5 Greatest Champions League Comebacks: Liverpool, Messi & More

Let’s go back to 15 February, Barcelona lose 4-0 to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the round of 16 clash in Champions League.

Luis Enrique announces that he will be resigning as the coach of Barcelona at the end of the season, a few days after the match.

To make a comeback, the five-time Champions League winners, have to target nothing short of 5-0.

And come 9 March, the dream was starting to fade, when they were losing 5-3 on aggregate until the 88th minute, but then cometh the hour, cometh the man.

Neymar finds the back of the net in the 88th minute, and then converts a penalty in the 91st minute. But it’s still not enough.

Then Sergi Roberto finds the winner in the 95th minute, and seals the deal for his team. Barcelona became the first team in Champions League history to overturn a 0-4 deficit.

As we celebrate Barcelona’s comeback, here’s a look at the other great comebacks that took place in Champions League in the previous seasons.

1. Liverpool vs AC Milan, Final, 2005

Liverpool were down and out of the Champions League final in 2005, when they let AC Milan score three goals by the 44th minute of the match at Istanbul.

Paolo Maldini scored in the first minute of the match, and then Hernan Crespo found the back of the net twice in the 39th and 44th minute.

But Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool team weren’t going to give up.

The captain started the comeback with a fantastic header in the 54th minute, Vladimír Smicer pulled off a 25-yard shot two minutes later and in the 59th minute, Xabi Alonso missed a penalty but scored a rebound goal.

Liverpool were back and they took the match to penalties, wherein they won it 3-2 and clinched the Champions League trophy.

2. Manchester United vs Bayern Munich, Final, 1999

At the 90th minute of the Champions League final in 1999, Bayern Munich was just waiting to play out the three-minute stoppage time before celebrating a Champions Trophy victory, since they were leading 1-0 since the sixth minute of the match.

However, Teddy Sheringham managed to score a goal in the 91st minute, and then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer converted a corner in the last minute of the game.

Manchester United were winning for just a few seconds in the game, but they were the ones who walked out victorious.

3. Chelsea vs Napoli, Round of Sixteen, 2012

Frank Lampard in action during the Champions League round of 16 match. (Photo: Reuters)

Chelsea went down 1-3 to Napoli in the first leg of the round of 16 match. The then Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas was sacked and Roberto Di Matteo was appointed as his replacement.

In the second leg at home, the big guns Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard notched goals and took the game to extra time, and in the 105th minute, Branislav Ivanovic found the all important winner and took the Blues home with 4-1 victory.

Thereafter, the Londoners went on to win the Champions League!

4. Barcelona vs AC Milan, Round of Sixteen, 2013

AC Milan beat Barcelona in the first leg match 2-0 and the statistics had suggested that AC Milan would knockout Barcelona in the next leg.

No team had overturned a 0-2 deficit without help from an away goal.

But Lionel Messi has always defied statistics during his career, and this time was no different. The striker made his intentions clear when he scored a goal in the fifth minute of the second leg match.

And just before half-time, Messi made it 2-0 in favour of Barcelona.

David Villa found the back of the net in the second half, and Jordi Alba’s strike in injury time sealed the deal for Barcelona.

Barca clinched the match 4-0.

5. Manchester United vs Olympiacos, Round of Sixteen, 2014

Olympiacos stamped their authority in the round of 16 Champions League clash against Manchester United in 2014, when they beat them 2-0 in the first leg in their home ground in Greece.

But when they met at Old Trafford, Manchester United made things right, only through one player.

Robin van Persie was under pressure to deliver, and he chose the right match to answer his critics.

He converted a penalty in the 25th minute, and then netted one just before half-time. Thereafter, he struck a goal through a free-kick in the 51st minute, and took his team to the quarterfinals.