Last night’s match between Chelsea and Liverpool (4-4) was exceptionally intense and full of twists and turns. While the Reds were close to achieving the feat of qualifying after losing at home (1-3), this game is now one of the most memorable games in the history of the Champions League.
Indeed, The Guardian has made a ranking of the ten encounters that have been the most spectacular. Although the 2005 final between Liverpool and AC Milan won the Palme, the 1999 final between Bayern Munich and Manchester United was forgotten.
- 2005: AC Milan – Liverpool 3-3 (the final)
Led 3-0 at halftime by the Rossoneri, the Reds finally managed to win the game on shots on goal after achieving the feat of raising all three goals. Probably inspired by the “We can win” launched by Steven Gerrard as he started the second period, Smicer, Xabi Alonso and their captain offered their coach, Rafa Benitez the best of gifts. Liverpool’s fifth Champions League and the second European trophy for the Spaniard after the UEFA Cup won in 2004 with Valencia.
- 1999: Juventus-Manchester United 2-3 (½final return)
Before taking on Bayern Munich in the final at Camp Nou, the Red Devils had to fight to win the Stadio Delle Alpi. Quickly led 2-0 (Del Piero, Inzaghi), Sir Alex Ferguson’s men were able to count on Roy Keane, but mostly on Dwight Yorke to equalize and finally take the lead. A development that was only the beginning of an unforgettable final.
- 2004: Deportivo La Coruña – AC Milan 4-0 (¼ finals)
Hugged at San Siro (4-1), the Galicians subjected the Milanese to one of the worst humiliations in their European history. In the first 43 minutes of the game, Walter Pandiani, Juan Carlos Valeron and Albert Luque put their team back together. Before Gonzalez Fran completes the Spanish triumph.
- 2005: Chelsea-FC Barcelona 4-2 (1/8 final return)
Beaten at Camp Nou (2-1), the Chelsea Blues will blow up Ronaldinho’s Barça in ten minutes. Thanks to goals from Eidur Gudjohnsen, Frank Lampard and Damien Duff, José Mourinho’s protégés proved that the London team was not just a machine to defend. If Ronnie’s double gave the Catalans a chance to think they were out of trouble, John Terry’s 15 minutes to go killed off the Blaugrana’s hopes of victory, which were to catch up the following year.
- 2009: Chelsea-Liverpool 4-4 (¼final return)
The two ten-minute goals of Fabio Aurelio and Xabi Alonso gave the impression that Liverpool would repeat the feat of 2005. Unfortunately for the Reds, Guus Hiddink’s powerful speech at halftime put the Blues back in the game. But in this crazy game, Dirk Kuyt’s head to give the lead to his team (3-4) within ten minutes of the end upset the game before Frank Lampard put an end to the hopes of the opposing fans believing in the miracle.
- 2000: Valencia-Lazio Rome 5-2 (¼final go)
At the time, Valencia was untouchable in Mestalla, and the Lazio learned it at its expense. Before going to challenge Real Madrid’s Merengues in the final at the stade de France, the Valencians had no problems getting rid of their Italian counterparts in these quarterfinals. It has to be said that it all came down to the first leg. A triplet by Gerard López and goals by Miguel Ángel Angulo and Claudio Lopez ensured a return leg without fear.
- 1999 : Dynamo Kyiv – Bayern Munich 3-3 (½ final)
With players such as Shevchenko and Kaladze still playing, the Dynamo thought it would make the German champion waver after leading 3-1 in the second period. But Steffan Effenberg and Carsten Jancker react at the end of the game to get the draw and the advantage of having scored three goals away.
- 2003 : Manchester United – Real Madrid 4-3 (¼ finals)
Winners of the first leg (3-1) at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Madrid team offered an impressive comeback. At the top of his form, Ronaldo marked this encounter with a triplet of anthology that earned him a standing ovation from Old Trafford. Van Nistelrooy and Beckham (twice), Well helped by a goal against his Helguera camp, however, saved the Red Devils ‘ honor.
- 1994 : AC Milan – FC Barcelona 4-0 (final)
There was no match between Capello’s Milan and Van Gaal’s Barça. Stirred despite the presence of players such as Ronald Koeman, Hristo Stoichkov and Romario. A double from Massaro, a goal from Desailly and a phenomenal lob from Savicevic have put it all together. This match was also the occasion for Marcel Desailly to enter the legend as he was the first player to win the Champions League twice in a row with two different clubs (OM, Milan).
- 2001 : Deportivo La Coruna – Paris Saint-Germain 4-3 (pool phase)
Replacing Nicolas Anelka at the last minute, Laurent Leroy thought he had made the perfect match by scoring a double to allow PSG to lead 3-0 at the Riazor. But the hardest part is yet to come. A triple by Walter Pandiani and a goal by Diego Tristan allowed Depor to make one of the most resounding comebacks of the Champions League. In Paris, we always remember.