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Saturday, September 18, 2021

UEFA Champions League: Five of the greatest comebacks in Europe’s premier competition

Manchester United pulled off a historic comeback against PSG in the Champions League on Wednesday night. Here are some of the other memorable comebacks in the premier European tournament over the years.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: March 7, 2019 4:25:33 pm
PSG vs Manchester United Manchester United players celebrate after historic win over PSG. (Source: AP)

Over the years, Europe’s premier football competition, the Champions League, has seen some historic comebacks. One of them took place on Wednesday night at Parc des Princes when Manchester United stunned PSG 3-1 (3-3) to win on away goals. With the win, the side led by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer entered the quarterfinals, while PSG were eliminated for the third time in the Round of 16 in as many years.

Solskjaer is not new to Champions League comebacks. He scored the injury-time winner for United in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 1999.

Here are some of the memorable comebacks in the history of the tournament – over a two legged affair.

PSG vs Manchester United, 2018-19

After going 2-0 down in the first leg of the Round of 16 fixture against PSG at Old Trafford, United needed to script history to make it to the quarterfinals. Never in 106 attempts in Europe’s premium club competition had a team progressed in a knockout tie after a 2-0 home defeat. But with two goals in the first half by Romelu Lukaku, and a controversial VAR penalty struck into the net by Marcus Rashford, United won the reverse encounter 3-1, to take a sensational win on away goals.

AS Roma vs Barcelona, 2017-18

Trailing 4-1 after the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal against Barcelona, Roma stunned the Spanish side as they picked up a 3-0 win at Stadio Olimpico to script a dramatic comeback. Edin Dzeko opened the scoring for the Italian club in the sixth minute, after which Danielle de Rossi converted a penalty in the 58th minute. Kostas Manolas put a goal into the back of the net in the 83rd minute, as Roma took the aggregate score to 4-4 and pulled off a victory on away goals to reach the semis.

Barcelona vs PSG, 2016-17

Wednesday’s major upset against PSG is the second time in the past three years the French club have been knocked out of the tournament despite taking a huge lead in the first leg. In the 2016/17 season, the French club took a 4-0 lead against Barcelona at home in the Round of 16. In the reverse fixture, PSG suffered a crushing 6-1 defeat. PSG, had an away goal in the match with Edinson Cavani putting one in the back of the net in the 62nd minute, meaning Barca had to score 6 goals to win the match. The Catalans were leading 3-1 till the 87th minute. Then, Neymar, who was still with Barcelona before his blockbuster move to Paris, scored twice (one of the goals came from the penalty spot) and Sergi Roberto scored the winning goal from a set piece in injury time as Barca progressed to the quarterfinals.

Deportivo La Coruna vs AC Milan, 2004-05

In the 2004/05 season, defending champions AC Milan were stunned by Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna in the quarterfinals. Entering the second leg at home, Deportivo were trailing 4-1. But the side scored three goals in the first 45 minutes, and then Fran added another in the 76th minute, as Deportivo registered a thrilling 5-4 win against the Italian giants.

Monaco vs Real Madrid, 2003-04

Real Madrid were stunned by French club Monaco in the second leg of 2003/04 Champions League quarter-final. The Spanish giants had a healthy 4-2 aggregate lead after the first leg. Within 35 minutes, Raul added another for Los Blancos, giving them a 5-2 aggregate lead and an away goal as well.

But Ludovic Giuly cancelled out the strike with a goal near the half time mark. Former Madrid man Fernando Morientes added another at the start of the second half. Guily scored the third for the French club in the 66th minute, as Monaco won on away goals, with the score reading 5-5 on aggregate.

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