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It's A Goal! 5 Times UEFA Underdogs Fought Against All Odds & Proved Victorious

ET Bureau|
Meet The Champions
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Meet The Champions

The Liverpool-Barcelona match left football fans gasping in disbelief as the Reds defied all odds to win the two-leg tie. Here are a few instances from the UEFA Champions League (UCL) where the underdog clawed back from seemingly unassailable leads.

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Liverpool VS Barcelona (2018-19)
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Liverpool VS Barcelona (2018-19)

With Barcelona claiming a 3-0 aggregate lead on the back of a Lionel Messi blitz at the Nou Camp, Liverpool were faced with the prospect of outdoing the Catalans’ goal scoring exploits while keeping a clean sheet, a daunting prospect, given that forwards Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino were ruled out with injury. Divock Origi, who was drafted into the side for Salah, found the net in the seventh minute, but Barcelona held out till the break. Gini Wijnaldum scored twice in the space of 122 seconds to level the tie. In the 80th minute, Liverpool’s 20-year-old right back Trent Alexander Arnold, previously a ball boy at Anfi eld, launched an early corner that was met by Origi, capping an unlikely victory.

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Manchester United VS Bayern Munich (1998-99)
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Manchester United VS Bayern Munich (1998-99)

A minute is a long time in football, and a couple, an eternity. United fell behind to a low free-kick by Mario Basler in the 1999 fi nal. The strike, which rolled into the bottom-right corner of the goal, seemed enough to give Bayern their fi rst UCL title in 23 years. However, United teams under Sir Alex Ferguson had the proclivity of leaving their best for last. A couple of inspired substitutions in the dying stages of the match saw the entry of Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solkjaer, now the manager of the club. The former diverted Ryan Giggs’ shot into the bottom corner to level the tie in the 91st minute, and in a matter of seconds, the latter poked in a corner from David Beckham. United completed a historic treble that season at the expense of the Bavarian giants.

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Roma VS Barcelona (2017-18)
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Roma VS Barcelona (2017-18)

A comedy of errors from the Italians saw Barcelona take a four-goal lead in the fi rst leg. Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique scored for the home side, whose advantage was compounded by own goals from Daniele de Rossi and Kostas Manolas. Edin Dzeko bagged a late consolation goal for Roma in the 80th minute. The Bosnian striker picked up from where he left off in the fi rst leg, scoring in the sixth minute of the return fi xture. Barcelona’s capitulation was complete when Manolas atoned for his error in the fi rst leg by scoring with a looping header in the 83rd minute, with Roma winning on the away goals rule.

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Liverpool VS AC Milan (2004-05)
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Liverpool VS AC Milan (2004-05)

Liverpool got off to a nightmare start as Milan skipper Paolo Maldini netted in the fi rst minute. A quick-fi re brace from Hernan Crespo gave the Italians a three-goal cushion heading into the break at the Atatürk Stadium. Liverpool’s skipper Steven Gerard grabbed one back after play resumed, guiding a powerful header into the roof of the net. In the space of six minutes, the tie turned on its head, with Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso also getting on the scoresheet. The match went to penalties after the two sides were inseparable in regulation time. Liverpool’s Polish keeper Jerzy Dudek rose to the occasion, denying Andrea Pirlo and Andriy Shevchenko from six yards out, giving Liverpool victory in a game that has been immortalised as the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’.

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