Soccer / comeback
The Most Unbelievable Comebacks in the Champions League History
Champions league presents some of the biggest clashes in the soccer world owing to the participation of 32 top-class clubs that had undergone a series of qualifying rounds to earn their spot in the grand arena. When these hard-wired gladiators face each other, some jaw-dropping moments come to life and get engraved on the fabric of time. Especially, those moments where an expected defeat was converted into a sweet victory through a revenge in the 2nd leg, a comeback in the finals from a 3 goal deficit or a last minute desperate attempt to bring hope back to the team deserve to be written on the everlasting blockchain thread. Knock-out Phase (2016/2017): PSG was Leading with 4-0 in the First Leg Justine Vogt said: “Hospitality means making your guests feel like they’re at home” however, an exact opposite is true for champions league matches. Barca visited the beautiful grounds of Parc des Princes in Paris for 1st leg of the knock-out phase and they were presented a sour 4 goals defeat, where Di Maria with 2, Julian and Cavani with 1 goal each made sure that PSG would reach the quarter finals. It was time for PSG to visit Barcelona in order to collect their share of the brutal hospitality. Image Source Barcelona took hold of the game for a moment: Suarez took the first blood for Barca within the 3rd minute of the kick-off by deflecting an incoming shot with an amazing header and delivered the message to PSG that Barca was going to show no mercy. Later at 40th minute, Iniesta was pacing towards the PSG goal from the left, soon to realize that he had gone far down the line, attempted to roll-cross the ball back to the middle and PSG’s bad-luck that the ball was intercepted by their own defender Kurzawa who converted it into a heart-breaking own goal. For a moment Barca seemed to be back in the game with a challenging aggregate of 4-2. Barca’s attackers maintained their charge with Iniesta again finding some space on the left passed the ball towards Neymar in the D-area, who overtook the PSG’s defender to reach the ball. In an attempt to intercept the move, PSG’s defender slid towards it and mistakenly knocked Neymar off the ground. Initially, the referee hesitated to give a penalty but after review a penalty was awarded to Barca right before the end of the first half. With Messi taking the shot, the ball rocketed towards the net and completely dodged the PSG’s keeper ‘Trapp’. Time for celebrations as Barca was just 1 goal away from taking the brawl to extra time with score showing 4-3. Messi celebrating his successful penalty kick (Img. S.) Again an extended lead by PSG with an away goal advantage: PSG camp realized it was time to attack and extend the lead so, with the start of second half Cavani and Verratti presented some great moves only to find the pole a couple of times. The pressure was on Barca as they were pushed back and still had a lot of work to do for fulfilling their dream of quarter final. However, PSG continued the attack and in 61st minute of the game, with an absolutely brilliant take, Cavani managed to deliver a stunning right foot bazooka and brought a huge long-awaited away goal advantage to PSG. Unbelievable.. The score rose to a sour 5-3, and Barca players took a trip to the abyss of desperation. Catch that Barca (by Cavani), Img. S. Barcelona's mind-blowing response: For a moment PSG had forgotten that when someone messes with Messi’s team, they get to face the wrath. The non-ending gaming stretched towards the last 4 minutes and PSG was almost celebrating their victory when, Neymar got to take free kick from about a 15 yards distance. He punched his best, the ball bended over the defense wall and with an amazing left curl landed in the net. 5-4 The glim of hope lit by Neymar was further fueled by himself right at the 90th minute when he was assigned to take the penalty awarded to Barca and gosh, he never disappoints... 5-5 on aggregate with the stadium bursting into celebration.. noise, jumps and ear-exploding shouts everywhere. The match entered the 5 minutes added time, and all PSG had to do was to confine the Barca side away from their goal. Even it shrank down to last 30 seconds, but apparently PSG was all out of luck, failed to stop the Barca’s river and with an unbelievable slide of Roberto, Barca had concluded the largest ever comeback in the Champions league history while making their way to the quarter finals. A miracle with 1-6 in the game and 5-6 as an aggregate score.. Liverpool were Back in the Final after a Long Drought of 20 Years (2005) Previously, it was 1985 final between Liverpool and Juventus, where the darkest event of the soccer history took place, when (according to sources), Liverpool fans charged over the Juventus side of the stadium and caused a miserable death of about 39 Italian fans with 600 injured. After the final, (won by Juventus), UEFA restricted the participation of all English clubs until late 90’s and Liverpool after 2 decades managed to make their way back into the finals. The road to trophy for Liverpool was like a trip to Mars as their opponent was A. C. Milan, which were the defending champions and with 6 more trophies in their pocket were the toughest possible adversaries. Liverpool vs A. C. Milan champions league final (2004/05), Img. S. AC Milan with a dominating first half: When the legendary Pirlo is behind the pass and Maldini gets to take the shot, then 1st minute goals do come into existence. Milan had let Liverpool take a glimpse of what they were up against. Liverpool tried their best to level the score with a couple of beautiful cross and head combinations but only to find the rock-solid defense of the Milan’s with their favorite formation of 4-4-2. The match continued for a while with both sides making good attempts at the goal with only the one at 39th minute being a success for Milan. An accurate chip and cross towards the Milan’s attacker Crespo who slid docked it into the net… 0-2 for Milan. Not long after that once again Crespo took the charge and with a lovely chip left the Red’s goal keeper in a shock. A mountain-high 3 goals lead was over Liverpool before half time. AC Milan squad celebrating their 3rd goal with confidence (Img. S.) Liverpool storm swept away Milan's lead: Nobody believed there could be a comeback hiding somewhere, but Steven Gerrard showed the possibility when he looped in a cross from a 6 yard distance (1-3). Right after, it was Smicer who received the ball just outside the Milan’s box and without a moments pause fired it off towards the Milan’s keeper Dida. Dida missed the trajectory of the incoming ball due to pace and bounce and Liverpool was up for a stunning comeback (2-3). The bigger thrill had yet to wait, where within 60th minute Gerrard was pushed down by the Milan’s defender and Liverpool was awarded a bright opportunity to level the game in the form of penalty. The best moment of the Gerrard's career (Img. S.) Alonso was given the heavy task who in the heat of the moment could not grasp it properly and Dida managed to stop the shot only to bounce the ball back to the Liverpool’s Spaniard, who held his nerves and angled it finally into the net (3-3). It was an unbelievable response by Liverpool and Milan were shut into silence, while the Liverpool fans got horrifyingly crazy in celebrations. The tie led the match-up to the extra time where both teams failed to score a goal and the champions had to be decided over penalty shootout. Milan’s side might not had prepared well for that moment, they missed 3 penalties while Liverpool missed only 1 and consequently, Liverpool squad took their glorious walk towards the champions trophy. Liverpool, the champions after 2 decades (Img. S.) Two Clubs from Madrid Competed in the Champions League Final (2014) Atletico Madrid received their unexpected and hard earned ticket to the UEFA final after 40 years but their clash was with the club that had been 9 times UEFA champions, the one comprised of giants like Ronaldo, Ramos and Bale, the top of the fury list ‘Real Madrid’. Although, it was probably the first final to feature two clubs from the same city, however both team were determined to bring the title back home under their own flag. Time for Madrid zone (Img. S.) Ninety minutes of complete desperation for the 9 times champions (Real Madrid): This match was probably one of the most frustrating finals of the champions league and was also the one where referees had to pull out an insane number of yellow cards (12 to be precise). The heat of the event was further fueled when Atletico’s central defender ‘Godin’ landed a header towards the goal in the 36th minute. Real’s keeper Casillas could not properly judge the trajectory and performed a late attempt but the ball had crossed the goal line with score against Real with 1-0. Second half started, Ronaldo attempted all of his best shots including the free kick volley, headers and swinger but it seemed that the Atletico players were ready to defend the score until their last breath. Real madrid was desperate to at least level the score but instead Atletico started pushing them back to their corners. The tug-of-war continued until the stoppage time and Atletico had to hold their unpierceable defense for about 100 more seconds. Great Odin's goal for Atletico (Img. S.) Madrid would remember the name 'Ramos Sergio': Fans were seen praying all over the ground and nobody knows whose prayers were heard but it was surely someone from the Real’s side. Because, it was a corner taken by Modric, a jumping header provided by Ramos, whatttt.. Are you serious! Time was 92:48 and the Real's team was sliding all over the ground with the joy of their final breath tie 1-1 Ramos had taken Real to the extra time with a chance to grab the trophy, but it was actually Bale who nailed their victory with his amazing header at 110th minute. The Real’s stand was in the air, emotions, excitements and cheers were dominant in the atmosphere. Bale had made a hole in the Ateltico’s defense and finding the Atletico’s shattered defense, Marcelo at 118th followed by Ronaldo with a penalty at 120th minute had done the safe job for Real. An unbelievable last minute comeback by Real Madrid with a claim on their 10th UEFA champions trophy. The Real of the Madrid (Img. S.) That is all for today, hope you enjoyed the emotional roller coaster ride. For previous articles from the 'Tri-Sports Super Series' related to greatest comebacks in the Premier league and MLS, kindly check the embedded links. But, before you are redirected, do share your thoughts about: Which one of them was the most unbelievable comeback for you?
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