Five Champions League comebacks to chill choke-prone Bayern Munich
When Bayern Munich clinched the Bundesliga with 1-0 win against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday celebrations were muted, the Champions League is the trophy that has haunted them for for years. Jupp Heynckes’ charges have qualified for the knockout stages in all but one of the last eight campaigns, reaching the final in 2010 and 2012, yet they’ve not lifted the trophy since 2001.
In the last round Barcelona became just the fifth side in the history of the tournament to turnover a first leg deficit of two goals or more when they hammered Milan 4-0 at Camp Nou. Barca were also the first of the two-down-comeback gang to turnover their first leg loss without the benefit of an away goal, something which Juventus will aim to emulate tomorrow night at Delle Alpi.
Deportivo La Coruna’s comeback from a 4-1 San Siro hammering at the hands of Milan, defies belief and remains the greatest comeback in terms of goals-needed in Champions League history. So life affirming was the 4-0 home victory in the Riazor that their coach Javier Irureta completed the pilgrim’s trail to Santiago De Compestella having prayed to God for victory in the tie.
Fernando Morientes was on loan from Real Madrid at Monaco when the principality outfit drew Los Merengues in the quarter final stage of the 2003 competition. Monaco took a two-goal lead at Santiago Bernabeu before their hosts came out for the second half and blasted them out of the water with four goals. Didier Deschamps men even shipped the first in the replay, but came back to win the second leg 3-1 with a second goal of the tie from Mr Morientes.
Chelsea, Munchen’s conquerors in last year’s final, have been on both sides of glorious Champions League comebacks. The Blues tasted despair as they allowed Barcelona to overturn a 3-1 deficit in extra time back in 1999/2000, but atoned for that slip up more than a decade later when turning over a 3-1 first leg defeat in Naples to sneak past their Italian visitors in extra time at Stamford Bridge en route to lifting the European Cup last season.
All the spectacular comebacks above have one thing in common, that the lazarus-teams played the second leg in front of their own fans, just as Juventus, 7/4 to win and 9/2 to win to nil against the German rivals, will do tomorrow evening.