step away from the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in 15 years.

But the Greek dream fades when Robin van Persie comes back with his first hat-trick in the UEFA Champions League: 30 years earlier United had overturned a defeat with the same result: against FC Barcelona in the Cup Winners’ Cup . United then comes out in the quarterfinals.

Paris Saint-Germain – Chelsea FC 3-1

Chelsea FC – Paris Saint-Germain 2-0

Quarter-finals 2013/14

Chelsea PAris Sg.jpgChelsea again! This time the team led by José Mourinho had to come back after David Luiz’s own goal was followed by Javier Pastore’s 93th-minute goal, condemning the Blues to a 3-1 defeat in the French capital. The goal of Eden Hazard will prove to be fundamental.

Six days later André Schürrle enters from the bench and after 32 minutes unlocks the result in favor of the hosts. Then Demba Ba scored the decisive goal two minutes from the end and Chelsea qualified for the away goals rule. “We all risked tonight,” said Mourinho. “If for some reason we did not score that second goal, we would still be proud of the guys.” Chelsea then went out in the semi-finals. 

FC Porto München – FC Bayern München 3-1  

FC Bayern München – FC Porto 6-1 

Quarter-finals 2014/15

bayern porto.jpgPorto had never reached the semi-finals after winning the trophy in 2003/04, but two goals from Ricardo Quaresma in the first ten minutes of the first leg seem to put the Dragons on the right path to stop this fast. After Thiago Alcántara had halved the disadvantage for Bayern before the half hour, the goal in the second half of Jackson Martínez gave the Portuguese formation a margin of two goals to defend in Germany.

Bayern rebalances the challenge after 22 minutes of the match in Munich, thanks to goals scored by Thiago and Jérôme Boateng. Robert Lewandowski, who scored twice, had a deflected shot from Thomas Müller and, after the Jackson Martínez goal for Porto, Xabi Alonso’s sixth seal signed a memorable night for the Bavarians.

Wolfsburg 2-0 Real Madrid 

Real Madrid – Wolfsburg  3-0

Quarter-finals 2015/16

Wolfsburg Real Madrid.pngWolfsburg had never reached the quarter-finals but, against the opponent with more participations in the quarter-finals of all, the goals in the first half of Ricardo Rodriguez and Maximilian Arnold had put the Germans in an ideal position for qualification. Both coaches, however, were aware that nothing was decided yet; “This is the great thing: you can have a bad evening but there is still the return”, the words of Zinédine Zidane.

Dieter Hecking from Wolfsburg, in turn, warned: “We know what awaits us in Madrid.” But his team is not able to counter it, given that with two goals by Cristiano Ronaldo in the space of 86 seconds the merengues bring back into balance the ‘meeting after 17 minutes.The Portuguese champion then completed his hat-trick, giving another memorable European night to his team, with a free kick at 77’. “The goals are in my DNA”, the words of the Portuguese star, “It was a perfect, magical evening”.

AC Milan 3 – Liverpool 3 (5 -6 after Penalties)

Final 2005

Steven-Gerrard-Liverpool-AC-Milan-Champions-L_1256754-cwikigameguides-dot-comThe 2005 UEFA Champions League Final was the final match of the 2004–05 UEFA Champions League, Europe’s primary club football competition. The showpiece event was contested between Liverpool of England and Milan of Italy at the Atatürk Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on 25 May 2005. Liverpool, who had won the competition four times, were appearing in their sixth final, and their first since 1985. Milan, who had won the competition six times, were appearing in their second final in three years and tenth overall.

Milan were regarded as favourites before the match and took the lead within the first minute through captain Paolo Maldini. Milan striker Hernán Crespo added two more goals before half-time to make it 3–0. In the second half Liverpool launched a comeback and scored three goals in a dramatic six-minute spell to level the scores at 3–3, with goals from Steven Gerrard, Vladimír Šmicer and Xabi Alonso. The scores remained the same during extra time, and a penalty shoot-out was required to decide the champions. The score was 3–2 to Liverpool when Andriy Shevchenko’s penalty was saved by Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek. Thus Liverpool won their fifth European Cup, were awarded the trophy permanently, and claimed a multiple-winner badge. Liverpool’s comeback gave rise to the final being known as the Miracle of Istanbul, and is regarded as one of the greatest finals in the history of the tournament.

Sources : Uefa.com, Wikipedia

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