Stamford Bridge welcomes Swiss Super League kings FC Basel for the maiden European voyage of Jose Mourinho’s second spell at the Chelsea helm, so we’ve taken the chance to relive some of the most memorable Champions League highs of his career so far.
Chelsea are 33/100 to get their assault on the trophy off to the perfect start against a Basel side they beat 3-1 in last season’s Europa League semis, with a repeat of that scoreline 9/1.
Manchester United 1 Porto 1 , March 2004
Despite going down 2-1 at the Dragao few people expected the Red Devils to exit with the return leg at Old Trafford and the hosts duly grabbed an away goals lead in the tie thanks to one of a surprisingly large stock of Paul Scholes headers.
The ginger maestro had another strike ruled out on the stroke of half-time and that was to prove the lifeline Porto needed, with Costinha’s injury-time strike sending Mourinho – then far from a household name – sprinting down the touchline in celebration.
Chelsea 4 Barcelona 2, March 2005
A 2-1 defeat at Camp Nou against Los Blaugrana meant Chelsea were on the back foot in the second leg, but they came out swinging and landed three on their foes inside 20 minutes.
However, the character of the Portuguese’s side was asked some searching questions as a Ronaldinho double (including a delightful second from the edge of the area) put the Catalans ahead on away goals.
John Terry’s winning header sowed the first seeds of Mourinho’s rise to Barcelona public enemy number one status as Chelsea repelled a side including the aforementioned Brazilian along with Deco, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Samuel Eto’o.
Inter 3 Barcelona 1, April 2010
Barca were proving close to unbeatable in their second season under Josep Guardiola, having lost just three times in all competitions in the 52 games before this semi-final first leg.
The Special One made good use of the study time provided by two winless group stage meetings with the Blaugrana, taking a leaf out of their high-pressing book to subdue the exploits of Lionel Messi and Xavi at San Siro.
The 3-1 victory, which did much to secure their passage to the final and a second title for Mourinho, was especially impressive as the visitors had been allowed an early lead.
Manchester United 1 Real Madrid 2, March 2013
Having earned the respect of one the great managers of the modern game in Sir Alex Ferguson during his first spell at Chelsea, Mourinho’s Madrid turned up at Old Trafford losing on away goals and shipped another just after half-time.
When Nani was cruelly sent off the Portuguese subbed full-back Alvaro Arbeloa for Luka Modric, who promptly struck from 20 yards to square the game and United old boy Cristiano Ronaldo later scored the winner.
Afterwards the Special One was magnanimous enough to admit “the best team lost”.