Top 5 Shocking Moments In Champions League History
If you’re fan of the beautiful game chances are you’ve heard the news that, following defeats to PSG and Porto, both Ronaldo and Messi will not be present at the Champions League Quarter Finals for the first time in 16 years. Having been permanent fixtures of the tournament since 2004/2005 sharing plenty of goals between them, the news has made space for upcoming young players such as Mbappe and Haaland to shine. But we aren’t here to turn the wheels of the rumour mill, instead we thought this the perfect time to give you a rundown of just a handful of the many surprising, controversial and bemusing moments in Champions League history.
Liverpool Final Comeback
When it comes to sheer drama, it doesn’t really get anymore dramatic than this. Following going 3-0 down in the first-half to a fully stacked AC Milan squad in the Istanbul final, you’d be forgiven for thinking Liverpool had well and truly kissed their chances of becoming European champions goodbye. Of course, hindsight is 20:20 and as we all know now just a mere 15 minutes later the game was tied 3-3, with the floodgates opened by captain Steven Gerrard’s beauty of a header. What followed was goal line clearances, rebound goals and probably the hardest 30 minutes of sport for scousers around the globe to watch. But, the drama didn’t end their and the game in true nail-biting fashion found its way into penalties with Liverpool securing the victory 3-2 following a final save from now cult legend keeper Dudek.
Robin Van Persie Red Card
Nothing quite disrupts a game more than a red card, well maybe someone running across the pitch without many clothes on but you get the idea. Not only do you lose a potential key component of your team but then for the remainder you find yourself one man down, not ideal. Even worse still is when the red card feels particularly undeserved which in the case of Van Persie’s signing off during their game against Barcelona was exactly that. Often regarded as the harshest sending off in history, Van Persie was found off-side when put through to goal. Unable to hear the whistle he took a chance with his right foot, which referee Massimo Busacca did not take a liking too. Having already been booked earlier in the game, and with a further yellow for time wasting, resulting in Persie leaving the field and Arsenal subsequently losing the game.
Luiz Adriano Banned
Nothing too dramatic on paper, FC Nordsjaelland and Shaktar Donetsk met in the group stages of the 2012 Champions League competition after both successfully qualifying for their chance at European glory. Following a drop ball Shaktar passed the ball long back to the Nordsjaelland’s goal keeper, thus resetting play as a sign of good sportsmanship. Unfortunately Luiz Adriano had other ideas, collecting the ball and putting it away to bring the score level to 1-1, which as you’d imagine didn’t go down to well with the opposing players. Nordsjaelland then refused to let Shaktar walk the ball into their net, leading to a 5-2 win for the Danish side, with non-other than Adriano himself scoring a hat-trick. He was later given a one match ban by UEFA for violating the principles of conduct.
Luis Garcia ‘Ghost Goal’
The precursor to their comeback in Istanbul, say what you want about VAR but this moment during the 2005 semi-final against fellow English club Chelsea is probably one of defining moment for goal line technology enthusiasts across the world. At only 13 minutes into the game and following a dubious challenge from Cech on Baros, Luis Garcia slotted away the loose ball which was promptly cleared off the line. Declared a goal at the time of play numerous replays following the game showed the ball’s crossing of the line to be questionable at best and, if that didn’t sting enough, the game finished 1-0.
John Terry Penalty Slip
With neither side coming out on top and 120 minutes up a wet Champions League final in Moscow between Manchester United and Chelsea went to penalties. With a saved effort coming from non-other than Ronaldo and four perfect strikes in the bag from the blues, all was just about done and dusted if Chelsea captain John Terry can put the final one away. What follows next had to hurt, as Terry went to strike the ball he slipped causing a miskick which cause him to hit the post, leading to Chelsea losing the game and ultimately the trophy.
Have we missed any? Let us know your favourite Champions League moments in the comments!