The initial stage of the competition has witnessed many goal feasts over the years.
The UEFA Champions League is one of football’s most euphoric competition. Club football’s biggest competition has produced plenty of moments to remember and cherish over the years. The tournament that sees Europe’s best clubs fight it off against each other in their quest for continental supremacy has never disappointed in its promise of producing the best football on offer.
Over the years, plenty of clubs have filled their trophy cabinets with the UEFA Champions League trophies and many players have made it a habit of making it big in the competition. From classic comebacks to individual performances, to nail-biting finishes, we have been witness to the best teams, players, and matches.
When there are big stars and occasions there is bound to be lots of fireworks, and some games in the UCL have given evidence to this fact. Ahead of the 2020-21 edition of the UEFA Champions League, we take a look at five such group stage games that have seen the most number of goals.
5. Villareal 6-3 Aalborg (2008-09)
In 2008/09, the Group E game between Villareal and Aalborg at the El Madrigal in Villareal saw nine goals being scored at either end with Villareal clinching three points. For the home team, Giuseppe Rossi, Robert Pires, and Joan Capdevila scored on either side of a hat-trick from Joseba Llorente.
Villareal topped the group which contained eventual competition runners-up Manchester United. Villareal on the other hand were ousted by Arsenal in the quarterfinals. Aalborg finished third and qualified to the UEFA Europa League where they lost to Manchester City on penalties in the Round of 16.
4. PSG 7-2 Rosenborg (2000-01)
At the turn of the century, a UEFA Champions League Group F game between Paris Saint-Germain and Norwegian club Rosenborg ended 7-2 in the favour of Le Parisiens at the Parc Des Princes.
The hosts were cruising at 3-0 before two goals in two minutes from the visitors pegged the scoreline back to 3-2. Sadly, it was the only goals Rosenborg had scored as the hosts piled on the misery eventually smashing four more times to complete the rout. The game saw a young Nicolas Anelka display a great performance, including a brace in the match.
Sadly PSG couldn’t go any more further in the competition than the second group stage (back in 2000 before it was removed in 2003). Rosenborg finished third in the group stage and were slotted in the Europa League where they lost in the Round of 16 to Deportivo Alaves.
3. Tottenham Hotspur 2-7 Bayern Munich (2019-20)
One of the latest and most iconic results in the history of the UCL, Bayern Munich showcased the first glimpse of what was to come in the season they lifted their sixth UEFA Champions League title by smashing seven goals past a hapless Tottenham Hotspur team that had no answers to their attacking prowess at their own home!
Bayern made London once again their favourite hunting ground as Serge Gnabry slotted four goals past Hugo Lloris along with a brace from Robert Lewandowski and Joshua Kimmich. It was Tottenham who took the lead through Heung-Min Son before Kimmich equalized. Lewandowski gave Bayern the lead just before half-time and in the second-half it was rampage from Bayern as Gnabry went on his way to dismantling the Spurs backline.
Harry Kane briefly pulled things back with a penalty but it was too much class from the Bavarians who scored three goals in a span of five minutes to put a seven-goal drubbing on the board against the North London club. Bayern never looked back from there and blew away every opposition including an 8-2 drubbing of Barcelona en route to their title triumph.
2. Monaco 8-3 Deportiva de la Coruna (2003-04)
Monaco had a fairytale run in the UEFA Champions League 2003-04 season which saw them go all the way to the final. They announced themselves to Europe that season with an 8-3 thumping of Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna.
The French side ran into a 4-0 lead by the half-hour mark but Deportivo briefly seemed to pull things back when they got two and seemed to be 4-2 before the half-time whistle but a goal from Miladin Pršo brought up his brace and Monaco’s fifth which snuffed out any comeback from the Galician side. Pršo ended up with four goals on the night. The result set the record for the most number of goals in a single match for thirteen years.
Monaco were comprehensively defeated 0-3 in the final by a Jose Mourinho-led Porto, who went on to win their third European title. Despite the humiliating result, Deportivo qualified for the knockout rounds where they defeated Juventus and then AC Milan. Their results against Milan are particularly astonishing as the club overturned a 4-1 first-leg deficit by winning 4-0 at home.
1. Borussia Dortmund 8-4 Legia Warsaw (2016-17)
The night of November 23, 2016 broke the 13-year record set for the most number of goals scored in a single UEFA Champions League game (12) when Borussia Dortmund and Legia Warsaw clashed at the Signal Iduna Park in a Group F game.
The result on the night ended 8-4 in favor of Dortmund. It was Warsaw who took the surprise lead in the 10th minute but Dortmund hit back with two goals from Shinji Kagawa in consecutive minutes, and then ensued a goal feast with the half-time score reading 5-2 in Dortmund’s favour.
The second half saw five more goals being pummelled in. Marco Reus and Shinji Kagawa ended up with braces on the night while goals from Nuri Sahin, Ousmane Dembele, Felix Passlack, and a late own goal saw them finish the match with a 8-4 scoreline. Dortmund were defeated by Monaco in the quarterfinals whereas Warsaw finished third in the group and were defeated in the Round of 32 by eventual finalists Ajax.