This season’s UEFA Champions League has also seen some impressive comebacks with Ajax and Manchester United going past mich-fancied opponents.
There is just something about big European nights in the Champions League that gives teams a little extra edge and belief that they can indeed do anything. These stages have witnessed the most legendary of comebacks over the years and this season is no different with the Round of 16 already bringing with it its share of drama and upsets.
We at Khel Now take a look back at some of the best comebacks the Champions League has witnessed over the years.
5. Deportivo La Coruna Vs AC Milan – 4-0 (Agg 5-4), 2004
The Spanish side were four goals up before half time in the second leg
The AC Milan side of 2004 boasted the likes of Seedorf, Gatusso, Kaka and Pirlo to name a few and were the firm favourites to retain their Champions League title. They were given a relatively kind draw in the Round of 16 against Deportivo La Coruna. The first leg ended as expected with the Italians coming out as 4-1 victors.
However, in the second leg, the Spanish side dug deep and took the fight to Milan. Deportivo were four goals to the good by half time with Fran Gonzalez, their all-time record appearance maker scoring the fourth and decisive goal.
4. Roma Vs Barcelona 3-0 (Agg 4-4), 2018
Kostas Manolas’ late goal took the game away from Barcelona in the second leg
Following their 4-1 defeat at the Camp Nou, the whole of the footballing community had all but written Roma out of the competition in 2018. However, Eusebio Di Francesco’s men had different ideas. They welcomed to Catalans to Rome and proceeded to work on making up their deficit. Goals from Edin Dzeko, Daniele Di Rossi and crucially Kostas Manolas in the dying minutes saw the side from Italy win the tie on away goals.
The commentary of Peter Drury will linger long in the minds of the fans who watched the game as it goes down as one of the biggest upsets in the history of the competition.
3. Barcelona Vs Chelsea 5-1 (Agg 6-4), 2000
The star-studded Barcelona side exploited the tired Chelsea legs as Rivaldo and Partick Kluvert scored to send them through
Barcelona were condemned to a shock 3-1 defeat at the hands of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The pre-Roman Abramovic Blues had Barca on the ropes as they approached the second leg in Spain. But the Catalans were not to be denied. Goals from Rivaldo, Luis Figo and Dani Garcia saw the game forced into extra time.
The star-studded Barcelona side exploited the tired Chelsea legs as Rivaldo and Partick Kluvert scored to send them through and crush the Blues’ dreams.
2. PSG vs Manchester United 1-3 (Agg 3-3), 2019
A second-string Manchester United edged past PSG to qualify for the quarter-finals
Paris Saint Germain came into the tie on the back of one of the most convincing Champions League displays at Old Trafford, where they put the Mancunian side to the sword, winning the leg 2-0, effectively ending Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Champions League dream. The English side were plagued by absences for the second leg in Paris, with no less than 10 first team players ruled out through suspension or injury, including the first-choice midfield trio of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic.
However, as is the way at Manchester United, they dug deep. The game ended with no less than three teenagers on the pitch two of whom were making their Champions League debut for the side. Goals from Romelu Lukaku put the visitors in the driving seat before a controversial VAR call saw Marcus Rashford squaring up against Buffon for a penalty in the last minute of the game. The youngster scored emphatically to send his side into the quarter finals of the competition.4
1. Barcelona vs PSG 6-1 (Agg 6-5), 2017
After getting thrashed in the first leg, Barcelona overcame all odds to defeat PSG
In what was perhaps the most bizzare tie in the history of the Champions League, Barcelona found themselves with a mountain to climb in the home fixture having lost the game at Paris by four goals to nil. The home side got off the blocks as fast as they possibly could with three quickfire goals. However, an Edinson Cavani goal put the game almost out of reach for the Catalans.
However, current PSG star and former Barcelona talisman, Neymar scored two sublime freekicks while Luis Suarez converted a penalty to take the game down to the wire. The dramatics were far from over when Sergi Roberto latched onto a floated ball in the fifth minute of stoppage time to send the Camp Nou into raptures and Barca into the quarter finals.