These games produced memories of a lifetime to cherish for the fans.
After a brilliant 2-0 win over Real Madrid in the second-leg of their semi-final, Chelsea have set up a fascinating date with Manchester City in an all-English UEFA Champions League final. After years of Spanish teams dominating the competition, Premier League sides have shown resurgence of late.
Meanwhile, there have several instances when clubs from the same country have faced each other in UEFA Champions League finals. Here are the top five such finals between clubs from the same country.
5. AC Milan Vs Juventus (2003)
Unlike now, AC Milan were a team to reckon with during the 1990s and 2000s. Represented by some of the biggest stars in world football, the Rossoneri won several domestic as well as European titles on the trot. Juventus, on the other hand, are the most successful club in Italian football history. Their only regret, since the turn of the century would be not winning the UEFA Champions League.
The Bianconeri had a superb run in the 2002-03 UCL campaign. Marcelo Lippi’s men defeated the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid in the knockouts to set up an all-Italian final against AC Milan. The game was as even as it could be as the score remained unchanged until the final minute of added extra-time. Unfortunately, a bizarre show in the penalty shootout let Juventus down as Milan lifted the title in front of 62,000 odd spectators at Old Trafford.
4. Liverpool Vs Tottenham Hotspur (2019)
The 2018-19 UEFA Champions League season was full of several huge upsets. Liverpool booked a place in the final in an unprecedented manner. The Reds overcame a 3-0 deficit in the first-leg to down favourites FC Barcelona 4-0 in the second-leg of semi-final at Anfield.
On the other hand, Tottenham Hotspur survived Manchester City’s scare in the quarter-final by inches, progressing on superior away goal record. They followed it up by breaking young AFC Ajax’s hearts in the semi-final, who had shown great composure defeating mighty Juventus. Spurs’ win ensured the coveted trophy would return to England after a long haul.
Liverpool, who had lost twice in the final in 2007 and 2018, ensured the third time was a charm with a comfortable 2-0 win. Goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi helped the Reds clinch the title in one of the most unexpected ways.
3. Manchester United vs Chelsea (2008)
In 2008, Manchester United and Chelsea reached the final of the UEFA Champions League to make it the first-ever all-English final in history. Both teams were flying high at the time and came off with excellent runs in the campaign.
United overcame rather tough opponents in the knockouts, including Lyon, Roma and Barcelona. On the other hand, the Blues left it late in the added extra-time in the semi-final against Liverpool to win 4-3 on aggregate.
It was one of the most highly-anticipated games that season and the stakes were as high as ever. The then Red Devils’ star Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring while Frank Lampard pulled one back for the Blues. The scoreline remained unchanged and the game progressed into added extra time. As the clock ticked, tempers were lost and at once, Didier Drogba was sent off for violent conduct. Nevertheless, Chelsea held on and it all came down to a penalty shootout.
One couldn’t have possibly expected Ronaldo to miss from the spot, but he did as Petr Cech saved his effort. United looked on the losing end at one point, until John Terry slipped and saw his shot hit the wrong side of the post. The scores were now even. However, things went further south for the Blues as Edwin van der Sar blocked Nicolas Anelka’s final kick to hand United the victory.
2. Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich (2013)
The 2012-13 UCL campaign was all about the German teams and their brilliance. Ultimately, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich set up an all-German final at the iconic Wembley Stadium.
Both the sides topped their respective groups in the initial stage. Later, Dortmund showed immense character by defeating favourites Real Madrid on aggregate in the semi-final. Meanwhile, Bayern showed great resilience by overcoming the likes of Arsenal and Juventus in the knockouts. Their 7-0 aggregate win over Barcelona in the semi-final proved they were a class apart that season.
The final in London in front of a massive 86,000 spectators turned out to be a cracker. After a goalless first half, Mario Mandzukic gave Jupp Heynckes’ men the lead. However, Ilkay Gundogan stepped up to score from the spot minutes later to make the scores even. As the game looked likely to progress into extra-time, ecstatic winger Arjen Robben pushed through the crowd and rolled the ball into the back of the net to break thousands of Dortmund hearts. Bayern Munich lifted their fifth UCL title and ended a 12-year drought in an explicit fashion.
1. Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid (2014)
The 2014 all-Spanish UEFA Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid was a spectacle. Both sides topped their groups earlier in the campaign and produced some great wins in the knockouts. The Los Blancos defeated three German sides – Schalke, Dortmund and Bayern to reach the final. Meanwhile, Diego Simeone’s Atletico, who had already won a historic La Liga title, overcame Milan, Barcelona and Chelsea with comfort.
Little did the 60,000 spectators at the UCL final in Lisbon know that they were in for a treat. Diego Godin gave Atletico the lead in the first half after catching Iker Casillas well off his line. Diego Simeone’s men looked all set to bag a historic double with that goal.
However, Sergio Ramos leaped the highest in the dying seconds to head in from the corner and give Real Madrid the equalizer. A goal so unexpected, it perhaps took a toll on Atletico’s spirits. They never looked same in the added extra time and Real Madrid pounced on the opportunity. Back-to-back goals from Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo followed as the Carlo Ancelotti’s men produced one of the best comebacks of all-time.
If that wasn’t all, two years later, Real Madrid once again defeated Atletico in an all-Spanish UCL final, this time in a penalty shootout. The Los Blancos proved why they are the most successful club in the competition’s history.