The UEFA Champions League sets the stage for some of football's most extraordinary and memorable matches. The competition has witnessed breathtaking comebacks, with underdogs defying the odds and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
Let's take a look at the top 10 Champions League comebacks that have left fans breathless and wanting more heart-stopping drama.
Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain (2016-17)
Regarded as one of the greatest comebacks in football history, Barcelona overcame a 4-0 deficit from the first leg to beat Paris Saint-Germain 6-1 in the return leg at Camp Nou. The match saw a Sergi Roberto stoppage-time goal that completed the astonishing turnaround and sent Barcelona to the quarter-finals.
“I will remember all my life that goal against PSG. We live for these kind of moments when we play football,” Roberto said after the match.
Barca fans get goosebumps thinking about the remarkable La Remontada to this day.
Liverpool vs. AC Milan (2004-05)
The 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul has forever etched itself into the memories of football fans. Trailing 3-0 at halftime, Liverpool staged a miraculous comeback, leveling the match at 3-3 in just six minutes during the second half. The game proceeded to penalties, and Liverpool triumphed 3-2, claiming their fifth European Cup.
“We were massive underdogs at the beginning of the competition and I'll put my hands up say and I didn't think we were going to go all the way,” said Steven Gerrard after the match.
“But, as you can see, we are never beaten. The manager told us to keep our chins up, to try and score early in the second half and give some respect for the fans. The first goal gave us a bit of belief. The supporters have saved up for weeks and months to come here. I am so happy to lift the cup for the fans.”
AS Roma vs. Barcelona (2017-18)
Roma staged one of the most stunning comebacks in Champions League history. They overcame a 4-1 deficit from the first leg and defeated Barcelona 3-0 in the return leg at the Stadio Olimpico. This victory propelled Roma into the semi-finals on away goals, marking a night that generations will remember: the “Romatada.”
Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich (1998-99)
In the 1999 Champions League final, Manchester United went 1-0 down against Bayern Munich, with time running out. However, in injury time, goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær turned the match on its head, securing a dramatic 2-1 victory and a historic treble for the English side.
Deportivo La Coruña vs. AC Milan (2003-04)
Deportivo La Coruña shocked the football world by overturning a 4-1 deficit from the first leg to beat AC Milan 4-0 in the second leg of their quarter-final clash. A Juan Carlos Valerón-inspired performance saw the Spanish side sensationally eliminate the defending champions.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Ajax (2018-19)
In the 2018-19 semi-final, Tottenham went 3-0 down on aggregate with just 45 minutes remaining in the second leg. A remarkable second-half hat-trick from Lucas Moura, including a last-gasp winner, saw Spurs go through on away goals and reach their first-ever Champions League final.
Chelsea vs. Napoli (2011-12)
Chelsea faced an uphill battle after losing 3-1 to Napoli in the first leg of their round-of-16 tie. However, the Blues roared back at Stamford Bridge with a 4-1 win, taking the tie to extra time and eventually winning 5-4 on aggregate. The London side went on to lift the trophy that season, defeating Bayern Munich in the final.
Manchester United vs. Paris Saint-Germain (2018-19)
Manchester United went 2-0 down after the first leg in Paris, but a stunning 3-1 victory at the Parc des Princes saw the Red Devils progress to the quarter-finals on away goals. The winning goal came from a controversial injury-time penalty converted by Marcus Rashford.
Juventus vs. Atletico Madrid (2018-19)
In the round-of-16 tie, Juventus faced an uphill task after losing 2-0 to Atletico Madrid in the first leg. However, Cristiano Ronaldo took matters into his own hands in the return leg, scoring a breathtaking hat-trick to lead Juventus to a 3-0 victory and a place in the quarter-finals.
Borussia Dortmund vs. Malaga (2012-13)
In the 2012-13 quarter-finals, Borussia Dortmund found themselves on the verge of elimination, trailing 2-1 in injury time of the second leg. In a dramatic turn of events, Marco Reus and Felipe Santana scored in the dying minutes to snatch a 3-2 victory, sending the German side through to the semi-finals.