UEFA Champions League football has produced unforgettable memory in the history of the tournament, every year the competition sees elite clubs across Europe battle for the biggest prize in club football.
Several European clubs such as Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Manchester United are among the clubs that have pulled off the seemingly impossible comeback in the most prestigious competition in Europe.
There has been a meteoric rise in the number of miraculous comebacks in the Champions League in recent seasons.
Liverpool, Barcelona, Manchester United, and Tottenham, among others, have proved that top-tier teams don’t know when they’re beaten by producing comebacks that will leave an indelible impression on their supporters.
Europe’s most prestigious cup event has always been a place where the seemingly impossible can happen, but whose Champions League comeback was the greatest?
Liverpool are getting prepared for their second leg match against Real Madrid on Wednesday, 15th of March, 2023, expecting to reverse a three-goal disadvantage after losing to the Spanish club by 5 goals to 2 goals in their first leg clash at Anfield last week.
The Reds are expected to build on their victory over Manchester United to confront Carlo Ancelotti’s men at the Santiago Bernabeu.
However, before the match gets underway, Futball News will examine some greatest comebacks in the Champions League history.
AC Milan vs Liverpool (2005 final). That famous Istanbul night.
Istanbul is frequently brought up when talking about well-known football comebacks since the Turkish city served as the setting for one of the Champions League’s most exhilarating nights.
In the Ataturk Stadium, AC Milan ran riot to grab a commanding lead, turning Liverpool’s first championship match in three decades into a nightmare for the first 45 minutes.
The Rossoneri led 3-0 at halftime with two goals from Hernan Crespo and Paolo Maldini, who scored the game’s quickest goal in just 52 seconds.
But Liverpool wasn’t over yet. Dietmar Hamann’s entrance at halftime assisted in containing the game-changing Kaka until a remarkable six-minute stretch altered the outcome. The Reds had a chance after Steven Gerrard’s header, but a frenzied rally by Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso leveled the score.
Jerzy Dudek’s miraculous double allowed Liverpool to advance to the shootout. Liverpool won the penalty shootout to make it one of the most unforgettable comebacks in football.
Liverpool vs Barcelona (2019 semi final).
Liverpool had overturned a three-goal first-leg deficit to become just the third team in UEFA Champions League history to do so.
After falling to Barcelona 3-0 at the Nou Camp, the Reds’ chances of advancing to the semifinals were poor, especially because Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were out injured.
But, it took Divock Origi seven minutes to get things going before the match truly changed in the 166 second period that followed halftime with two goals from replacement Georgino Wijnaldum.
Trent Alexander-Arnold saw Barcelona’s defense slip up from a corner and quickly finished the job for Liverpool by whipping the ball in low for Origi to score and incited a jubilant atmosphere at Anfield.
Ajax vs Tottenham Hotspur (2019 semi final).
Tottenham entered the second leg of their semi-final against Ajax down 1-0, and things only got worse as Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech gave Ajax a 3-0 aggregate lead before halftime.
To advance, Tottenham needed to score three times without receiving a response. Lucas Moura gave Spurs hope 10 minutes into the second half, but it was already over four minutes later.
When Fernando Llorente’s attempt was saved, Moura pounced on a loose ball in the area and curled home to put the hosts on the ropes.
Ajax players were left strewn around the field in shock as the astounding reversal was completed in the 95th minute when Moura finished off his hat-trick to secure Tottenham’s berth in the final on away goals.
PSG vs Manchester United (2019 semi final).
It all began with Manchester United defeating Paris St. Germain in the round of 16 to kick off a season that would go down in history for English comebacks in the UEFA Champions League.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the interim manager, suffered his first loss on the job in the first leg when a 2-0 setback at Old Trafford ended an 11-game undefeated streak.
Nobody anticipated United to break the pattern as none of the previous 107 clubs that lost a Champions League or European Cup first leg at home by two goals or more had managed to advance.
Romelu Lukaku gave United the lead after only two minutes, but Juan Bernat answered back 11 minutes later to give PSG a two-goal advantage overall.
The Red Devils would not give up, as Lukaku gave them the lead on the evening before Marcus Rashford successfully converted his first club-competitive penalty in the 94th minute to advance United.
Roma vs Barcelona (2018 quarter-final).
Roma had been destroyed 4-1 in Barcelona in the first leg of their quarterfinal matchup for the 2017–18 season, scoring two own goals to aid the Catalans, but Edin Dzeko’s vital away goal gave them the tiniest shred of hope.
The huge Bosnian played a crucial role in one of Rome’s best evenings, despite not scoring the game-winning goal.
After earning a penalty for Daniele de Rossi to smash home and cut the deficit after halftime, he first bundled the ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Barca lost, and the Stadio Olimpico trembled. Kostas Manolas, the scorer of the second own goal at Camp Nou, met Cengiz Under’s near-post corner and flicked it expertly inside the back stick to put Roma ahead on away goals.
Lionel Messi received one final opportunity. He maneuvered through a packed penalty area but was unable to bring the ball down, slicing it into Roma goalkeeper Alisson’s clutches, who then decided he would want to attempt another improbable comeback against Barcelona.
Barcelona vs PSG (2017 quarter final).
After a humiliating 4-0 loss in Paris in 2017, Barcelona was in danger of missing the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals for the first time in ten years.
The outcome appeared to indicate a changing of the guard as the nouveau riche put one of the most illustrious clubs in the world to the sword and declared their intention to usurp the throne of Europe.
In 213 attempts, a comeback from a 4-0 deficit had never occurred in this tournament, but Luis Suarez’s scruffy first goal gave Camp Nou hope.
A hilarious own goal by Layvin Kurzawa and two penalties by Lionel Messi on either side of halftime pulled Barcelona back into the game, but Edinson Cavani’s astonishing away goal left the hosts needing three more.
Cavani and Angel Di Maria wasted good chances to conclude the match and were made to pay. Although Suarez and Messi had previously contributed, Neymar had the night to himself.
The winning goal came from a wonderful free kick in the 88th minute, a penalty in the 91st, and a gorgeous floating ball from deep to Sergi Roberto in the 95th. With the legendary “MSN,” Barcelona was never out of a game.
Manchester United vs Bayern Munich (1999 final).
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer frequently brings up the championship game from 1999, and with good reason.
Mario Basler’s six-minute free-kick appeared to have given Bayern Munich their first Champions League championship since their previous triumph in 1976 in front of a crowd of 90,000 at Camp Nou.
Before United pulled off one of the greatest final triumphs in history, Bayern had held the lead for 84 of the 90 minutes of normal play.
Teddy Sheringham guided home from Ryan Giggs’ effort after David Beckham’s corner wasn’t cleared, denying the Germans victory.
Soon after, United secured a second corner. The ball was again sent by Beckham, Sheringham nodded it down, and Solskjaer came running to lift it into the goal.
Just 101 seconds separated the two goals. Four days earlier, Sir Alex Ferguson’s team had won the FA Cup, and their triple is still unsurpassed in English football.
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