Manchester United’s exit from the Champions League to Real Madrid and Arsenal being on the verge of an exit at Bayern Munich means a miracle in needed for the Premier League to avoid having no teams in the quarter-final stage for the first time since 1996 – GMF have found some miraculous happenings.
Sir Alex Ferguson was so furious at the decision to send of Nani he couldn’t even face the press following the 2-1 defeat.
It meant Real Madrid went through 3-2 on aggregate thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo scoring against his former club.
Arsene Wenger witnessed his side getting schooled at Emirates Stadium in the first leg against the Bundesliga leaders and the 3-1 defeat they were handed left little hope for progression.
Arsenal need some inspiration from somewhere if they are to be the first team to avoid defeat in the Allianz Arena in Europe this season when they travel there next Wednesday.
Bayern have scored 12 goals in their three Champions League home ties and the Gunners defending this season is likely to have their fans fretting over what may happen.
All is not lost for Wenger’s men, however, as there are examples of clubs overturning first-leg deficits against all the odds in Europe.
Here are five of the most dramatic:
Fulham v Juventus, 09/10
Roy Hodgson’s side looked to be going out in meek fashion when David Trezeguet added to the 3-1 lead from the first leg in Turin.
However, momentum from Bobby Zamora’s equaliser was enhanced by the sending off of Fabio Cannavaro.
Zoltan Gera struck twice before a sublime Clint Dempsey chip inside the last ten minutes sealed the 4-1 victory and sent Craven Cottage wild at the prospect of a quarter-final.
Deportivo la Coruña v AC Milan, 03/04
Nights like this in the Riazor are a distant memory for Depor fans as the club are now struggling to void relegation in La Liga.
Milan travelled to Spain firmly in control of the tie after strolling to a 4-1 victory in San Siro but complacency led to their demise.
Walter Pandiani, Albert Luque and Juan Valderon had them going through on away goals anyway, but captain Fran finished the tie off completely to complete a crushing defeat for Milan.
Middlesbrough v Basel, 05/06
Steve McClaren has become a figure of fun in recent years for England fans but his job with the Three Lions had a lot to do with Boro’s run to the Europa League final 2006.
A 2-0 defeat in Switzerland in the first leg had few holding out any hope for the Premier League side’s progression, so the going behind after 23 minutes to make it 3-0 on aggregate would hardly have changed many minds.
However, Mark Viduka hit a brace to give the home side hope before Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink lashed in to leave them needing one more to go through – step forward Massimo Maccarone.
The £8.15million misfit popped up in the 90th minute to stab home a rebound and send Middlesbrough into the semi-finals.
AS Monaco v Real Madrid, 03/04
The European football giants looked to be cruising through against the relative minnows from Ligue 1 after brushing them aside 4-2 at Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg.
It got easier in the first half of the second leg as Raul made it 5-2 on aggregate and put his side in complete control, but Monaco weren’t finished.
Captain Ludovic Giuly gave them a lifeline just before half time with a low drive and Fernando Morientes, who was on loan from los Blancos, gave them a sniff of victory just after the break.
Madrid hearts were broken with just over 20 minutes remaining when Giuly made it three and put Monaco through on away goals.
Real Madrid v Borussia Mönchengladbach, 85/86
Real Madrid travelled back to Spain having been battered 4-1 in Germany and looked certain to be crashing out in the third round.
However, the return at Santiago Bernabeu would provide one of the most incredible second leg performances ever seen, as the most successful club in European history pulled off a fantastic win.
Two goals from Jorge Valdano and one from Carlos Santillana gave the Spaniards hope of an unlikely comeback, which was completed in the 88th minute when Santillana levelled the tie 5-5 on aggregate and sent his side through on away goals.
The Gunners can take some heart from their result at the same stage in last season’s Champions League where they came within a whisker of overturning a 4-0 deficit against AC Milan.
Wenger’s men surged to a 3-0 lead but fell one short of forcing extra time – though the same result next week will see them through.
Which are your favourite European second leg comebacks? Leave a comment below to let us know…
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