Football

Top five: Champions League goals 2011-12

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Ramires strikes against Barcelona. (©GettyImages)
Ramires strikes against Barcelona. (©GettyImages).

Chelsea's triumphant Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Saturday brings to an end another encapsulating campaign in Europe's elite club competition.

There were no shortage of shocks as last season's finalists Manchester United were dumped out at the group stages, as were leading clubs from Germany, Holland and Portugal, with Borussia Dortmund, Ajax and Porto all falling at the first hurdle.

Manchester City, in their debut campaign in the competition in its current format, also failed to progress beyond stage one, as they finished 3rd in Group A behind Munich and Napoli.

APOEL were the surprise package this year - the Cypriot side won their group that contained three recent Europa League or UEFA Cup winners in Zenit St Petersburg, Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk. After beating Lyon in the last-16, they finally met their match against Real Madrid in the quarter-finals, losing 8-2 on aggregate.

Meanwhile, competition holders Barcelona crashed out in the semi-finals at the expense of Chelsea, following the Premier League side's momentous effort in Camp Nou in the second leg, setting up this year's showpiece final at the home of the Bundesliga giants.

As the dust settles after the curtain came down on another memorable year, GiveMeFootball brings you five of the best Champions League goals of the season...


5. Cristiano Ronaldo: REAL MADRID v Apoel

Poised on the left hand corner of the box, the Portuguese winger curled a beautifully placed free-kick around a two-man wall, over the goalkeeper and into the far corner, leaving the APOEL goalkeeper helpless.

As remarkable as it was, the goal was just one of 10 scored by Ronaldo in this season's competition alone. An individually brilliant performance against Lyon in the group stage, and three goals over two legs against CSKA Moscow meant he was central to everything good about Madrid this year.


4. Mathieu Valbuena: Dortmund v MARSEILLE

With Marseille trailing 2-1 against Dortmund and needing a win with five minutes to go to ensure progression to the knock-out stages, Loic Remy draws the Ligue 1 side level, before Valbuena picks up the ball on the edge of the box, skillfully beats his man and unleashes an unstoppable finish into the top corner.

Didier Deschamps' team underperformed domestically this campaign, but enjoyed an impressive showing in the Champions League, making their way to the quarter-finals.


3. Hulk: PORTO v Shakhtar Donetsk

The most memorable part of Porto's Champions League campaign came from Brazilian striker Hulk's sensational 40-yard free-kick in the Portuguese club's 2-1 group stage victory over Shakhtar Donetsk.

His thunderbolt strike was reminiscent of Roberto Carlos' goal for his country against France in 1997, as the ball first curled way outside the post before turning ferociously back inside, much to the goalkeeper's dismay.


2. Andres Iniesta: BARCELONA v Viktoria Plzen

Described by Pep Guardiola as a "one off", the diminutive Spaniard's goal lit up an otherwise ordinary victory over Champions League minnows Viktoria Plzen during the group stages.

The short, fast, free-flowing football that Barcelona are renowned for started and ended with Iniesta, who, split the opponents' defence apart when he played two one-twos with Lionel Messi, before slotting past the stranded goalkeeper.


1. Ramires: Barcelona v CHELSEA

With Chelsea two goals and a man down in Camp Nou in the semi-final second leg against Barcelona, the Premier League side were staring down the barrel of a defeat, before the Brazilian changed the outcome of the game with a moment of magic just before the break.

On the counter attack, Ramires picked the ball up in his own half, before playing a neat one-two with Frank Lampard, whose perfectly weighted through ball was met by the midfielder on the edge of the box.

With a single touch he delicately chipped over the on-rushing Victor Valdes, and the ball crept in on the underside of the bar. A truly remarkable goal, sparking a truly remarkable turnaround!
 



Do you agree with our list? Add your favourite Champions League goal of 2011-12 below....

Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Ramires
UEFA Champions League
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