Let’s check out more of the most amazing upsets in UEFA Champions League (UCL) history!
FC Barcelona 2-3 CSKA Moscow – 2nd Round (1992)
Barcelona were beaten by Russian outfit CSKA Moscow in a shock result at the Camp Nou in November 1992. At the time, the Catalans were managed by Johan Cruyff and the Dutchman had a formidable line-up of Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup, Pep Guardiola, and Txiki Begiristain, amongst others!
The Catalans were held to a 1-1 draw in Moscow in the first leg. With the second leg to be played at Camp Nou, Barcelona must have felt confident. However, CSKA Moscow had other ideas. The hosts started strongly and led by 2-1 going into the break. But a blistering second-half from the Muscovites catapulted them into the lead, as the game ended 3-2 in the visitors’ favour. The result meant an early exit for Barcelona.
FC Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain – Quarter-finals (2017)
This is the most controversial and infamous comeback in Champions League history! The match was between two evenly matched sides, but it was an upset due to the overwhelming odds against the Catalans.
Barcelona were completely outplayed in the first leg by PSG, as the Parisians won 4-0 at home. The Catalans knew that it would be an uphill battle to stay in contention. The hosts started strongly with Luis Suarez breaching the PSG defence early on. This was followed by an own goal from PSG’s Layvin Kurzawa. The impossible started looking possible when Lionel Messi pulled another one back from the spot after half-time.
Edinson Cavani’s away goal did make things more difficult for the hosts, but Neymar came up with a stunning free-kick in the 88th minute and followed it up with a penalty to make it 5-1. It looked like it was a little too late for Barcelona, but Sergio Roberto’s injury-time volley completed the comeback for the Catalans!
Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan – Final (2005) – Liverpool won 3-2 on penalties
‘The Miracle of Istanbul’ is considered an upset because of the circumstances that Liverpool were in after the first half. Considering it was a final against a top-notch side, this increases the magnitude of the comeback!
It was a fiery start from AC Milan, as Paolo Maldini broke the deadlock for the Rossoneri in the first minute of the match. It was followed by a first-half brace for Hernan Crespo, as the Reds were 3-0 down at the break. However, Rafael Benítez’s men did not lose hope and came back strongly in the second half.
Hope was restored via a Steven Gerrard header early in the second half and that goal gave them the belief to push for more. Vladimír Šmicer pulled another back with a stunning long-range effort, followed by an equaliser from Xabi Alonso, who missed his spot-kick but tucked in the rebound. The Reds forced extra time and penalties and eventually came out as winners from 3-0 down in the first half!
To be continued…