The greatest Champions League comebacks
The greatest Champions League comebacks

The greatest Champions League comebacks

The draw for the Champions League round of 16 has taken place.

Manchester City will be looking to defend the trophy they lifted for the first time when beating Inter Milan 1-0 in Istanbul in June.

Ahead of the knockout stages, we look at some of the Champions League’s greatest second-leg reversals.

Ajax 2 Tottenham 3 (Spurs won on away goals after 3-3 aggregate score; Semi-final, 2019)

Lucas Moura’s dramatic second-half hat-trick set up a stunning win – and an all-English final against Liverpool. Spurs were dead and buried at half-time in the second leg at the Johan Cryuff ArenA as they trailed 2-0 on the night and 3-0 on aggregate after goals from Matthijs De Ligt and Hakim Ziyech. However, a miraculous comeback, spearheaded by Moura, was completed deep into added time when the Brazilian slotted home a loose ball to seal away goals success and spark amazing scenes.

Liverpool 4 Barcelona 0 (Semi-final, 2019)

Divock Origi enjoys a standing in Liverpool’s recent history disproportionate to his 34 goals in 179 appearances across seven seasons and this tie is a key reason why. Liverpool old boy Luis Suarez and a brace from Lionel Messi put Barca three up from the first leg but Origi scored seven minutes into the return and, after Georginio Wijnaldum’s double levelled the tie, the Belgium forward popped up again to sweep home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s brilliant quick corner. Origi scored again in the final as Liverpool won the trophy at Tottenham’s expense.

PSG 1 Manchester United 3 (Round of 16, 2019)

Manchester United stunned PSG to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit to win the tie 3-3 on away goals in France. Romelu Lukaku scored twice either side of Juan Bernat’s equaliser for PSG before Marcus Rashford fired home a dramatic late penalty to secure a 3-1 victory at the Parc des Princes.

Roma 3 Barcelona 0 (Roma won on away goals after 4-4 aggregate score, Quarter-final, 2018)

Roma looked dead and buried after a 4-1 defeat at the Nou Camp – courtesy of own goals from Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas, as well as efforts from Gerard Pique and Suarez. Edin Dzeko provided the Italians with a late away goal, however, and that proved crucial as the Giallorossi fought back in Rome. Dzeko scored early on before De Rossi’s penalty and Manolas completed the job on home soil.

Barcelona 6 Paris St Germain 1 (Barcelona won 6-5 on aggregate, Round of 16, 2017)

The Catalan giants became the first team in Champions League history to overturn a four-goal first-leg deficit, putting together an all-time European classic in the process. A 4-0 defeat in France briefly looked like a changing of the guard moment, with PSG lording it over the established giants, but the comeback only served to deepen the Barca mythology. With 88 minutes on the clock PSG still held a 5-3 lead on aggregate but a free-kick and penalty from Neymar followed by Sergi Roberto’s last-gasp settler completed a heist for the ages.

Manchester United 3 Olympiacos 0 (Manchester United won 3-2 on aggregate, Round of 16, 2014)

Patience with Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor David Moyes was already wearing thin among the Old Trafford faithful and a 2-0 defeat to Greek side Olympiacos a month earlier did little to aid the Scot. But Robin van Persie gave Moyes a little longer in the hotseat by scoring a hat-trick in Manchester to steer United into the quarter-finals, a stage at which Bayern Munich proved too strong for them.

Chelsea 2 PSG 0 (Chelsea won on away goals after 3-3 aggregate score, Quarter-finals, 2014)

Chelsea needed to overcome PSG’s 3-1 advantage from the first leg in Paris, where Eden Hazard had grabbed a crucial away goal. Back at Stamford Bridge, substitute Andre Schurrle gave the Blues hope with a first-half goal but nerves remained frayed until Demba Ba, also off the bench, scored the clincher in the 87th minute.

Chelsea 4 Napoli 1 (AET, Chelsea won 5-4 on aggregate, Round of 16, 2012)

The west Londoners overcame the odds at Stamford Bridge to progress to the quarter-finals, overcoming a 3-1 first-leg defeat. Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard – the men the sacked Andre Villas-Boas seemed so determined to discard – proved just how difficult they would be to replace with a goal each in a thrilling win. Although Gokhan Inler netted for Napoli at 2-0, Branislav Ivanovic settled the tie on the stroke of half-time in extra-time. Chelsea went on to lift the trophy after beating Bayern Munich on penalties in the final.

Deportivo La Coruna 4 AC Milan 0 (Deportivo won 5-4 on aggregate, Quarter-final, 2004)

No eyebrows were raised when Serie A giants Milan thumped Deportivo 4-1 in the first leg at San Siro in March, with superstars Kaka, Andriy Shevchenko and Andrea Pirlo living up to their star billing. But three goals in a remarkable first half at Riazor, sparked by Walter Pandiani’s opener, turned the tie around. The Rossoneri were hanging on until the 76th minute, when Fran sent Deportivo through.

Monaco 3 Real Madrid 1 (Monaco won on away goals after 5-5 aggregate score, Quarter-final, 2004)

Real Madrid should have read the small print when they sent Fernando Morientes to Monaco on loan in 2003. Annoyingly, he scored against them in the first leg of this quarter-final tie, but they won 4-2. A healthy lead established, Los Blancos headed for Monte Carlo full of confidence, only for Morientes to once again stick the knife into his employers, with Ludovic Giuly’s brace sealing their fate.

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