Ranking the 13 best Champions League comebacks ever

Chelsea FC v AFC Ajax: Group H - UEFA Champions League

Chelsea’s 4-4 draw against Ajax will be remembered as a classic Champions League comeback.

The Blues found themselves 4-1 down after 55 minutes and appeared to be dead and buried by this point.

However, three goals in 11 minutes completely turned the game on its head as Chelsea levelled the scores.

If only Cesar Azpilicueta’s goal not been disallowed by VAR shortly afterwards. It would have rivalled the greatest Champions League comebacks ever.

With this latest dramatic comeback fresh in the mind, we thought we’d rank the best Champions League comebacks in order. Scroll down to see if you agree…

13. Juventus 3-0 Atletico Madrid (2019)

(Juventus 2-0 down from first leg)

Juventus were 2-0 down from the Round of 16 first leg against Atletico Madrid but advanced to the quarter-finals following an excellent performance in Turin, inspired by the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese superstar scored all three goals to send the Old Lady through to the next round, completing his treble with an 86th-minute penalty to further enhance his status as one of the game’s all-time greats.

12. Barcelona 5-1 Chelsea (2000)

(Barcelona 3-1 down from first leg)

Chelsea had one foot in the 1999/00 Champions League semi-finals after beating Barcelona 3-0 at Stamford Bridge thanks to a Gianfranco Zola free-kick and a brace from Tore Andre Flo.

But the Blues were outclassed at Camp Nou and lost after extra-time following goals from Rivaldo and Patrick Kluivert.

Patrick Kluivert

11. Chelsea 4-1 Napoli (2012)

(Chelsea 3-1 down from first leg)

Chelsea were given no chance of turning around their 3-1 first-leg defeat against Napoli with the team in turmoil under Andre Villas-Boas.

But it all changed for Chelsea when Roberto di Matteo replaced Villas-Boas. Branislav Ivanovic’s extra-time winner sent the west London outfit into the 2011/12 Champions League quarter-finals.

And Di Matteo’s men were crowned European champions for the first time months later.

10. Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax (2019)

(Ajax 2-1 down from the first leg)

Real Madrid just don’t lose 4-1 at the Bernabeu, except they did in March 2019 against Ajax.

Los Blancos led 2-1 from the first leg in Amsterdam but capitulated at their home stadium, with their opponents producing a masterclass in the Spanish capital.

Goals from Hakim Ziyech, David Neres, Dusan Tadic and Lasse Schone condemned Madrid to their biggest ever European defeat.

9. Juventus 2-3 Manchester United (1999)

(Man Utd 2-0 down after 11 minutes)

Manchester United reached their first European Cup final since 1968 by beating Juventus 3-2 in an unforgettable 1998/99 semi-final second leg in Turin.

Inspired by Roy Keane, who produced a career-best performance despite knowing he would miss the final after picking up a yellow card, United were forced to come back from 2-0 down following a Filippo Inzaghi brace inside the opening 11 minutes.

Keane’s towering header pulled a vital goal back for the Red Devils, before Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole scored to send United through to the final.

8. PSG 1-3 Manchester United (2019)

(Man Utd 2-0 down from the first leg)

Manchester United needed a miracle to qualify for the 2018/19 Champions League quarter-finals after losing 2-0 to PSG at Old Trafford in the first leg.

And against all the odds, they somehow pulled off the seemingly impossible in Paris.

Romelu Lukaku broke the deadlock in the second minute to give United hope, before Juan Bernat appeared to kill the tie off with a goal 10 minutes later.

Lukaku then scored again after half-hour before Marcus Rashford sent United through with virtually the last kick of the game from the penalty spot.

It may turn out to be the highlight of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s managerial spell with United.

7. Deportivo 4-0 AC Milan (2004)

(Deportivo 4-1 down from the first leg)

Deportivo sent reigning European champions AC Milan crashing out of the 2003/04 Champions League after overturning a three-goal first-leg deficit.

Three first-half goals from Walter Pandiani, Juan Carlos Valeron and Albert Luque stunned the Rossoneri. Substitute Gonzalez Fran then completed one of the most remarkable comebacks by scoring Depor’s fourth of the night in the 75th minute.

Deportivo La Coruna v AC Milan

6. AS Roma 3-0 Barcelona (2018)

(AS Roma down 4-1 from the first leg)

After losing 4-1 to Barcelona at Camp Nou, nobody gave AS Roma a chance in the second leg of the 2017/18 Champions League quarter-finals.

But the Italian side left Lionel Messi and co. shellshocked by winning 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico, with the all-important third goal scored by defender Kostas Manolas.

5. Ajax 2-3 Tottenham (2019)

(Tottenham 2-0 down in 54th minute and 1-0 down from first leg)

One of the greatest moments in Tottenham’s recent history.

Losing 2-0 at the end of the first half, having already been trailing 1-0 at the start of the night, it seemed implausible that Spurs would reach the Champions League final at around 8:30pm on May 8, 2019.

But a truly remarkable hat-trick from Lucas Moura, who struck his winner in the sixth minute of stoppage time, completed one of the most breathtaking comebacks in football history.

4. Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona (2019)

(Liverpool down 3-0 from the first leg)

Liverpool were outclassed against Barcelona at Camp Nou, losing 3-0 to the Lionel Messi-inspired Catalans, and the idea of them keeping a clean sheet at Anfield felt incredibly fanciful.

But they did precisely that, scoring four goals in the process to send shockwaves across the world.

Two goals each from Divock Origi and substitute Gini Wijnaldum - and *that* Trent Alexander-Arnold corner - sent the Reds through to the 2019 Champions League final, where they went on to beat Spurs.

3. Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich (1999)

(Man Utd losing 1-0 in stoppage time)

Manchester United’s most famous comeback.

The Red Devils became European champions for only the second time in their history thanks to a quick-fire double in stoppage time from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Bayern Munich had battered United for much of the match, but United pulled it out the bag right at the death to leave their opponents utterly crestfallen at the final whistle.

2. Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan (2005)

(Liverpool 3-0 down at half-time, win 3-2 on penalties)

Regarded by many as the greatest comeback in football history, Liverpool’s dramatic victory over AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final will forever be legendary.

Milan were utterly ruthless in the first half, taking a 3-0 lead thanks to Paulo Maldini’s early opener and a Hernan Crespo brace.

But three goals in six frantic minutes from Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso made it 3-3.

Jerzy Dudek’s heroics during extra-time and the penalty shoot-out helped Liverpool win their fifth European Cup in the most remarkable fashion.

1. Barcelona 6-1 PSG (2017)

(Barcelona 4-0 down from the first leg)

And in first place, it’s Barcelona’s epic 6-1 win over PSG at Camp Nou in March 2017.

When Edinson Cavani scored an away goal in the 62nd minute to make it Barcelona 3-1 PSG, the hosts required three more goals to advance to the quarter-finals.

It wasn’t until the 88th minute that Barça scored their fourth of the night through Neymar, who then bagged again minutes later from the penalty spot.

The Brazilian, who produced the best performance of his entire career, then chipped the ball to Sergi Roberto, whose winning goal sent the entire stadium into raptures in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

It was an utterly extraordinary night and, for our money, the greatest comeback ever seen in the Champions League.

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