This week has produced two of the best Champions League ties of all time. Liverpool remarkably overturned a three-goal deficit against Barcelona on Tuesday with a 4-0 win to book their place in the final. Two goals from both Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum made sure it was a night never to be forgotten. Jurgen Klopp’s side looked set to be taking on Ajax in the final after they raced into a three-goal aggregate lead against Tottenham on Wednesday, however, Mauricio Pochettino’s side produced the unthinkable in the second half. Three goals from Lucas Moura, including a last-minute winner, ensured there will be an all English final for the first time in 11 years. After catching our breath following a remarkable week of football, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the best ever Champions League semi-final ties.
1999: Juventus 3-4 Manchester United
Manchester United claimed a spot in the European Cup final for the first tie in 31 years after a dramatic tie against Juventus. The Red Devils drew the first leg 1-1 at Old Trafford and found themselves 2-0 down in Turin early on. However, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side staged a remarkable comeback thanks to goals from Roy Keane, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole. We all know what happened in the final…
2005: Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea
Anfield played host to another memorable Champions League semi-final second leg back in 2005. After a 0-0 stalemate at Stamford Bridge, Luis Garcia’s ‘ghost goal’ proved to be the difference between the two sides and earn Liverpool a spot in a European Cup final for the first time in 20 years. The final against AC Milan in Istanbul wasn’t bad either.
2007: AC Milan 5-3 Manchester United
Another memorable Champions League semi-final came back in 2007. Old Trafford produced a first leg classic which saw Manchester United claim a 3-2 win thanks to a late Wayne Rooney effort. However, a dominant second leg performance by the Italian side saw Milan win 3-0 and 5-3 on aggerate with Brazilian Kaka Milan’s standout performer.
2008: Manchester United 1-0 Barcelona
Despite not being flooded with goals, the Champions League semi-final between Manchester United and Barcelona in 2008 provided plenty of drama. Paul Scholes’ long-range effort in the second leg proved to be the difference between the sides in 180 minutes of football.
2009: Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona
A controversial classic. After a first leg stalemate, the Blues appeared to have done enough to win thanks to Michael Essien’s first-half rocket. However, Andres Iniesta’s spectacular strike deep into stoppage time produced chaotic scenes on the Barca bench. The game will also be remembered for referee Tom Ovrebo’s rejection of multiple Chelsea penalty appeals, with Didier Drogba losing his cool at the final whistle.
2010: Barcelona 2-3 Inter Milan
Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan got the better of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona in this semi-final epic back in 2010. The Italian side produced a phenomenal attacking first leg performance with a 3-1 win before a superb defensive masterclass saw them over the line in the Nou Camp. Inter also played more than an hour a man short in the second leg after Thiago Motta’s red card.
2011: Barcelona 3-1 Real Madrid
Lionel Messi’s first-leg display against Real Madrid proved to be the difference between the two sides. The Argentine’s second will go down in history after he ran 30 yards before slotting past Iker Casillas.
2012: Barcelona 2-3 Chelsea
An all-time Champions League classic resulted in Chelsea progressing to the final in 2012. The Blues won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge thanks to a Didier Drogba strike, however, Roberto Di Matteo’s were in serious trouble after goals from Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta put Barca ahead either side of John Terry’s red card. Ramires put Chelsea back in control before the game was sealed by Fernando Torres late on.
2013: Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Malaga
Borussia Dortmund snatched a dramatic Champions League semi-final win over Malaga thanks to two goals in injury time. Jurgen Klopp’s side appeared to be heading out with Malaga 2-1 up in the second leg, however, goals from Marco Reus and Felipe Santana produced chaotic scenes at Signal Iduna Park.
2014: Chelsea 1-3 Atletico Madrid
Chelsea were shocked by Atletico Madrid after the La Liga side produced a stunning counter-attacking display in the 2014 semi-final second leg. After a 0-0 first leg stalemate, the Blues were on course to make the final for the third time in seven seasons thanks to Fernando Torres’ first-half strike, however, goals from Adrian Lopez, Diego Costa and Arda Turan silenced Stamford Bridge.
2018: Real Madrid 4-3 Bayern Munich
Real Madrid were on course for a routine road to the final last year after a 2-1 win away at Bayern Munich. However, the second leg at the Bernabeu was a thriller. The game was tied at 2-2 and Bayern had several chances late on to dramatically progress which they failed to convert.
2019: Liverpool 4-3 Barcelona
Still fresh in the minds, Liverpool became the first side ever to overturn a three-goal first leg deficit in a Champions League semi-final. A weakened Liverpool side struck three times in the second half after Divock Origi’s early effort to stun Barcelona at Anfield.
2019: Ajax 3-3 Tottenham
Just 24 hours after Liverpool’s dramatic performance, Tottenham produced a phenomenal comeback of their own. Spurs appeared to be heading out of the competition after Ajax went 2-0 up on the night and 3-0 up on aggregate in Amsterdam, however, three goals from Lucas Moura sparked wild scenes in the away end and ensured two Premier League sides would meet in the final.