Five classic Champions League finals ahead of Berlin battle
Ahead of a mouth-watering Champions League final between Barcelona and Juventus in Berlin, here are five classic final match-ups from Europe’s elite club competition.
Dortmund v Juventus 1997
In another Olympiastadion in Germany, where Juventus will aim to topple Barcelona (11/5 with Coral to do so in 90 minutes), the Old Lady were outgunned by Borussia Dortmund in a 3-1 Munich defeat, despite boasting the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Christian Vieri and Didier Deschamps.
Karl-Heinz Riedle managed to slot home a quick-fire first-half double, leaving the Serie A side with a mountain to climb in the second period. That uphill task was seemingly too tough to overcome, as the Black and Yellows rallied to victory, as Alessandro Del Piero’s goal after the hour was in vain, as Lars Ricken clinched the third strike to secure a famous win on home soil.
Manchester United v Bayern Munich 1999
Mario Basler gave the Germans an early lead after just six minutes with his low driven free-kick, which gave Peter Schmeichel no chance.
Then, in arguably the most dramatic ever ending to a European Cup final, super substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer popped up in injury time with the equaliser and winner respectively, completing an incredible comeback.
Liverpool v AC Milan 2005
Mission Impossible was accomplished in Istanbul as Liverpool completed one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history. Paolo Maldini began a Milan rout after just 50 seconds, before Hernan Crespo clinically dispatched a delightful double to send the Italian side into half-time with a 3-0 lead.
However, three goals from Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso in five minutes for the Reds saw Liverpool drag their opposition into a penalty shoot-out, where Jerzy Dudek became the hero.
Barcelona v Arsenal 2006
Despite seeing German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann be sent off after just 18 minutes, Sol Campbell gave the Gunners a deserved lead before half-time. Before a certain Lionel Messi began his football dominance, it was Ronaldinho and company who were terrorising the Arsenal defence.
Although, after the introduction of former Celtic striker Henrik Larsson, the Swedish striker completely changed proceedings, as Samuel Eto’o equalised, before Juliano Belletti pinched a late winner.
Barcelona will be hoping to make easier work of their latest final against Juventus and are 3/1 to win in 90 minutes with both teams scoring.
Chelsea v Bayern Munich 2012
Roberto Di Matteo’s Blues were massive underdogs against a supreme Bayern outfit, and they looked to be heading for victory when poacher Thomas Muller sent his side in front.
Although, inspirational frontman Didier Drogba equalised late on and then conceded a penalty, which Petr Cech then spectacularly saved. It was the African attacker who then stepped up again in the penalty shoot-out to give Chelsea their first ever Champions League success.