UEFA Champions League

Biggest Comebacks in the UEFA Champions League

Football, as it is well known is one or probably the most watched game in the whole world. Every football fan is always anticipating the next game because most times, the scoreline changes in unimaginable ways. It is very possible that a team leading a match with two goals than can still end up being the loser if they are not careful. The overtaking done by the opposing team at that point is what they call a comeback in the world of football.

There have been teams that are completely great at this act and they’ve orchestrated the act so well that their name has been written in the history book. We’ll be looking at a couple of them in this article.

PSG 1 – 3 Real Madrid ( aggregate 2 – 3 ) 2022

     Real Madrid has proven themselves to be one of the greatest teams that have mastered the act so well in 2022. On Wednesday night, March 9, Real Madrid staged an astonishing comeback to eliminate Paris Saint-Germain from the Champions League.

Real Madrid came back from a 2-0 deficit in the second half of their round-of-16 second leg to win the tie 3-2 and move ahead to the quarterfinals for the 18th time in club history. 

Karim Benzema registered a hat trick and Real Madrid hung on to win the tie 3-2 and progress to the quarterfinals for the 18th time in club history that night.

The win and qualification made that night wasn’t just any win but it was an incredible comeback against the iconic Lionel Messi in his new club with Mbappe and Neymar. Not even this three great forward could do justice to securing their space in the next stage of the game.

Real Madrid 3 – 1 Man City ( aggregate 6 – 5 ) 2022

For every Real Madrid fan who had ninety nine percent trust in their team, they would have lost hope in their team winning the match because as at 89 minutes into the match, they were already two goals down on aggregate.

After Riyad Mahrez’s goal extended City’s 4-3 first-leg victory last week, they were two goals ahead on aggregate going into the 90th minute.

Then there was Rodrygo.

In the final minute, the Brazilian substitute converted Karim Benzema’s left-wing cross from close range – Real’s first chance on target. After Marco Asensio flicked on Dani Carvajal’s cross, he leveled the score 90 seconds later with a header into the top corner. Bernabeu, who was already a raucous character, was ecstatic.

City, who had hoped to reach an all-English Champions League final for the second year in a row, were stunned. Pep couldn’t believe his eyes as they were so close to making it into the finals.

Barcelona 6-1 PSG ( Barcelona won on aggregate 6-5), 2017

Many believed that PSG’s 4-0 thrashing of Barcelona in 2017 signaled a symbolic shift – the overturning of football’s all-conquering legends in favor of the nouveau riche.

The reversal appeared conceivable from the moment Luis Suarez scored less than three minutes into the game. The Spaniards only needed one goal after a sloppy own goal and a Lionel Messi penalty, but a 62nd-minute belter from Edinson Cavani for the Parisians added an unexpected twist to the story. With less than half an hour remaining, the home team needed to score three goals and not surrender.

PSG’s spot in the last eight seemed assured with 87 minutes left on the clock, only to be undone by a late hounding of Kevin Trapp’s goal. A Neymar free-kick followed by a penalty jolted Camp Nou back to life, and at 95 minutes, Sergi Roberto’s volley sent them through to the quarter-finals, winning 6-5 on aggregate.

Barcelona demonstrated, in the most dramatic of ways, that they were not yet on their way out.

Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona ( Liverpool won. aggregate 4-3 ) 2019

They use to say what goes around, comes around and that was the exact thing that happened to Barca that night. After losing 3-0 at the Camp Nou, mostly due to a Lionel Messi masterclass, Liverpool’s chances of defeating the Catalans in the second leg were slim, and maintaining a clean sheet at Anfield seemed almost impossible.

Barcelona’s official twitter account boasted, “We score, Liverpool needs FIVE!”

However, Divock Origi’s early strike gave the Reds hope, before half-time replacement Georginio Wijnaldum scored two goals in two minutes to send Anfield into raptures. 

With Liverpool in command and Barcelona on the verge of collapse, it was the quick thinking of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Origi from a corner that saw the Reds complete the most incredible of comebacks and send them to the final for the second year in a row, where they defeated Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur.

AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool ( Won 3-2 on penalties), 2005

There have been comebacks from bigger deficits and comebacks in more flamboyant ways, but no game compares to the 2005 final in Istanbul. Liverpool, a team whose years of dominance in English and European football were practically a distant memory, met Carlo Ancelotti’s A.C. Milan, who were heavy favourites to win the tie.

The Italians had a field day in the first half, and the Reds were fortunate to only be 3-0 down at the break, with many Reds fans opting to leave the stadium.

Captain Steven Gerrard, on the other hand, was not about to abandon his beloved Liverpool. With a 53rd-minute header, the Scouse captain gave Liverpool a lifeline, and Vladimir Smicer added a second a minute later. The score was subsequently leveled when Xabi Alonso scored on the rebound of a penalty.

Extra-time was controlled by Milan, but Liverpool’s renewed tenacity could not be broken. In the penalty shoot-out, the Italians were a disaster, leaving the trophy within reach for the Reds. Jerzy Dudek’s goalkeeping heroics then won it for England, saving Andriy Shevchenko’s penalty in spectacular fashion. Istanbul continues to serve as a continual reminder in football that the game is never truly finished until the final whistle is blown.

Conclusion

At some point in the football world, the act of comeback becomes so impossible that when it happens, it causes the opposing team to be traumatized and for so many fans, they come up with the idea that the matches were scripted. It’s really a thing to think about because a team that was losing woefully just comes up and turns the whole game around.

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The biggest comebacks in the UEFA Champions League is an act that needs to be well spoken about. They make the game spiced up and entertaining for fans.