History Awesome / UEFAChampionsLeague

10th Jun '18 4:01:27 AM Nick98
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* Liverpool in 2017/18. The underdog of the five English teams that had qualified (Manchester United had qualified by winning the Europa League), who despite their proud history in the competition, had only qualified for the Champions League once since the 2009/10 season, and hadn't got past the group stages since the 2008/9 season. They also made a fairly inauspicious start, having to come through qualifying, beating German team Hoffenheim, but then starting the group stage with draws against Sevilla and Spartak Moscow. They then finally clicked into gear against Maribor, who they promptly thrashed 7-0 and 3-0, home and away, gaining another hard-fought 3-3 draw against Sevilla, before crushing Spartak Moscow 7-0. Progressing to the Round of 16 as group winners, they faced Portuguese champions Porto, who hadn't lost at home in over a year. Liverpool promptly steam-rolled them 5-0 at the Estadio de Dragao, handing them their most punishing European defeat, before cruising through the return leg 0-0. Even at this point, despite vying with competition favourites PSG for the title of top scorers in the competition, they weren't fancied, especially after being drawn against English champions elect Manchester City, who'd only lost four games all season up to that point, and two of which had been because they'd sent out their reserve team for otherwise unimportant matches. The general expectation was that they would crush Liverpool, who for all that they had an attack feared throughout Europe, were infamous for a weak defence - after all, City had torn them to shreds earlier in the season, winning 5-0 at the Etihad. However, two facts had to be borne in mind: first, one of those four competitive defeats, one where they'd put out their actual full team, had also been to Liverpool, at Anfield. Second, Liverpool had a long history of being a pain in City's neck, with City not having won a match at Anfield since 2003. And so Liverpool promptly carved them up 3-0, preventing them from registering a shot on target for the first time in two years. Even still, though, most pundits, former players and managers, made noises about how City could easily turn over such a deficit and blow Liverpool away at the Etihad. Not so much. Liverpool controlled the match and won 2-1, ultimately winning 5-1 on aggregate. Finally, pundits started taking Liverpool seriously, as they reached the semi-finals, but even then, people doubted that they could get past Roma, who'd pulled off one of the Champions League's great comebacks against Barcelona. And yet, they did, racing into a 5-0 lead at Anfield, before being pegged back to 5-2 late on, and even though they ended up losing the return match 4-2, they still went through as 7-6 aggregate winners, to face 12 times champions Real Madrid. A blatant mismatch, as Liverpool were undergoing an injury crisis that meant that their only attacking reinforcements were Adam Lallana, an attacking midfielder who'd barely played 15 minutes since March thanks to injuries, and Dominic Solanke, a 20 year old striker who'd only just scored his first goal for Liverpool, while Real Madrid had the likes of Gareth Bale, formerly the most expensive player in the world and widely regarded as one of the best, to call on. Nevertheless, Liverpool took the fight to Madrid, and dominated the match until Madrid captain Sergio Ramos decided to practice a banned judo move on Mohammed Salah, Liverpool's star forward, and even then, were competitive until Ramos also managed to concuss the Liverpool goalkeeper, who went from 'solid as a rock' to immediately after conceding one of the most ridiculous goals in Champions League final history - a feat he repeated, towards the end of the match, which combined with a spectacular overhead kick from a substituted Bale, meant that an equaliser from Liverpool's Sadio Mane (who also hit the post) counted for little, with Madrid winning 3-1.

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* Liverpool in 2017/18. The underdog of the five English teams that had qualified (Manchester United had qualified by winning the Europa League), who despite their proud history in the competition, had only qualified for the Champions League once since the 2009/10 season, and hadn't got past the group stages since the 2008/9 season. They also made a fairly inauspicious start, having to come through qualifying, beating German team Hoffenheim, but then starting the group stage with draws against Sevilla and Spartak Moscow. They then finally clicked into gear against Maribor, who they promptly thrashed 7-0 and 3-0, home and away, gaining another hard-fought 3-3 draw against Sevilla, before crushing Spartak Moscow 7-0. Progressing to the Round of 16 as group winners, they faced Portuguese champions Porto, who hadn't lost at home in over a year. Liverpool promptly steam-rolled them 5-0 at the Estadio de Dragao, handing them their most punishing European defeat, before cruising through the return leg 0-0. Even at this point, despite vying with competition favourites PSG for the title of top scorers in the competition, they weren't fancied, especially after being drawn against English champions elect Manchester City, who'd only lost four games all season up to that point, and two of which had been because they'd sent out their reserve team for otherwise unimportant matches. The general expectation was that they would crush Liverpool, who for all that they had an attack feared throughout Europe, were infamous for a weak defence - after all, City had torn them to shreds earlier in the season, winning 5-0 at the Etihad. However, two facts had to be borne in mind: first, one of those four competitive defeats, one where they'd put out their actual full team, had also been to Liverpool, at Anfield. Second, Liverpool had a long history of being a pain in City's neck, with City not having won a match at Anfield since 2003. And so Liverpool promptly carved them up 3-0, preventing them from registering a shot on target for the first time in two years. Even still, though, most pundits, former players and managers, made noises about how City could easily turn over such a deficit and blow Liverpool away at the Etihad. Not so much. Liverpool controlled the match and won 2-1, ultimately winning 5-1 on aggregate. Finally, pundits started taking Liverpool seriously, as they reached the semi-finals, but even then, people doubted that they could get past Roma, who'd pulled off one of the Champions League's great comebacks against Barcelona. And yet, they did, racing into a 5-0 lead at Anfield, before being pegged back to 5-2 late on, and even though they ended up losing the return match 4-2, they still went through as 7-6 aggregate winners, to face 12 times champions Real Madrid. A blatant mismatch, as Liverpool were undergoing an injury crisis that meant that their only attacking reinforcements were Adam Lallana, an attacking midfielder who'd barely played 15 minutes since March thanks to injuries, and Dominic Solanke, a 20 year old striker who'd only just scored his first goal for Liverpool, while Real Madrid had the likes of former Spurs player Gareth Bale, formerly the most expensive player in the world and widely regarded as one of the best, to call on. Nevertheless, Liverpool took the fight to Madrid, and dominated the match until Madrid captain Sergio Ramos decided to practice a banned judo move on Mohammed Mohamed Salah, Liverpool's star forward, and even then, were competitive until Ramos also managed to concuss - albeit involuntarily - the Liverpool goalkeeper, who went from 'solid as a rock' to immediately after conceding one of the most ridiculous goals in Champions League final history - a feat he repeated, towards the end of the match, which combined with a spectacular overhead kick from a substituted Bale, meant that an equaliser from Liverpool's Sadio Mane (who also hit the post) counted for little, with Madrid winning 3-1.3-1 and conquering their third consecutive Champions League.
7th Jun '18 8:46:58 AM DarkPhoenix94
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* Liverpool in 2017/18. The underdog of the five English teams that had qualified (Manchester United had qualified by winning the Europa League), who despite their proud history in the competition, had only qualified for the Champions League once since the 2009/10 season, and hadn't got past the group stages since the 2008/9 season. They also made a fairly inauspicious start, having to come through qualifying, beating German team Hoffenheim, but then starting the group stage with draws against Sevilla and Spartak Moscow. They then finally clicked into gear against Maribor, who they promptly thrashed 7-0 and 3-0, home and away, gaining another hard-fought 3-3 draw against Sevilla, before crushing Spartak Moscow 7-0. Progressing to the Round of 16 as group winners, they faced Portuguese champions Porto, who hadn't lost at home in over a year. Liverpool promptly steam-rolled them 5-0 at the Estadio de Dragao, handing them their most punishing European defeat, before cruising through the return leg 0-0. Even at this point, despite vying with competition favourites PSG for the title of top scorers in the competition, they weren't fancied, especially after being drawn against English champions elect Manchester City, who'd only lost four games all season up to that point, and two of which had been because they'd sent out their reserve team for otherwise unimportant matches. The general expectation was that they would crush Liverpool, who for all that they had an attack feared throughout Europe, were infamous for a weak defence - after all, City had torn them to shreds earlier in the season, winning 5-0 at the Etihad. However, two facts had to be borne in mind: first, one of those four competitive defeats, one where they'd put out their actual full team, had also been to Liverpool, at Anfield. Second, Liverpool had a long history of being a pain in City's neck, with City not having won a match at Anfield since 2003. And so Liverpool promptly carved them up 3-0, preventing them from registering a shot on target for the first time in two years. Even still, though, most pundits, former players and managers, made noises about how City could easily turn over such a deficit and blow Liverpool away at the Etihad. Not so much. Liverpool controlled the match and won 2-1, ultimately winning 5-1 on aggregate. Finally, pundits started taking Liverpool seriously, as they reached the semi-finals, but even then, people doubted that they could get past Roma, who'd pulled off one of the Champions League's great comebacks against Barcelona. And yet, they did, racing into a 5-0 lead at Anfield, before being pegged back to 5-2 late on, and even though they ended up losing the return match 4-2, they still went through as 7-6 aggregate winners, to face 12 times champions Real Madrid. A blatant mismatch, as Liverpool were undergoing an injury crisis that meant that their only attacking reinforcements were Adam Lallana, an attacking midfielder who'd barely played 15 minutes since March thanks to injuries, and Dominic Solanke, a 20 year old striker who'd only just scored his first goal for Liverpool, while Real Madrid had the likes of Gareth Bale, formerly the most expensive player in the world and widely regarded as one of the best, to call on. Nevertheless, Liverpool took the fight to Madrid, and dominated the match until Madrid captain Sergio Ramos decided to practice a banned judo move on Mohammed Salah, Liverpool's star forward, and even then, were competitive until Ramos also managed to concuss the Liverpool goalkeeper, who went from 'solid as a rock' to immediately after conceding one of the most ridiculous goals in Champions League final history - a feat he repeated, towards the end of the match, which combined with a spectacular overhead kick from a substituted Bale, meant that an equaliser from Liverpool's Sadio Mane (who also hit the post) counted for little, with Madrid winning 3-1.
8th Apr '18 4:33:47 AM Nick98
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* Celtic's win over Inter Milan in the 1967 final (the first European Cup win for a British club) was considered not just a CMOA for Celtic, but a victory for football (with Inter Milan's manager even saying that), with Celtic's attacking power overcoming Inter Milan's Catenaccio (a more defensive system) and overturning a 1-0 deficit to win the trophy. Also a CMOA for Scottish football; all eleven Celtic players and manager Jock Stein were born within 30 miles of Glasgow (in fact, with the exception of Ayrshire native Bobby Lennox, they were all from what would be considered the greater Glasgow area). That same year, Celtic also won the Scottish League, the Scottish League Cup, the Scottish Cup, and the Glasgow Cup, a grand slam unparalleled in British football.[[note]] Liverpool came close in 1984 by winning the League, the League Cup, and the European Cup, but were knocked out of the FA Cup in the fourth round by Brighton and Hove Albion; Manchester United came similarly close in 1999 by winning the League, the FA Cup, and the Champions' League, but were knocked out of the League Cup quarter-final by eventual winners Tottenham Hotspur.[[/note]]

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* Celtic's win over Inter Milan in the 1967 final (the first European Cup win for a British club) was considered not just a CMOA for Celtic, but a victory for football (with Inter Milan's manager even saying that), with Celtic's attacking power overcoming Inter Milan's Catenaccio [[StoneWall Catenaccio]] (a more defensive system) and overturning a 1-0 deficit to win the trophy. Also a CMOA for Scottish football; all eleven Celtic players and manager Jock Stein were born within 30 miles of Glasgow (in fact, with the exception of Ayrshire native Bobby Lennox, they were all from what would be considered the greater Glasgow area). That same year, Celtic also won the Scottish League, the Scottish League Cup, the Scottish Cup, and the Glasgow Cup, a grand slam unparalleled in British football.[[note]] Liverpool came close in 1984 by winning the League, the League Cup, and the European Cup, but were knocked out of the FA Cup in the fourth round by Brighton and Hove Albion; Manchester United came similarly close in 1999 by winning the League, the FA Cup, and the Champions' League, but were knocked out of the League Cup quarter-final by eventual winners Tottenham Hotspur.[[/note]]
8th Apr '18 4:03:34 AM Nick98
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* Tottenham Hotspur in the 2017-18 season. They were drawn in the traditional 'Group of Death' (there's always one that is, somehow, stocked with at least three extremely good teams), including traditional Dark Horses Borussia Dortmund who're known for having one of the most feared front lines in Europe, and 12 times champions Real Madrid, who had just become the first team to win the Champions League two years in a row, and hadn't lost a group match in 5 years. Tottenham, meanwhile, were the classic 'nearly' team and while considered to be a young team on the up, they were thought to be not ''quite'' there yet. The previous season, they'd limped to third place in a much kinder group, before slumping out of the Europa League, the next level down of European competition. Cue a 3-1 demolition of Dortmund, a casual 3-0 defeat of presumed group cannon fodder Apoel Nicosia, and then the crunch match at the Bernabeu. Everyone expected Real Madrid to put Spurs back in their place. As it turned out... not so much. Spurs controlled the game for long periods and while it ended 1-1, of the two teams, they were the ones who squandered the chance to win it. The return match, at Wembley, came a scant couple of weeks later. Surely normality would be restored and Real would run riot? Again, not so much. Spurs ran rings around them, racing into a 3-0 lead (one achieved, to add insult to injury, ''without'' talismanic striker Harry Kane scoring), and could easily have made it 4 before Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a consolation goal in the last ten minutes.

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* Tottenham Hotspur in the 2017-18 season. They were drawn in the traditional 'Group of Death' (there's always one that is, somehow, stocked with at least three extremely good teams), including traditional Dark Horses Borussia Dortmund who're known for having one of the most feared front lines in Europe, and 12 times champions Real Madrid, who had just become the first team to win the Champions League two years in a row, and hadn't lost a group match in 5 years. Tottenham, meanwhile, were the classic 'nearly' team and while considered to be a young team on the up, they were thought to be not ''quite'' there yet. The previous season, they'd limped to third place in a much kinder group, before slumping out of the Europa League, the next level down of European competition. Cue a 3-1 demolition of Dortmund, a casual 3-0 defeat of presumed group cannon fodder Apoel Nicosia, and then the crunch match at the Bernabeu. Everyone expected Real Madrid to put Spurs back in their place. As it turned out... not so much. Spurs controlled the game for long periods and while it ended 1-1, of the two teams, they were the ones who squandered the chance to win it. The return match, at Wembley, came a scant couple of weeks later. Surely normality would be restored and Real would run riot? Again, not so much. Spurs ran rings around them, racing into a 3-0 lead (one achieved, to add insult to injury, ''without'' talismanic striker Harry Kane scoring), and could easily have made it 4 before Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a consolation goal in the last ten minutes. They almost managed to continue their giant-killing feat by holding Juventus to a 2-2 comeback draw in the first leg of the round of 16, but unfortunately were eliminated after losing 2-1 against the Italian behemoth in the second leg.
10th Nov '17 6:53:06 AM DarkPhoenix94
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* Tottenham Hotspur in the 2017-18 season. They were drawn in the traditional 'Group of Death' (there's always one that is, somehow, stocked with at least three extremely good teams), including traditional Dark Horses Borussia Dortmund who're known for having one of the most feared front lines in Europe, and 12 times champions Real Madrid, who had just become the first team to win the Champions League two years in a row, and hadn't lost a group match in 5 years. Tottenham, meanwhile, were the classic 'nearly' team and while considered to be a young team on the up, they were thought to be not ''quite'' there yet. The previous season, they'd limped to third place in a much kinder group, before slumping out of the Europa League, the next level down of European competition. Cue a 3-1 demolition of Dortmund, a casual 3-0 defeat of presumed group cannon fodder Apoel Nicosia, and then the crunch match at the Bernabeu. Everyone expected Real Madrid to put Spurs back in their place. As it turned out... not so much. Spurs controlled the game for long periods and while it ended 1-1, of the two teams, they were the ones who squandered the chance to win it. The return match, at Wembley, came a scant couple of weeks later. Surely normality would be restored and Real would run riot? Again, not so much. Spurs ran rings around them, racing into a 3-0 lead (one achieved, to add insult to injury, ''without'' talismanic striker Harry Kane scoring), and could easily have made it 4 before Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a consolation goal in the last ten minutes.
15th Oct '17 10:26:02 AM mlsmithca
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* In 1978, Nottingham Forest won the English First Division[[note]]what the top flight was called before 1992[[/note]] and therefore represented England in the European Cup (as it was then). In their first appearance, they went on to win the trophy, therefore being allowed to take part the following season... when they went on to successfully defend their title. Their 1978 title was the first and only time they had won the league title - making them the only team to have won the European Cup/Champions League more times than their domestic league.



* The 2002 final between Bayer Leverkusen and Real Madrid. Raúl scored an impressive goal at minute 8 by taking advantage of a lapse in concentration by Bayer's back. Lúcio managed to tie five minutes later. First half is about to finish, when Roberto Carlos kicks the ball high into the sky. Zidane sees the ball, readies himself... and manages to volley the ball on the corner of the goal with an impressive kick. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pde_K5le1bQ See it here.]]
** In the last minutes, Real Madrid's goalkeeper, César Sánchez got injured and had to be subbed by Iker Casillas, who had barely played during the season. In those last minutes, Casillas saved several clear goal opportunities by Leverkusen as the German team assaulted him. This, and other later games, led to his nickname, "The Saint".

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* The 2002 final between Bayer Leverkusen and Real Madrid. Raúl scored an impressive goal at minute 8 by taking advantage of a lapse in concentration by Bayer's back. Lúcio managed to tie five minutes later. First half is about to finish, when Roberto Carlos kicks the ball high into the sky. Zidane sees the ball, readies himself... and manages to volley the ball on the corner of the goal with an impressive kick. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pde_K5le1bQ See it here.]]
**
]] In the last minutes, Real Madrid's goalkeeper, César Sánchez got injured and had to be subbed by Iker Casillas, who had barely played during the season. In those last minutes, Casillas saved several clear goal opportunities by Leverkusen as the German team assaulted him. This, and other later games, led to his nickname, "The Saint".



* After ''12'' years of frustrations and embarrasing defeats in the Champions League,[[note]]for six years in a row, they always were eliminated in the round of 16, and in other three they succumbed in semifinals[[/note]] Real Madrid finally won their long-coveted 10th title, and did so after having defeated '''three powerful German clubs''' in a row (including Bayern Munich, which had been historically one of the most difficult rivals for Real Madrid). The runner-up, Atletico de Madrid, had a fantastic campaign as well, as they reached the finals by defeating high-tier opponents like Porto, Milan, Barcelona and Chelsea, to reach what was their first final in ''40 years''.

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* After ''12'' years of frustrations and embarrasing defeats in the Champions League,[[note]]for six years in a row, they always were eliminated in the round of 16, and in other three they succumbed in semifinals[[/note]] Real Madrid finally won their long-coveted 10th title, and did so after having defeated '''three powerful German clubs''' in a row (including Bayern Munich, which had been historically one of the most difficult rivals for Real Madrid). The runner-up, Atletico de Madrid, had a fantastic campaign as well, as they reached the finals by defeating high-tier opponents like Porto, Milan, Barcelona and Chelsea, to reach what was their first final in ''40 years''.



* The 2017 Round of 16 two-leg affair between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain turned out to be one. In the first match at Parc des Princes, PSG trampled the Catalans 4-0. It's all said and done, and the next game will only be a formality, right? '''WRONG.''' The following month, Barça welcomes their opponents at Camp Nou and proceeds to rack a 3-1 win, two minutes from the final whistle, too little too late... Oh, look, Neymar scored, it's 4-1 now... Still not enough in aggregate. The referee gives five minutes of added time, and then... ''Penalty for Barcelona at the first minute of stoppages!'' Neymar scores and it's 5-1... That draws level on aggregate, but then there's away goal rule so that's still no good. The final whistle's ever closer... ''Foul for Barça at the final minute of stoppages, and it's near the box!'' Sergi Roberto steps up, hits it and... '''6-1!!! The exact score the Azulgrana needed to beat PSG to the quarter finals!!!''' That's right, in the dying moments of the return match Barcelona managed to ''completely overturn a near-impossible disadvantage.''
* In 1978, Nottingham Forest won the First Division[[note]]what the top flight in English football was called before 1992[[/note]] and therefore represented them in the European Cup (as it was then). In their first appearance, they went on to win the trophy, therefore being allowed to take part the following season... when they went on to successfully defend their title. Their 1978 title was the first and only time they had won the league title - making them the only team to have won the European Cup/Champions League more times than their domestic league.

to:

* The 2017 Round of 16 two-leg affair between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain turned out to be one. In the first match at Parc des Princes, PSG trampled the Catalans 4-0. It's all said and done, and the next game will only be a formality, right? '''WRONG.'''Wrong.''' The following month, Barça welcomes their opponents at Camp Nou and proceeds to rack a 3-1 win, two minutes from the final whistle, too little too late... Oh, look, Neymar scored, it's 4-1 now... Still not enough in aggregate. The referee gives five minutes of added time, and then... ''Penalty for Barcelona at the first minute of stoppages!'' Neymar scores and it's 5-1... That draws level on aggregate, but then there's behind on away goal rule so that's still no good.goals. The final whistle's ever closer... ''Foul for Barça at the final minute of stoppages, and it's near the box!'' Sergi Roberto steps up, hits it and... '''6-1!!! '''6-1!''' The exact score the Azulgrana needed to beat PSG to the quarter finals!!!''' finals. That's right, in the dying moments of the return match Barcelona managed to ''completely overturn a near-impossible disadvantage.''
* In 1978, Nottingham Forest won the First Division[[note]]what the top flight in English football was called before 1992[[/note]] and therefore represented them in the European Cup (as it was then). In their first appearance, they went on to win the trophy, therefore being allowed to take part the following season... when they went on to successfully defend their title. Their 1978 title was the first and only time they had won the league title - making them the only team to have won the European Cup/Champions League more times than their domestic league.
''
4th Jun '17 5:26:36 AM DarcyFoster
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* In 1978, Nottingham Forest won the First Division[[note]]what the top flight in English football was called before 1992[[/note]] and therefore represented them in the European Cup (as it was then). In their first appearance, they went on to win the trophy, therefore being allowed to take part the following season... when they went on to successfully defend their title. Their 1978 title was the first and only time they had won the league title - making them the only team to have won the European Cup/Champions League more times than their domestic league.
5th Apr '17 8:38:23 AM AndyLA
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* Ludogorets, a Bulgarian minnow club, had awesome moments of their own in 2014. In the playoff round against Steaua Bucuresti, goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov was sent off in extra time, forcing defender Cosmin Moti to stand in net for the penalty shootout. He saved two shots in front of the home crowd to send Ludogorets to the group stages for the first time in their history. The Cinderella story continued in group play, when they beat Basel 1-0 and put real scares in giants Real Madrid and Liverpool.

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* Ludogorets, a Bulgarian minnow club, had awesome moments of their own in 2014. In the playoff round against Romanians Steaua Bucuresti, goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov was sent off in extra time, forcing defender Cosmin Moti to stand in net for the penalty shootout. He saved two shots in front of the home crowd to send Ludogorets to the group stages for the first time in their history. The Cinderella story continued in group play, when they beat Basel 1-0 and put real scares in giants Real Madrid and Liverpool.
12th Mar '17 6:50:03 PM AndyLA
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* The 2017 Round of 16 two-leg affair between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain turned out to be one. In the first match at Parc des Princes, PSG trampled the Catalans 4-0. It's all said and done, and the next game will only be a formality, right? '''WRONG.''' The following month, Barça welcomes their opponents at Camp Nou and proceeds to rack a 3-1 win, two minutes from the final whistle, too little too late... Oh, look, Neymar scored, it's 4-1 now... Still not enough in aggregate. The referee gives five minutes of added time, and then... ''Penalty for Barcelona at the first minute of stoppages!'' Neymar scores and it's 5-1... That draws level on aggregate, but then there's away goal rule so that's still no good. The final whistle's ever closer... ''Foul for Barça at the final minute of stoppages, and it's near the box!'' Sergi Roberto steps up, hits it and... '''6-1!!! The exact score the Azulgrana needed to beat PSG to the quarter finals!!!''' That's right, in the dying moments of the return match Barcelona managed to ''completely overturn a near-impossible disadvantage.''
1st Mar '17 8:15:38 AM AhBengI
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* The 2005 final, AC Milan vs. Liverpool. AC Milan had won the tournament two years previously and entered the final overwhelming favourites with a side that featured seven players who had been named in the previous year's FIFA 100; Liverpool, who had no FIFA 100 players on their roster, had not won the tournament since 1984 and as matters stood, would not qualify for the next season's competition, having finished fifth in the Premiership. To make matters worse, Steven Gerrard, their captain and best player, was on the point of being bought by Chelsea. AC Milan took the lead in the first minute of the match and completely outplayed Liverpool to finish the first half with a 3-0 lead. Eight minutes into the second half, Liverpool managed to score three goals in six minutes (including a rebound from a missed penalty) and held their ground through extra time (something which included an astonishing double save from Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko by Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, which was later voted the greatest Champions League moment of all time) to force a penalty shootout, in which Dudek saved two penalties and a third missed the goalmouth to give Liverpool a 3-2 win. UEFA gave them special dispensation to play in the Champions League the next season (albeit by coming through qualifying) and Gerrard signed a new contract at Liverpool. The match has since become known by Liverpool fans as "The Miracle of Istanbul".
** To add to the awesome factor, the 2005 win was Liverpool's fifth, making them the first (and last) English club to be given the trophy permanently.[[note]] From 1969-2009, UEFA rules stated that a club was allowed to keep the trophy permanently (a new one would be struck for the following year) if they won either five times total or three years running. The other clubs to have won the trophy permanently are Real Madrid (1960), Ajax Amsterdam (1973), Bayern Munich (1976), and AC Milan (1994).[[/note]] Moreover, Liverpool had very nearly failed to progress past the group stage in the competition, needing to beat Olympiacos Piraeus of Greece by two clear goals in their final group match and only scoring the deciding goal in the last ten minutes.

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* The 2005 final, AC Milan vs. Liverpool. AC Milan had won the tournament two years previously and entered the final overwhelming favourites with a side that featured seven players who had been named in the previous year's FIFA 100; Liverpool, who had no FIFA 100 players on their roster, had not won the tournament since 1984 and as matters stood, would not qualify for the next season's competition, having finished fifth in the Premiership.Premier League. To make matters worse, Steven Gerrard, their captain and best player, was on the point of being bought by Chelsea. AC Milan took the lead in the first minute of the match and completely outplayed Liverpool to finish the first half with a 3-0 lead. Eight minutes into the second half, Liverpool managed to score three goals in six minutes (including a rebound from a missed saved penalty) and held their ground through extra time (something which included an astonishing double save from Milan striker Andriy Shevchenko by Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, which was later voted the greatest Champions League moment of all time) to force a penalty shootout, in which Dudek saved two penalties and a third missed the goalmouth to give Liverpool a 3-2 win.win on penalties. UEFA gave them special dispensation to play in the Champions League the next season (albeit by coming through qualifying) and Gerrard signed a new contract at Liverpool. The match has since become known by Liverpool fans as "The Miracle of Istanbul".
** To add to the awesome factor, the 2005 win was Liverpool's fifth, making them the first (and last) English club to be given the trophy permanently.[[note]] From 1969-2009, UEFA rules stated that a club was allowed to keep the trophy permanently (a new one would be struck for the following year) if they won either five times total or three years running. Since 2009 however, the trophy remains with UEFA at all times, with the winner receiving a replica to keep. The other clubs to have won the trophy permanently are Real Madrid (1960), Ajax Amsterdam (1973), Bayern Munich (1976), and AC Milan (1994).[[/note]] Moreover, Liverpool had very nearly failed to progress past the group stage in the competition, needing to beat Olympiacos Piraeus of Greece by two clear goals in their final group match and only scoring the deciding goal in the last ten minutes.86th minute.
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