Barcelona vs Chelsea and the 10 Biggest Upsets in World Football History
Well, there isn't much more I can add that hasn't already been said about Chelsea's performance last night...but I'm going to anyway.
Going in to the game, Barcelona were heavy favourites being priced at 1/5 at some bookmakers, and that's even with Chelsea having a one goal advantage from the first leg at Stamford Bridge. That's how good Barcelona are at the Nou Camp; it seems to make the best team in the world even better.
So when Sergio Busquets cancelled out Chelsea's aggregate lead in the first half, it looked as if Chelsea had a real battle on their hands to make the final.
Somehow it got infinitely worse within five minutes.
In a moment of madness, John Terry decided to randomly knee Sanchez in the back, probably out of frustration. Even though in all honesty it was a weak red card, you are always running the risk of being sent off if you're involved in an off-the-ball incident.
And he was, and Chelsea were down to 10 men, and looking vulnerable in defence.
Barcelona then capitalised on this vulnerability and doubled their advantage, striking despair into Chelsea hearts everywhere.
2-0 down at the Nou Camp is bad enough, but with 10 men, Chelsea must have thought they were in for a long night.
But instead of rolling over, Chelsea began what turned out to be one of the most incredible displays ever seen in the Champions League.
Starting with Ramires' beautiful chip just before half-time to half the deficit, Chelsea's second-half performance was almost superhuman, keeping Barcelona from scoring for over 50 minutes.
And the gigantic cherry on the top was of course, Fernando Torres' blockbuster goal in stoppage time to guarantee the Blues' place in the final.
Here are some of the other greatest upsets in world football history.
Once Caldas Win Copa Libertadores
In the 2004 Copa Libertadores, Colombian team Once Caldas were on a roll and had reached the final.
The only problem was that their opponents came in the form of five time winners, Boca Juniors.
Nobody outside of Once Caldas expected them to get a result at the Argentine powerhouse. But they did. To be fair it was won on two penalty shootouts, but against a club as big as Boca Juniors, a win's a win.
It was one of the most shocking results ever seen in the historic competition, and remains Once Caldas' greatest achievement.
Sunderland Winning 1973 FA Cup Final
Speaking to people who were around to witness this game, they said it was an unbelievable achievement and one of the most amazing games they have ever seen in the FA Cup.
This was because Sunderland were in the second division, and weren't given much hope of beating Leeds, who were the reigning champions.
Sunderland began the game in typical 1970's English football style, with a physical approach and tackling hard. This tactic seemed to work, as Leeds looked rattled and weren't playing in their usual style.
Sunderland took the lead just after the half-hour mark which is incredible enough, but the moment that sticks in most people's memories was the God-like save made by Sunderland keeper Jimmy Montgomery from a powerful shot only ten yards out.
It remains Sunderland's only major trophy since the Second World War, but it does not take anything away from what an amazing achievement it was at the time.
Liverpool Beating AC Milan in 2005 Champions League Final
Going in to this game, Liverpool were slight underdogs, but a win for the Reds wouldn't have been that surprising.
But when Milan went 3-0 up before halftime, it looked as if the trophy was heading to Italy. Commentator Andy Gray even condemned Liverpool to defeat after the third goal went in.
AC flew out of the traps when Maldini scored in the first minute, and then even more woe was heaped on Liverpool when Crespo scored two goals to triple Milan's lead before half-time.
Whatever was said to the Liverpool team in the halftime team talk worked wonders and somehow Liverpool, in one of the most most amazing 15 minutes ever seen, clawed their way back to make it 3-3.
The game stayed 3-3 until a penalty shootout, one in which Milan missed their first two penalties, and Liverpool kept their nerve to bring home a trophy that seemed so far out of their reach only an hour before.
Steaua Bucharest Beat Barcelona in 1986 European Cup Final
Although Barcelona had never tasted European glory, they were still expected win comfortably in Seville against Romanian side Steaua Bucharest.
Before the game, the Barcelona players seemed confident, bordering arrogance. This was their biggest mistake, as Bucharest kept the Spaniards out for 90 minutes, and then kept up their impressive defensive display throughout extra-time.
It came down to a penalty shoot-out, but not the most dramatic of shoot-outs considering Barcelona missed all four of their kicks.
The goalkeeper was given hero status in Romania, and was later nicknamed "The Hero of Seville".
North Korea Knocking Italy out of the 1966 World Cup
North Korea have never been known for their footballing prowess, and it was no different in 1966.
Nobody thought they would have any chance of progressing from their group, which included Italy, Chile and the Soviet Union.
Going into the last game of the group for both teams, North Korea had to play Italy, with the winner progressing to the knockout stages.
Unbelievably Korea beat Italy with a single goal, upsetting the odds and sending a shockwave through the football community.
North Korea were welcomed home with new cars and cheers. Italy were greeted with rotten tomatoes and eggs.
Artmedia Petrzalka Beating Celtic
Not many people outside of Slovakia had heard of Artmedia Petrzalka. So when Scottish giants Celtic drew them in the second qualifying stage to reach the Champions League in 2005, they must have began planning for the next round thinking they'd been handed an easy tie.
Celtic had been crowned UEFA Cup champions only two years before, so they were understandably heavy favourites to wrap up the tie in the first leg.
But the Slovakian champions proved to be no laughing matter, and produced one of the most unexpected results in football history, beating Celtic 5-0.
A 1-0 win would have been amazing enough. I'm sure Artmedia would have taken a draw, but no, they went on to hand Celtic one of the most embarrassing score-lines of their history.
Celtic did win the return leg 4-0, but it wasn't enough so the Slovakian minnows went on and progressed to the next stage of Champions League qualification.
USA Beat England in 1950 World Cup
Had this victory been in basketball, baseball or most sports for that matter, this wouldn't have been seen as an upset at all.
But in football (or soccer in the US), this was a big moment in the USA national team's history.
Joseph Gaetjens was a Haitian footballer who represented the United States, and represent them he did. He scored the only goal on the game in the win over England, and had an impressive World Cup campaign, attracting attention to the previously overlooked US football team.
USA held on to this lead, and even saved a penalty from Stan Mortensen. A film was later made about this event called "The Game of Their Lives", so any American soccer fans who haven't seen it, check it out.
Albania Stop West Germany from Euro 1968 Qualification
In 1966, West Germany were famously beaten in the World Cup final by England. So they had something to prove in the 1968 Euro competition.
They had an up-and-down qualification campaign, and their qualification came down to a game with Albania.
It seemed to be wrapped up before it began considering the last time the two teams met the Germans came out 6-0 winners.
Maybe Germany were too confident and didn't respect Albania enough, because the game ended 0-0 and the Albanians had their revenge to break West Germany's hearts.
Manchester United's Stoppage Time Comeback Against Bayern Munich
Going in to this game, it could have went either way, and was sure to be an exciting final. Manchester United and Bayern Munich were considered to be two of the best teams in European football.
The game started with Bayern on top, and they broke the deadlock after six minutes with a goal from Basler.
The game then stayed at 1-0 throughout the whole 90 minutes, then the board went up to signal that there were three minutes injury time to be played.
Then out of nowhere, veteran striker Teddy Sheringham picked up on a scuffed effort by Ryan Giggs and turned the ball in to the net to even up the score.
It looked to be going to extra time, until Ole Gunnar Solskjaer poked out a toe to get on the end of a Sheringham header.
The United side of the stadium erupted, and the bench went in to bedlam. The Bayern Munich players were a complete contrast, lying on the floor in dismay, and could barely play out the remaining minute of time remaining.
Greece Win Euro 2004
Eight years on and this is still one of the most incredible achievements I have ever witnessed in international football.
Euro 2004 was held in Portugal and Greece weren't given much of a hope of progressing from the group stage when they were drawn against hosts Portugal and two strong teams in Spain and Russia.
Their qualification didn't start well, losing to both Spain and Ukraine 2-0 in their opening two games. But miraculously they came back to win their remaining group games, and qualified for the first time in over 20 years.
Their group stage began well, with a shock win over Portugal and a draw with Spain. They took a loss to Russia but did enough to finish above Spain on goals scored.
This was to be the start of a special tournament for the Greek side. They overcame France and the Czech Republic on their way to the final, which was amazing enough.
In the final, they met hosts Portugal in the final, a repeat of the opening game of the tournament. Greece took the lead from a set piece midway through the second half. Then Portugal began a siege on the Greece goal, but the Greeks stayed strong on defence and kept out the hosts to win the tournament and cause one of the biggest upsets in football history.
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