Clubs & Competitions

Top 10 Champions League Comebacks


10 – Werder Bremen 5-3 Anderlecht

In the group stage of 1993 many expected the German giants, Werder Bremen, to breeze past minnows Anderlecht. They had another thing coming, as the Belgians rushed into a 3-0 lead after 30 minutes. The score stayed like this up until the 66th minute, giving Werder hope of a draw at best many thought.

A further 4 goals in 17 minutes completed one of the best comebacks in group stage history. The final two goals didn’t come till the dying minutes, as you could imagine this caused pandemonium among the manager, the legendary Otto Rehhagel, and fans.


Liverpool 3-1 Olympiakos

Although only a 1 goal deficit, this turned out to be a crucial game in Liverpool’s famous charge to Istanbul. A group game that they had to win by two clear goals was a task made even harder when Olympiakos took an early 1-0 win at Anfield. Sinama Pongolle and Neil Mellor both added goals to cut the margin to just one goal needed for Liverpool.

With under 5 minutes to play, the ball fell loose 25 yards out and who else, Steven Gerrard stepped up to the plate to rifle a half volley into the corner. The Kop, Gerrard and his peers showed pure elation and the road to Istanbul was under way.


Barcelona 4-0 Milan

Shock of the round of 16 was Milan beating Barcelona 2-0 at the San Siro and many believed that Barcelona not even managing a goal would mean to overturn the result would be too difficult. Many forgot Barcelona’s ability to dominate teams at the Camp Nou. Barcelona became the first side ever to come back from a 2-0 defeat in a first leg.

Two goals in each half, including a double from Lionel Messi secured the famous victory. They hammered Milan with 65% possession and 14 attempts to Milan’s 6. The result also preserved Barcelona’s fantastic record of 20 games unbeaten at home in the Champions League.


Deportivo 4-3 PSG

PSG controlled the first 55 minutes of this encounter. Taking a 3-0 lead with a deflection and two superbly taken goals from Laurent Leroy, it seemed as if PSG were destined for the quarter finals. Deportivo decided to introduce Walter Pandiani to the game, this was the game changer.

He scored a hat trick and Diego Tristan added another as Deportivo scored 4 goals in 40 minutes to secure a famous comeback that saw them reach the quarter finals of the competition, the result knocked PSG out.


Chelsea 4-1 Napoli

There could be a few of Chelseas games from their 2011 Champions League success, but Napoli proved to be the important turning point for the West Londoners. A 3-1 loss in Naples spelled the end of Andre Vilas Boas reign as Chelsea manager in the Champions League. Roberto Di Matteo replaced him.

They were fairly comfortable throughout the game, with the occasional scare. Gokhan Inler netting in the 55th minute had a few hearts in mouths. But Branislav Ivanovic scored a header in the second half of injury time to secure a stunning comeback for the blues.


Deportivo 4-0 Milan

Milan, the holders of the competition in 2003, beat Depo 4-1 in the first leg at the San Siro. A routine second leg was expected from Milan who would attempt to shut the game down and reach the semi finals. It didn’t go to plan as Deportivo came out firing from the start. An early goal from you guessed it, Walter Pandiani was followed by two more goals before half time.

It seemed inevitable now that Deportivo would go onto win the game and they added insult to injury for Milan when they added a 4th to book their place in the semi final where they would meet Jose Mourinho’s Porto.


Monaco 3-1 Real Madrid

This was the other quarter final in 2004 and it saw an almost equally impressive comeback. Real Madrid hit 4 past Monaco in the first leg and although they got two away goals many expected the European Superclub to brush off the highflying French side. Raul got Madrid off to the perfect start in the 34th minute and it all seemed to inevitable for Monaco.

Guily did add a goal for Monaco just before half time to have something to hold onto. Morientes, who was on loan from Madrid, then added a goal, a bitter sweet feeling for him no doubt. Guily then added his second and Monaco managed to see out the rest of the game and secure one of the best comebacks and biggest shocks of the Champions League that year.


Juventus 2-3 Man Utd

Considered by the majority of Utd fans as Roy Keanes finest performance in a Man Utd shirt. A 1-1 draw at Old Trafford certainly meant that Juventus were going into the second leg as favourites and their chances improved further when Inzaghi scored a brace to put the Italians 3-1 up on aggregate and sailing through.

Roy Keane was actually booked, meaning he would miss the final and this could have been the catalyst for his performance.His header as the turning point in the match, he continued to boss the midfield and the deadly duo of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke sealed the incredible comeback. Sir Alex Ferguson gave his thoughts on Keane’s performance after the game “The minute he was booked and out of the final he seemed to redouble his efforts to get the team there. It was the most emphatic display of selflessness I have seen on a football field.”


Man Utd 2-1 Bayern Munich

After the dramatic comeback in Turin, Utd booked their place in the final in Barcelona against a very strong, well organised Bayern Munich side. Man Utd knew if they could lift the Champions League it would complete a stunning Treble. Mario Basler gave Bayern Munich the lead early on in the game, they dominated the game with the woodwork United’s only saviour. United forced a corner in injury time and what followed will be remembered by most.

Ryan Giggs shot was poked home by the fox in the box Teddy Sheringham sending United fans into raptures, hope was alive as they knew extra time was the minimum they could expect. Just over a minute later United forced another corner, Sheringham flick on header was met by Solskjear who was able to lift the ball into the roof of the net and give United their first European cup in over 30 years as well as an unbelievable treble. It is to date the only time an English Club have won all three trophies in one season.


AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool (Liverpool win 3-2 Penalties)

Without question the greatest comeback in Champions League history and possibly the greatest in any league, cup or International competition. Milan were favourites and this point was hit home when they completely outplayed Liverpool for 45 minutes, the quickest goal in Champions League final from Maldini followed by a brace from Crespo sent Milan well on their way as the rightful favourites pre game.

Liverpool made a real game of it and kept fighing and goals from Steven Gerrard, Vladimír Šmicer and Xabi Alonso levelled the game 15 minutes into the second half, resulting in a 3-3 draw that lasted up until 90 minutes. Milan had multiple chances in extra time, notably Andrei Shevchenko who missed from 6 yards out with Dudek making an incredible save. He was also the hero in the penalties and Liverpool won 3-2 to complete the finest comeback ever seen in the Champions League.

Barney Whitehall

Barney is an avid football fan, tired of searching the internet for original football related content. When he’s not writing top 10 lists you can find him on Twitter.

One Coment

  1. 6. Chelsea v Napoli

    Chelsea’s champions league success was in 2012, not 2011.
    Ivanovic scored with his right foot, not a header.

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