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5 Great European Cup and Champions League Comebacks over 2 Legs

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterFebruary 20, 2013

5 Great European Cup and Champions League Comebacks over 2 Legs

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    Arsenal are staring a Champions League exit in the face after their 3-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the last-16 first leg at the Emirates Stadium, Tuesday.

    Goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller gave the Bundesliga side an early control of the game before Lukas Podolski pulled a goal back for the Gunners in the second period.

    But Mario Mandzukic scrambled home a late third goal for Bayern to leave Arsenal with the proverbial mountain to climb at the Allianz Arena, if they are to reach the quarterfinals.

    All may seem lost for Arsenal supporters and manager Arsene Wenger, but hope springs eternal on the back of these examples of European Cup and Champions League fightbacks in two-legged matches.

Gothenburg vs. Barcelona, 1986

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    Barcelona had already survived an early scare in the 1985-86 European Cup when they almost squandered their 2-0 lead over FC Porto in a 3-1 loss in Portugal before winning their second-round tie on away goals.

    But Terry Venables' side appeared to be in an even worse struggle at the semifinal stage against Swedish champions Gothenburg.

    Two goals from Torbjorn Nilsson in the first half and Tommy Holmgren's 60th-minute strike had the Scandinavian side in control of the tie ahead of the trip to Camp Nou.

    However, Barcelona striker Pichi Alonso clawed a goal back in the ninth minute of the second leg before completing a hat-trick with two goals inside six second-half minutes.

    The right to face Steaua Bucharest in the final in Seville was sealed when Barcelona won through in a penalty shootout.

Derby County vs. Real Madrid, 1974-75

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    Brian Clough had left Derby County in controversial circumstances in October 1973 and was replaced by former Rams defender Dave Mackay.

    The former Scotland international won the First Division title in his first season in charge and then lead Derby into the European Cup the following season where Spanish giants Real Madrid awaited in the second round.

    The Baseball Ground side got off to a flying start in the first leg at home with striker Charlie George opening the scoring with a brilliant first-time drive from Archie Gemmill's cross in the ninth minute before adding a penalty six minutes later.

    Real Madrid pulled a goal back through Pirri in the 25th minute, but further goals from David Nish and another George spot-kick gave Derby a 4-1 lead to take to Spain.

    In the second leg, Real hauled themselves back into the tie with a double from Roberto Juan Martinez and another from Santillana.

    George made it 3-1 in the 62nd minute but Pirri levelled the tie at 5-5 from the penalty spot with seven minutes remaining and Santillana sealed Real's 6-5 triumph in extra time.

Barcelona vs. Chelsea, 1999-2000

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    Chelsea were making their first appearance in the Champions League after finishing third in the Premier League the previous season.

    The Stamford Bridge club had made good progress in the tournament after entering in the third qualifying stage, and this was three years before Roman Abramovich arrived with his millions.

    Chelsea had finished top of their table in the first group stage before ending the second pool round second behind Lazio.

    Few expected the West London side to continue their run beyond Barcelona in the last eight, but first-half goals from Gianfranco Zola and Tore Andre Flo gave the team a commanding 3-0 lead at the interval before Luis Figo clawed one back for the La Liga team in the 64th minute.

    Rivaldo and Figo scored in the first period of the second leg to level the aggregate score, but Flo edged Chelsea ahead again on the hour mark.

    With seven minutes left, Dani made it 3-1 to Barcelona on the night and sent the game into extra time where further goals from Rivaldo and Patrick Kluivert ended Chelsea's hopes of a semifinal appearance.

Monaco vs. Real Madrid, 2003-2004

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    Sebastien Squillaci stunned Real Madrid when he opened the scoring for Monaco in the Champions League quarterfinal first leg at the Bernabeu Stadium three minutes before the break.

    But normal service appeared to be resumed when the home side hit back with goals from Ivan Helguera, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Ronaldo in the second period.

    However, on-loan Real striker Fernando Morientes gave Monaco a lifeline seven minutes from time.

    The 4-2 scoreline for Real should still have been enough to seal a semifinal berth against Chelsea and Raul opened the scoring in the 36th minute to extend his team's aggregate lead to 5-2.

    Ludovic Giuly pulled a goal back for Monaco in the first minute of first-half injury time before Morientes reminded his parent club of his ability in front of goal three minutes after the interval to make it 5-4 on aggregate.

    In the 66th minute, Giuly levelled the aggregate score at 5-5 and Monaco held on to win through on away goals.

Deportivo La Coruna vs. AC Milan, 2003-2004

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    Monaco's Champions League quarterfinal fightback was not the only one in 2003-2004 and Deportivo La Coruna went one better than their French counterpart when they beat AC Milan outright.

    Walter Pandiani had given Deportivo an 11th-minute lead at the San Siro Stadium in the first leg, but four goals in the space of eight minutes across the half-time interval from Kaka (two), Andriy Shevchenko and Andrea Pirlo had Milan pondering a semifinal clash with FC Porto.

    But Deportivo had other ideas and Pandiani pulled a goal back five minutes into the second leg before Juan Valeron and Albert Luque pulled the Spaniards back into the tie by halftime.

    With 14 minutes remaining, Deportivo legend Fran was on hand to deliver the knockout blow to Milan and the La Liga side progressed into the last four with a 5-4 aggregate.

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