Greatest Comebacks in Champions League History

The Champions League is seen by all fans around the world as the absolute pinnacle of football, even considered higher, by many, than international football. The best clubs from all around Europe pit themselves against each other in the ultimate tournament to see who comes out on tip. Sometimes there are upsets where the leading team in the world gets stuffed by a minnow but other times, the unexpected threatens to happen but the losing team find a way to defy the odds and come back. With this in mind we decided to list what we consider to be the greatest comebacks in the history of the Champions League. (not in order of greatness).

Deportivo La Coruna vs. AC Milan, 2004 – (Losing 4-1) Won 5-4

No doubt about this one being one of the most outrageous comebacks the CL has ever seen, trailing 4-1 from the first leg quarter final against the holders A.C Milan, Deportivo La Coruna fired back to win 5-4 on aggregate and meet F.C. Porto in the Semi’s. Beautifully orchestrated from midfield by the one and only Juan Carlos Valeron the Galicians hit the team from Italy with both barrels going 3 goals up in the first half thanks to Valeron, Pandiani and Luque, wiping out Milan’s first leg advantage. With 13 minutes remaining RCD club captain Fran struck a volley sweetly and it nestled in the back of the net to cement this comeback as one of the best ever probably paying out ridiculous amounts on football bets all over Europe.

Liverpool vs. AC Milan, 2005 – (Losing 3-0) Levelled to 3-3 & Won on penalties

No list of the greatest Champions League comebacks is complete without this one, The Miracle of Istanbul. A.C. Milan, with a star studded squad including Pirlo, Kaka, Shevchenko et all were leading 3-0 at half time and on their way to European Triumph, only, nobody thought to tell Liverpool that I was done and dusted. The reds flew out of the traps at half time and set about reducing the deficit, club captain Steven Gerrard notching the first, Smicer adding the second 2 minutes later and Xabi Alonso completing the unlikely comeback a further 5 minutes after. After both teams battled to come out on top throughout regulation and extra time, the game went to penalties. Liverpool triumphed from the spot marking this game as one of the most talked about in the history of football.

Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain, 2017 (Losing 4-0) Won 6-5

The most recent on this list and seemingly, one of the most unlikely given the score line, Barca trailed PSG 4-0 from the first leg of the Champions League last 16 and seemed to be down and out, especially when even after Barca pulled 3 goals back, Cavani scored for PSG to give them the edge on away goals. It was 5-3 to PSG when in the 88th minute Neymar curled in a pearler of a free kick, and just 2 minutes later was hauled down for a penalty and dully tucked it away. With the scores at 5-5 PSG still went through on away goals but in the 95th minute stand-in right back Sergi Roberto for Barcelona popped up in the most unlikely of positions and managed to score. Camp Nou erupted as did much of the football watching world to the biggest comeback of the last decade.

Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich, 1999 (Losing 1-0) Won 2-1

As they were prior to Alex Ferguson’s arrival, Manchester United are forever in Liverpool’s shadow in the comeback stakes with everyone remembering the Miracle in Istanbul and not many ever mentioning this game. United were second best for much of the contest after Bayern took an early lead through Mario Basler. It took until the 91st minute for United to equalise through Teddy Sheringham and level the tie. With golden goal extra time looming, uniteds late goal specialist Ole Gunnar Solskjaer popped up and scored in the 93rd minute to send the Red Devil’s fans into a rampage and claim the UEFA Champions League.

Chelsea vs. Napoli, 2012

Another often overlooked achievement is when the terrible looking Chelsea of 2012 managed to scrape themselves a UEFA Champions League Trophy. The team was serious struggling but managed to win the entire tournament and there’s no doubt that this game was the catalyst. After losing the first leg 3-1 many thought it was all over for the Blues but even after Napolie scored again, Chelsea managed to level it up at 4-4 and take it to extra time with goals from Lampard, Terry and Drogba. Salvation came in the form of Branislav Ivanovic who scored in extra time to send Chelsea through and on their way to win the whole thing!

I Hope Alexis Sanchez Leaves and Joins Chelsea!

Reports have come out today that Alexis Sanchez is Antonio Conte’s main transfer target this coming summer. The reason why this story has come out now is that Chelsea are apparently thrashing out a new deal for the Italian and part of the talks involve discussing his future plans for Chelsea.

Alexis is on £130k a week at Arsenal and is apparently demanding  £250k – the way he sees it is that it’ll be his last big contract and that he is worth that weekly wage.

Added to that the discontent around the club, centering around the future of Arsene Wenger.

But those who support the club know our problems are much deeper than that. With Arsenal at the helm we have no backbone, there’s no leaders on the pitch – we’re stuck in a constant fight for fourth, with no chance or actually challenging for the Premier League or Champions League.

Alexis Sanchez has been at the club 3 years now and for all his blood, swear and tears, he’s won an FA Cup.

Whatever you think about the man, he always gives 110%, and as a fan that’s all you want. You don’t care if they’re limited ability-wise, you just want the players who wear the red and white of Arsenal to give it everything on the pitch. But too often we see tepid, lethargic and spineless performances. 

He has his moods but I think all Arsenal fans not just understand his frustrations but share them. We are gutless and if our players had as much fight as they had ability, we’d be far better off.

Could you blame Sanchez if he ditched us for Chelsea? I don’t think Arsenal fans would treat him like they would Fabregas as it’s clear he isn’t going got win anything with us.

If Chelsea went in for Sanchez I’d wish him all the very best. A player who has guts, ambition and fight would do well at Chelsea – a team full of players who always fight and leave it all on the pitch.

Conte is a manager who you can tell would motivate his players and make them fight week in week out, and you can see it this season light as day.

Shouldn’t We All Just Stop Bickering and Get Behind Wenger?

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Source: Arsene Wenger via Facebook

It’s no secret that Arsenal fans are divided over Arsene Wenger and whether the long-serving manager should be kept on at the Emirates. And it’s also common knowledge that this site has always given unwavering support to the man that has done great things for this football club. Now nobody’s saying that the current situation is ideal, and it’s true, Wenger has his faults. But at the end of the day, it will be the board that decides on the future of the three-time Premier League winner, not the fans. So wouldn’t it be more productive for everyone to just get behind the club? And if Wenger does remain at the helm, shouldn’t we give him our support?

Has anyone stopped to think that perhaps the reason for this slightly disappointing season is partly down to uncertainty over the futures of key figures at the club? Wenger went into the current campaign knowing that it could be his last at the club he has called home for the past twenty years. Imagine being in his shoes, and having that feeling of insecurity hanging over you as you also seek to bring glory to such a great club. It can’t have helped that large sections of the Arsenal “support” have been openly calling for his head (see video below) while the 67-year-old has been struggling with all the other various pressures.

Even some of the players have been speaking their mind about the volatile atmosphere at the North London club. Alex Iwobi has voiced his disappointment about the disrespect that some sections of the support have been showing to Wenger. The 20-year-old said: “He’s been at the club for 20 years, he’s achieved a lot, obviously [the fans] are a bit impatient with the results and where they want to finish. We also want to finish there; we want to win the league like anyone else. I can guarantee we are trying our hardest.”

The damning defeat to West Bromwich Albion, following on from another harrowing exit from the Champions League, was the final straw for a lot of Arsenal fans. The Gunners were heavily backed to get their season back on track at the Hawthorns by betting tips site Oddschecker. But the 3-1 defeat left Wenger’s side in a tenuous situation with a lot of work to do to break into the top four.

The “Wenger Out” banners can’t be helping matters, though, can they? It seems that some fans have forgotten that the season is not over, and Wenger still has a strong chance of securing Champions League football for yet another season next term. It is understandable that those that want him out wish to get their message across before he is offered a new contract, but even they must realise that this kind of behaviour is toxic. Fans act as a twelfth man in football matches now more than ever, and if half the supporters are not fully behind the team, this is going to affect the way they play on the pitch.

Now, let’s assess some other factors. As noted before on this site, Wenger leaving would throw the club into another period of uncertainty. The latest comparison to look at would obviously be Manchester United, who have struggled in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era. But there have been plenty of other failed attempts to replace legendary managers in football history. Roy Hodgson replacing Rafa Benitez at Liverpool was an absolute disaster, and the man who went on to also go belly up as England manager only lasted 31 games in charge at Anfield. And what about when Brian Clough replaced Don Revie at Leeds United? There has even been a film made about how badly that affected the club.

While Arsenal fans complain, fans of once great clubs like Leeds would kill to be in the same position as the Gunners. It can’t be denied that supporters at the Emirates often take what they have for granted. It’s Wenger that brought this stability to North London. He has consistently delivered European football year in, year out, and also won his fair share of silverware. In the cutthroat world of England’s top flight, with a vast number of other teams able to challenge at the top, what Wenger has done with limited resources is impressive.

In recognition of the point of view from the Wenger-out brigade, yes it is fair to say that the Frenchman has clear weaknesses. His stubborn attitude has frequently riled Arsenal fans as he continues to remain frugal in transfer windows despite the club being in a good position financially. If he is to stay beyond this campaign, a compromise must be reached. Wenger needs to understand that in the current climate where the Manchester teams and Chelsea are spending vast riches every summer, Arsenal can no longer stick to the slow approach of prioritising nurturing bourgeoning talent.

When Arsenal finished paying off the Emirates Stadium, many people were hoping they’d see a turning of the tide. Wenger had done exceptionally well without having a lot of money to spend, and now the riches were available it was exciting to think how far he could take the team. The signings of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez were promising, and there is no doubt that Shkodran Mustafi will be a great asset in the future. The jury is still out on Granit Xhaka. Those are still only four big money acquisitions, though.

Fans want to see at least three big names coming in each summer, players that will add value to the squad and improve it. The most harrowing situation for Arsenal fans is seeing the rumours linking the club with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain (see video above), Karim Benzema and Luis Suarez, and then having Wenger bring in players like Danny Welbeck and Lucas Perez. Even the faithful supporters of the six-time FA Cup winning manager will agree that this is not good enough. Wenger will have to address this if he is still at the helm in the summer.

If Wenger gets a new contract, that should take some weight off his shoulders and allow him to focus on the job in hand. At that point in time, the people who want him out will have to quieten down as the decision will have already been made. Likewise, if the club do decide that his time is up, all fans should respect that choice and get behind the new man in charge. When the fans are united behind the team and manager, there is no doubt that the Gunners will perform better on the pitch.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Wenger still has a strong chance of winning yet another FA Cup, and getting back into the league’s top four. The season is far from over, and all fans need to get together to help the players finish the campaign on a high. Then, when it gets to the summer, we can talk about Wenger’s contract, as well as the Sanchez and Ozil issues. Everyone here is an Arsenal fan, so let’s rally and show how much we want our beloved team to succeed. Stop bickering and back the man in charge.

 

Sanchez Should be Treated Like a God: Give Him What he Deserves

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Source: Alexis Sanchez via Facebook

Recent reports on the Alexis Sanchez contract saga now say that the issue won’t be resolved until the summer – which probably means that the best player to wear a Gunners shirt in years will be sold off to the highest bidder. So why aren’t Arsenal doing more to keep hold of their shining star?

Gunners fans continue to stare at news of this stalemate between club and player with shocked and appalled expressions on their faces. It’s clear to all and sundry that Arsenal should be doing everything they can to keep Sanchez at the club. Aside from offering the Chilean the kind of weekly salary a player of his quality deserves, the Arsenal board should be polishing his shoes, installing Sanchez shrines and statues, and building him his own wing at the Emirates Stadium. The former Barcelona man has had an incredible season and is still in with a chance of ending as the Premier League’s top scorer. With 18 league goals to his name, using Player Props betting with Sportsbet.io to wager on whether Sanchez will score in a given game has been a shrewd way of betting this season.

Probably the best player to wear the red and white since Thierry Henry, Sanchez has been a picture of clear frustration this season (see video below), as despite his best efforts the side continues to underachieve. This is a player oozing with passion, desperate for success, and someone who will not allow his career to stagnate and dry up without collecting trophies. Clubs all over Europe are ready and waiting to table offers for the silky attacker in the summer, and draw up lucrative new contract deals with the added promise of success. So what can Arsenal do to keep wolves like Inter Milan from the door?

Here’s a thought: How about making him the captain at the Emirates? He wants to play every minute of every match, gets into a sulk when things are out of his control, and genuinely wants Arsenal to do well. If he was given the responsibility of leader he would have more influence over his and the team’s situation, and may feel as though he can lead them to glory. It would make him the undisputed main man, a role every football fan knows he desires.

Of course, there’d have to be the promise of actual strong reinforcements in the transfer window this time. Who remembers Lucas something-or-other who Arsene Wenger brought in last summer as striking backup? They need bigger names to work alongside the likes of Sanchez and Mesut Ozil. Arsenal aren’t in debt anymore and have the money to spend on quality players. With the teams around them making bigger moves, the Gunners can’t afford to sit still in this respect.

And what about actually giving the player what he wants and increasing his salary to reflect his worth? No offence to Danny Welbeck, but the club have spent the best part of two seasons paying the injury-prone striker’s wages while he’s been in the treatment room. If they can afford to do that, they can afford to pay Sanchez his due.

Arsene Wenger Can Turn This Around & Win The Premier League Next Season!

It has been a poor run for Arsenal – only one win in five in the Premier League, as well as demoralising defeating in the Champions League at the hands of Bayern Munich.

As it stands this afternoon, we are 5 points behind 4th spot, but have a game in hand.

So where do we go from here?

The number of Arsenal fans that want Arsene Wenger out seems to be increasing by the day. But as I’ve said a million times, getting rid of Arsene Wenger is not the answer:

 

 

The problem is with the Arsenal board.

Do people have short memories? Have people forgotten what’s happened up North at a place called Old Trafford?

Sir Alex Ferguson departed Manchester and look what happened? They struggled badly under David Moyes, had limited success under Louis Van Gaal and under Jose Mourinho? Well apparently they’ve been on this amazing unbeaten run but where are they? Oh yeah that’s right, they’re still below Arsenal – and in 7th place no less.

Do Arsenal fans really think getting rid of Arsene Wenger is the answer?

Any other manager coming in would do worse than Arsene, that’s guaranteed. If you want to win the Premier League then you’re best bet is with Wenger at the helm.

He is not a stupid man and is his own worst critic. He doesn’t need fans to stage disgraceful protest and be given vitriol during matches. He knows the problems the club has and will address them this summer, no doubt.

It’s clear some players have let him down and whereas in the past he might have had to put up with this crap from the players, now he’s in a position where he can get rid of the dead wood.

Arsenal have the money to compete and Arsene knows where to strengthen the team. It’s clear from his interviews and overall demeanour this season he’s had enough of the shit he gets from fans but also the mistakes certain players keep making. He knows his time is almost up so that’s why next season, he will go all out to make sure it is a successful one.

Next season he has everything to lose so you can be sure Arsenal will win the Premier League next season. He is well aware that Arsenal haven’t won the league since 2004 and his last act is to leave on a high – and that will be to win the Premier League before announcing his departure.

In the past he has been restricted but next season will be our time – the handcuffs are off and next season, Arsene Wenger will mean business.