Greatest UEFA Champions League comebacks
The 2018/19 UEFA Champions League semi-finals have both featured astonishing revivals from three goals down, Liverpool recovering from a 3-0 defeat at Barcelona to win 4-0 at Anfield before Lucas Moura’s second-half hat-trick brought Tottenham back from 2-0 behind at Ajax, and 3-0 overall, to go through on away goals.
Here are the competitions’ other magical comebacks;
#1 Liverpool FC vs AC Milan, 2004/05, Final
On Penalties: Liverpool 3-2 AC Milan
In what would be described as “The Miracle of Istanbul”, Liverpool annulled a 3-goal advantage that AC Milan had going into the second half and took the game on penalties. AC Milan captain, Paolo Maldini, scored in the very first minute, which was followed by a brace from Hernan Crespo.
In what was later described by Djibril Cisse as the greatest speech given by a football captain, Steven Gerrard’s message set the tone for the second-half. The captain led from the front scoring Liverpool’s first goal in the second-half which was followed by goals from Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso.
The game went to extra time and the score remained level. In the ensuing penalties Liverpool won the Champions League.
#2 FC Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain, 2016/17, Round of 16
1st Leg: PSG 4-0 FC Barcelona
2nd Leg: FC Barcelona 6-1 PSG
No team had overturned a four-goal deficit going into the second-leg in Champions League history and the odds were heavily stacked against the Catalans. The heavy spending and ambitious PSG thoroughly routed Barcelona in the first leg at Parc des Princes.
In one of the greatest Champions League nights, what should have been a day to remember for PSG ended up as their biggest nightmare as the Catalans thumped the visitors 6-1 at Camp Nou to script a fairytale result.
FC Barcelona advanced to the quarterfinals 6-5 on aggregate
#3 AS Roma vs FC Barcelona, 2017/18, QF
2nd Leg: AS Roma 3-0 FC Barcelona
The Catalans already had one hand on the La Liga trophy going into their quarter-finals against AS Roma. The team was brimming with confidence from the word go and AS Roma was no match for the Catalans and they ended up winning 4-1 at the Camp Nou.
No one in their wildest dreams would have thought of Barcelona throwing away a commanding 3 goal first-leg lead going into Rome to play the second-leg. However, that is exactly what happened. The Giallorossi netted 3 goals and in the process took the tie on away goals rule and advancing to the semi-finals.
#4 AS Monaco vs Real Madrid, 2003/04, QF
2nd Leg: AS Monaco 3 -1 Real Madrid
The Galacticos won the first-leg of their quarterfinals against AS Monaco at the Santiago Bernabeu with Zidane and Ronaldo both chipping in with goals. However, it still was not enough for Real Madrid.
The story was markedly different in the second leg as Real Madrid faced defeat, the agony of which was compounded by the fact that a player loaned by Real Madrid to AS Monaco, Fernando Morientes, ended up on the scoresheet.
The aggregate turned out to be an even 5-5. Monaco moved to the semi-finals on away goals rule.
#5 Deportivo La Coruna vs AC Milan, 2003/04, QF
1st Leg: AC Milan 4-1 Deportivo La Coruna
The star-studded AC Milan which included the likes of Kaka, Andrea Pirlo, Andriy Shevchenko, Dida, Cafu, Paolo Maldini, Rui Costa, Clarence Seedorf thumped Deportivo La Coruna 4-1 in the first leg at the San Siro.
However, things took a turn for the worst when Milan squandered a 3 goal lead in the second leg at the Estadio Riazor. Deportivo La Coruna put up an inspired performance humbling the mighty AC Milan 4-0.
Deportivo moved on to the semi-finals 5-4 on aggregate thus knocking out the defending champions.