Liverpool, Barcelona, Manchester United and Roma are among the clubs to have pulled off the seemingly impossible in Europe’s premier cup competition

In recent years, the Champions League has seen an explosion in against-the-odds comebacks. Teams at the top level just don’t seem to know when they’re beaten anymore, as the likes of Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid have produced coupon-busting turnarounds their fans will never forget.

And so ahead of the 2022-23 quarter-final second legs, Chelsea and Bayern Munich supporters will be hoping that their teams can add their names to this illustrious list of miraculous results.

Le Messager Sport takes a look at some of the victories that can give those two sides hope ahead of their respective second legs.

Liverpool vs AC Milan (2005 Final) – This is widely regarded as the greatest Champions League comeback ever. Liverpool trailed 3-0 at halftime, but scored three goals in six minutes in the second half to level the game. They eventually won the match on penalties.

Some people dispute the Miracle of Istanbul’s place at number one. There have been comebacks from larger deficits, comebacks with the game won before a penalty shoot-out.

But this game is the comeback against which all other comebacks are measured.

The Turkish city was first settled some 2600 years ago, and is now home to more than 15 million people – but say the word ‘Istanbul’ to any football fan, and the first things they’ll think of are Xabi Alonso bundling home on the rebound, and Jerzy Dudek’s wobbly legs in the 2005 Champions League final.

AC Milan’s team that day reads like a roll-call of mid-2000s legends, and Paolo Maldini’s first-minute goal looked to set the tone. An exquisite double from Hernan Crespo killed the game off before half-time.

You already know the rest. Gerrard, Smicer, Alonso, all the way through to Shevchenko and Dudek.

A result that reignited the Reds’ love affair with Europe and ensured no Liverpool fan would ever accept that a game was lost before full-time again.

Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain (2017 Round of 16) – Barcelona trailed 4-0 after the first leg, but produced a stunning comeback in the second leg to win 6-1 and advance to the quarter-finals.

In 2017, Barcelona were on the verge of missing out on the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in a decade after a humbling 4-0 defeat in Paris.

It was a result that apparently signalled a changing of the guard – the nouveau riche putting one of the world’s grand old clubs to the sword, and signalling their intent on the European throne.

A comeback from 4-0 down had never been seen in the competition in 213 attempts, but Luis Suarez’ scrappy early opener got Camp Nou believing.

A comical Layvin Kurzawa own goal and Lionel Messi penalty either side of the break brought Barca right back into it, before Edinson Cavani thumped in a stunning away goal to leave the hosts needing three more.

Cavani and Angel Di Maria missed golden chances to end the contest, and were made to pay. Suarez and Messi had already stepped up, but truly this was Neymar’s night.

A stunning free-kick in the 88th minute, a penalty in the 91st, and a gorgeous floated pass from deep for Sergi Roberto to win it in the 95th. The historic ‘MSN’ meant Barca were never out of a game.

Manchester United vs Bayern Munich (1999 Final) – Manchester United trailed 1-0 going into injury time, but scored two late goals to win the match 2-1 and complete a historic treble.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer likes to talk about the 1999 final and with good reason.

In front of a crowd of 90,000 at Camp Nou, Mario Basler’s six-minute free-kick looked to have earned Bayern Munich their first title of the Champions League era, since their last win in 1976.

Bayern led for 84 of the 90 minutes of normal time, before United pulled off one of the all-time great final victories.

David Beckham’s corner wasn’t cleared, and Teddy Sheringham steered home from Ryan Giggs’ shot to deny the Germans victory.

Almost immediately, United won another corner. Again Beckham delivered, Sheringham nodded it down and Solskjaer arrived to lift it into the net.

There were just 101 seconds between the two goals. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side had lifted the FA Cup just four days previous, and their treble remains unmatched in English football.

Chelsea vs Napoli (2012 Round of 16) – Chelsea lost the first leg 3-1, but produced a stunning 4-1 victory in the second leg to advance to the quarter-finals.

Chelsea were in chaos when they were beaten 3-1 by Napoli in 2012.

Andre Villas-Boas, brought in as one of the best young coaching talents in the world, was floundering.

Down and out in the Champions League, the Blues sacked him and appointed fan favourite Roberto Di Matteo, whose only previous managerial experience was at MK Dons and West Brom.

Di Matteo transformed Chelsea, and flipped the tie on its head.

The Blues’ senior trio of Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard scored to take the game to extra-time following Gokhan Inler’s goal, before Branislav Ivanovic fired home from Drogba’s cross to win it in extra time.

Deportivo La Coruna vs AC Milan (2004 Quarter-finals) – Deportivo La Coruna trailed 4-1 after the first leg, but produced a stunning 4-0 victory in the second leg to advance to the semi-finals.

Playing against the European champions, Deportivo had already sprung one surprise as they went 1-0 up in the first leg in Milan back in 2004.

The Italian giants promptly put things right with a 4-1 win, and began to ready themselves for the semi-finals. After all, no side had ever come from three goals down to win a Champions League knockout tie.

Clearly, nobody had told Deportivo. They were level before half-time.

Walter Pandiani, Juan Carlos Valeron and Albert Luque scored as the Spaniards ran rings around AC Milan, with Fran winning it in the second half with a deflected effort off Cafu.

Rui Costa almost dug Milan out of their hole with a powerful strike from range late on, but Jose Molina pulled off a stunning save to preserve his side’s lead and seal their progress to the semis.

Deportivo coach Javier Irureta had prayed for a miracle and got one. Honouring a promise, he later made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in thanks.

Barcelona vs Chelsea (2000 Quarter-finals) – Barcelona lost the first leg 3-1, but produced a stunning 5-1 victory in the second leg to advance to the semi-finals.

AC Milan vs Barcelona (2013 Round of 16) – AC Milan lost the first leg 2-0, but produced a stunning 2-0 victory in the second leg to advance to the quarter-finals.

Ajax vs AC Milan (1995 Final) – Ajax trailed 1-0 at halftime, but scored three goals in the second half to win the match 1-3 and claim their fourth European Cup.

Liverpool vs Barcelona (2019 Semi-finals) – Liverpool lost the first leg 3-0, but produced a stunning 4-0 victory in the second leg to advance to the final.

Lionel Messi knew the job wasn’t done. With Barca 3-0 up at home in stoppage time, he collapsed to the turf in dismay when Ousmane Dembele lifted a weak finish into the arms of Alisson with the goal at his mercy.

This Barcelona team had a soft core, and its best player knew it. Even after a dominating personal performance and one of the most iconic free-kicks ever scored, Messi must surely have had a nagging doubt in his mind as he took to the Anfield turf for the second leg of the 2018-19 semi-final.

Divock Origi, Liverpool’s enigmatic man for the biggest moments, scored early to see Jurgen Klopp’s side leading at the break, but two more goals were needed.

“We score, Liverpool need FIVE – and we’re going to get at least one… agreed?” was the rallying call from Barca’s official Twitter account.

They were wrong. The sight of Georginio Wijnaldum trotting off the bench would become the stuff of legend for Liverpool fans as he levelled the scores with two goals in three minutes.

Barca were crumbling, Messi shackled, his team-mates wilting around him, and then Liverpool won a corner. Trent Alexander-Arnold, with a flash of genius, took it quickly, and Origi lifted it into the roof of the net.

Manchester United vs Juventus (1999 Semi-finals) – Manchester United trailed 2-0 after the first leg, but produced a stunning 3-2 victory in the second leg to advance to the final.

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