If there is one word that can describe this season of the UEFA Champions League, it is the word Drama. Right from the beginning of the season, there has been a lot of last-minute goals and great incidents
The latest was what transpired between Liverpool and FC Barcelona. The Catalans had given the Reds a sound 3-0 victory at the Nou Camp, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi getting on the score-sheet.
Jurgen Klopp’s men had also gone into the second leg at Anfield, without two of their talisman, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino and all hope seems lost for the Anfield giants.
But Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum had other plans, scoring a brace each, send the Reds to the final. Their heroics place Liverpool’s 4-0 win among the greatest Champions League salvage operations of all time.
Below is a list of some memorable comebacks in Europe’s elite competition
Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain (6-5 agg), 2017
Barcelona remains the most remarkable of all Champions League comebacks. Trailing 4-0 from the first leg of their last-16 tie with PSG, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored either side of a Layvin Kurzawa own goal, only for Edinson Cavani to grab what was expected to be the decisive strike for the visitors.
Also two quickfire Neymar goals – the second a highly controversial penalty after an apparent Suarez dive – levelled the tie at 5-5.
Then, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Sergi Roberto struck to create a slice of Champions League history – no side had ever turned around a four-goal first-leg deficit before.
AS Roma 3-0 Barcelona (4-4 agg, Roma won on away goals), 2018
Barcelona were dethroned in the Italian capital last year as Roma completed one of the most unlikely turnarounds in quarter-final history.
The Italian side under Eusebio Di Francesco came back from a 4-1 first-leg deficit to progress to the quarter final on away goals after a 3-0 at Rome.
Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas secured the 4-4 aggregate draw and sent the Giallorossi further, as the Laliga giant fell off.
Liverpool 4 Barcelona 0 (4-3 agg) 2019
Fresh from netting a late winner at Newcastle United the weekend before, Origi allowed the Liverpool faithful to dream by poaching his maiden Champions League goal in the seventh minute.
Andy Robertson’s injury forced James Milner to left-back and Georginio Wijnaldum into the fray at half-time. By the hour, the Dutch midfielder had Liverpool level thanks to two goals in 122 delirious seconds.
Origi had the final word thanks to Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quick thinking from a 79th-minute corner, leaving Barcelona and Messi crestfallen once more.
Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax (5-3 agg) 2019
Despite their impressive display in their 2-1 first-leg defeat, nobody really seemed to think Ajax could turn things around at the Santiago Bernabeu. Sergio Ramos certainly did not – he earned a booking so as to avoid the risk of a quarter-final ban, earning an extra-game suspension from UEFA in the process.
In the absence of their captain, Madrid completely capitulated amid a fearless and thrilling Ajax – the type of which Liverpool might yet be faced with in the final.
Hakim Ziyech and David Neres put the visitors 2-0 up after only 18 minutes and it was 3-0 just after the hour mark thanks to the inspired Dusan Tadic.
Marco Asensio got a goal back, but Lasse Schone’s free-kick beat Thibaut Courtois and sent Madrid crashing out. It was the first time they had ever been knocked out after winning the first leg of a Champions League tie.
Real Madrid 4-2 AS Monaco (5-5 agg) 2004
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 lead by Carlos Queiroz 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. However, AS Monaco were a step ahead as they had an away goal more than Real Madrid.
AC Milan 4-5 Deportivo La Coruna ( 4-5 agg) 2004
The star-studded line-up of AC Milan which included the likes of Kaka, Andrea Pirlo, Andriy Shevchenko, Dida, Cafu, Paolo Maldini, Rui Costa, Clarence Seedorf thumped Deportivo La Coruna comprehensively in the first leg at the San Siro with Kaka scoring a brace.
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 lead by former Athletico Madrid legend Irureta put up an inspired performance humbling the mighty AC Milan 4-0.
This meant that Deportivo moved slightly ahead of AC Milan on aggregate thus knocking out the defending champions.
Deportivo moved on to the semi-finals 5-4 on aggregate
Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan (AET, 3-2 on pens) 2005
That famous night in Istanbul, Liverpool found themselves on the end of a hiding at half-time in the 2005 Champions League final, as Paolo Maldini and a Hernan Crespo brace had the Serie A side 3-0 up.
But the second half proved to be one of the most iconic 45 minutes in Liverpool’s history, with goals from Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso levelling the match up by the hour mark.
Milan then failed to hold their nerve in the penalty shootout, as Jerzy Dudek’s leggy antics in the Liverpool goal helped the Pole outsmart both Andrea Pirlo and Andriy Shevchenko after Serginho blazed the first kick over, resulting in the Premier League side lifting their fifth European title.
Barcelona 5-1 Chelsea (AET, 6-4 agg) 2000
A 3-1 first-leg loss at Stamford Bridge – having trailed 3-0 – had Barca in danger of being on the wrong end of a major 1999-00 Champions League upset prior to the Roman Abramovich era, but in the return match the Catalans showed their true class.
Tore Andre Flo’s 60th-minute goal was sending Chelsea through despite Rivaldo and Luis Figo scoring before the break, but Dani Garcia scored seven minutes from the end of regulation to force extra time.
Rivaldo then converted a penalty after Celestine Babayaro was sent off and Patrick Kluivert wrapped things up, crushing Chelsea’s dreams.