What are the greatest Champions League matches since the turn of the century?
Champions League, where all the best teams across Europe compete to be crowned the Champions Of Europe. Real Madrid have won the title the most number of times, with an outstanding 13 titles. Current champions Liverpool have won it 6 times. Champions League is one of the most prestigious and toughest titles to win. Every season the Champions League is the main attraction for every football fan, where the giants of Europe do battle to be crowned the best club in the world.
Along the years we have seen some great teams play in Champions League and some outstanding matches along the way. From unbelievable comebacks to a full run over the opposition. It is a tournament where anything can happen, controversies take place, rivals are made and some great football is played. Let us look into some of the best Champions League matches since the 2000s.
Liverpool vs Milan (2004-05, Champions League Final)
Often referred to as The Miracle Of Istanbul, is by far the best Champions League match and might be among the best football matches ever played to this day. A match worthy of a final, a treat for everyone as they saw one the greatest comebacks in a Champions League Final.
The Liverpool side, full of talent and strong tactically went against a Milan side who were one the best sides in world football at the time. Filled with one the best players, Milan were a tipped to win the final. The first half ended with Milan in the lead with 3 goals to 0, Liverpool were being humiliated.
Then the magic of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ happened and the madness began. Within 6 minutes – Liverpool were level. That wasn’t the end, Shevchenko was denied spectacularly by Dudek. Jamie Carragher’s cramp started a war on the field. No-one could believe what they were witnessing.
The match went into penalties, it wasn’t Milan’s day as they missed their first 2 penalties. Dudek saved Shevchenko’s penalty to win Liverpool the Champions League and crown them as the Champions Of Europe. It remains one of the best matches in the history of Champions League of all time.
Barcelona vs PSG (2016-17)
Another comeback but this time in Round of 16. Barcelona managed to make history with this comeback and made it happen at Camp Nou. What a night in Barcelona it was. PSG won the first leg 4-0, leaving Barcelona almost no chance. The greatest comeback in history of Champions League had to be made and if any team could do it, it was Barcelona. Camp Nou was packed and in full support of their players. Within 50 mins of the game Barcelona were 3-0 up. Then Cavani scored for PSG, hammering a nail in the hearts of the Barcelona supporters.
Barcelona now needed 3 more goals to go through the next round. The front three of Messi, Suarez and Neymar started their work. Only 8 minutes were left for Barcelona to get 3 goals. In 5 minutes, Barcelona scored 3 goals and the last one coming from Sergi Roberto in the last minute. PSG players and staff could not believe what happened. Barcelona players, coaching staff and fans were going crazy in Camp Nou. Emotions everywhere and the celebrations were well deserved.
Monaco vs Real Madrid (2003-04)
Fernando Morientes, the hero for Monaco on the night. On loan at Monaco from – Real Madrid. A Madrid side consisting of players like Zidane, Raul, Ronaldo and other Galacticos, were 5-2 up on aggregate at half time. Then the player they had sent to their opposition lead his team to an unbelievable comeback.
Morientes assisted Giuly to give some hope to the French side. Shortly after he scored a header that gave them some real belief. Morientes went on to score another one for the French side, eliminating his parent club. Morientes was not shy to hide how happy he was. Real Madrid would not have seen this coming.
Ajax vs Tottenham (2018-19)
The most recent one on this list. Tottenham faced Ajax in a semi-final which could have gone either way. Ajax were full of young, talented players who had progressed by eliminating the reigning champions, Real Madrid. Ajax were having their best tournament. Spurs on the other hand had beaten Manchester City to reach the semi-finals. Ajax won the first leg in England by 1-0. In the return leg they took an early advantage, making it 2-0 on aggregate. Then Lucas Moura produced a truly magical performance.
Lucas Moura scored two quick goals in the second half, shifting the tie towards the London side. Late in the stoppage time, Moura completed his hat-trick sending Tottenham into their first ever final. The young Ajax side were left devastated in Amsterdam. Their hopes to reach the final were taken away by one player, Lucas Moura.
Dortmund vs Malaga (2012-13)
A quarter-final opponent in Malaga was a gift for Dortmund. An ideal opponent in Malaga, Dortmund could see themselves in semi-finals of the Champions League. The first leg, in Spain, ended in a goalless draw.
As the second leg commenced, Joaquin gave the lead to Malaga but Lewandowski equalized just before first the half ended. The second half was end-to-end stuff, and Malaga scored another goal in the 83rd minute. With the away goal advantage, Dortmund needed 2 goals to reach the semi-finals.
Marco Reus scored the 2nd goal for Dortmund late in the normal time but still one more goal was needed. Santana, late into stoppage time scored the winner for the German side. Malaga were not happy as four Dortmund players were offside in Santana’s goal and thought it was a harsh decision.
There have been many great comebacks and matches in Champions League, all the games cannot be listed so they have been mentioned here:
- Barcelona vs Liverpool (2018-19)
- Chelsea vs Barcelona (2008-09)
- Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid (2013-14)
- Barcelona vs Manchester United (2010-11)
These were few matches that stood out from the rest since the turn of the century in the Champions League. The competition will no doubt continue to provide football fans with exciting matches and upsets year to year.
We hope you enjoyed the article ‘Best Champions League Matches of the 2000’s.’ Which matches do you think should be added to the list or which should be removed? Let us know!
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