Ranking 10 best Champions League comebacks of all time
- The dust has settled after a euphoric knockout stage. Let us take a look at the ten best comebacks in the history of Champions League.
An enthralling run Champions League games have ended, and two contenders remain for the prestigious silverware in the form of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. Several remarkable performances have taken place in the 2018/19 edition of the European tournament, with teams fighting for qualification until the final whistle. Such a display of indomitable spirit from the contestants has made CL special this year.
The drama commenced in the round-of-16 ties of AFC Ajax versus Real Madrid and Manchester United against Paris Saint-Germain. Red Devils mounted an incredible comeback away from home against the Ligue 1 giants, nullifying a two-goal deficit incurred in the first leg. Whereas, the Dutch outfit blew away the defending champions at the Bernabeu.
We have witnessed many surprising results in the UEFA Champions League, and keeping those instances in our mind, let us explore some of the historic comebacks in the tournament.
#10 Juventus vs Atletico Madrid, Round of 16- 2018/19
First Leg: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Juventus (Gimenez 78', Godin 83')
Second Leg: Juventus 3-0 Atletico Madrid (Ronaldo 27' 48' 86')
Juventus qualified for the quarter-finals with an aggregate 3-2 score.
Atletico Madrid targeted the set-piece frailties of Juventus and secured a vital two-goal advantage via Jose Maria Gimenez and Diego Godin. Los Rojiblancos' robust performance was an epitome of Diego Simone's philosophy.
Juve faced a difficult job to overturn the deficit against the formidable defence of Atleti. Their hopes of a comeback hinged on the Champions League colossus, Cristiano Ronaldo. He didn't disappoint and bagged a terrific hattrick against the Spanish outfit.
Cristiano's two leaping headers and a clinical penalty completed the recovery for Serie A victors and took his Champions League goals-count to 126.
The Old Lady capsized the initial leg's trail for the first time since 2006 and Ronaldo's single-handed effort made it even more special.
#9 Chelsea vs Napoli, Round of 16- 2011/12
First Leg: Napoli 3 -1 Chelsea (Lavezzi 39' 65', Cavani 45+2'; Mata 27')
Second Leg: Chelsea 4-1 Napoli (Drogba 29', Terry 47', Lampard 75', Ivanovic 105'; Inler 55')
Chelsea advanced with a final score of 5-4.
Chelsea suffered a 3-1 defeat against Napoli at San Paulo Stadium and their dismaying season under Andre Villas-Boas made the prospect of a comeback unlikely.
This defeat was the final nail in the coffin for Andre's disastrous Chelsea tenure and lost his job before the return leg at Stamford Bridge.
Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea's interim manager, fuelled the squad with desire, and his cohesive team produced a stirring recovery against the Gli Azzurri.
Chelsea's legendary marksman, Didier Drogba initiated their scoring spree at 29'. John Terry scored the second goal from Frank Lampard's corner-kick.
Gokhan Inler earned an away-goal which propelled Napoli ahead in the tie. The contest produced another twist as Lampard converted a spot kick in the 75th minute to force extra-time.
Branislav Ivanovic scored the winning goal in overtime to dodge the elimination, and a remarkable journey began for Chelsea en route their maiden Champions League title.