The Champions League is undoubtedly the most premier and most renowned competition in football, and for a good reason. After all, it sees some of the most accomplished teams in the league go head to head. These moments give fans something to look forward to every year, especially with the cutthroat competition.
With many comebacks and game-stealing moments over the years, this guarantees to keep you on your toes and feet at all times. But with the Premier Cup being in the mix for years, it can be hard to keep track of the biggest UEFA Champions League wins. This list brings you back to its glory days.
30. Dynamo Kyiv vs. Bayern Munich (1998/99)
The battle between Ukrainian Team, Dynamo Kyiv, and German Team, Bayern Munich, in the first leg of the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League in the 1998-1999 season were a highly contested one.
Both the teams want to secure a spot in the finals. Dynamo Kyiv got an early 2-1 lead in the first half courtesy of Andriy Shevchenko’s two goals at 16’ and 43’. They extended the lead, 3-1, in 50’ with a goal from Vitaliy Kosovsky.
The Germans did not bow down as they answered with two more goals in the latter part of the 90-minute game. Stefan Effenberg pitched in a goal in 73’ from a free-kick and a clutch goal from Carsten Jancker in 89’. The game ended in a 3-3 record.
29. Dynamo Kyiv vs. Bayern Munich (1998/99)
In continuation to the epic battle of Dynamo Kyiv and Bayern Munich’s epic battle in the semis of 1998-199 season, the second leg game showed how gritty the two teams were to enter the finals.
The game seemed to be ending in a tie again since the first goal was made only after the 35th-minute mark by Mario Basler. But to the surprise of everyone, that goal was the only goal made in the entire match.
The game ended with a 1-0 score in favor of Bayern Munich. With an aggregate record of 4-3, Bayern Munich advanced to the finals of that season.
28. Chelsea vs. Liverpool (2009/10)
In an all-English game in the quarterfinals of the 2009-2010 UEFA Champions League between Chelsea and Liverpool, the home country was delighted with a great matchup in the second leg.
As analysts predicted, the competition between the two teams would be tight; it was shown after a 4-4 tie in the second leg match in Stamford Bridge – London. Chelsea’s Drogba, Alex, and Lampard scored the four goals for the team.
In a futile attempt to get past Chelsea, Liverpool’s Aurélio, Alonso, Leyva, and Kuyt delivered with a goal, each tying the second leg of the quarterfinals. However, Chelsea was victorious that night as they had an aggregate record of 7-5 lead over Liverpool to proceed to the semifinals.
27. Manchester City vs. Schalke (2018/2019)
The second leg game with the two underdogs in the league made a buzz when Manchester City pulled a 7-0 win against Schalke.
It was the effort of the following who scored goals for the Manchester City: Agüero 35′ from a penalty and 38′, Sané 42′, Sterling 56′, Silva 71′, Foden 78′, and Gabriel Jesus 84.’
The aggregate record became 10-2 in favor of Manchester City, pushing them to enter the season’s quarter-finals.
26. Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona (2019/20)
In their run for the title for the 2019-2020 season, Bayern Munich did pull an overkill with another powerhouse team, Barcelona FC, in the second leg of the quarter-finals.
The match ended with an 8-2 score for the league’s eventual champions, Bayern Munich. It was an interesting game as it is the first time Barcelona lost in a game with more than a five-goal deficit.
Thomas Muller and Philippe Countinho led the team with two goals each while Ivan Perisic, Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich, Robert Lewandowski added a score.
25. Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona (2012/13)
Bayern Munich is not new with pushing Barcelona to the losing side as they did in the first leg of the semifinals of the 2012-2013 season.
The German team ended the game with a four-goal advantage while making the crowd-favorite Spaniards scoreless in the match. This was a testament that Bayern Munich was a growing powerhouse in that generation.
Thomas Muller scored two goals at 25th-minute and 82nd-minute marks. Mario Gomez added another one at the 49th minute and Arjen Robben at the 73rd-minute.
24. Manchester United vs. Roma (2006/07)
Considered to be a classic matchup, Manchester United clashed with Roma in the quarter-finals of 2006-2007 season of UEFA Championship League. This was the game that Cristiano Ronaldo stole the spotlight.
With two goals in the first half, Ronaldo made his name known after they demolished Roma in the second leg of the quarter-finals game.
Manchester United did not let their opponents get within striking distance in the game as it ended with a 7-1 record.
23. Internazionale vs. Schalke (2010/11)
The first leg of the quarter-finals between Internazionale Milano and FC Schalke 04 was a great comeback story for the Germans.
After an astounding opener goal of Dejan Stankovic in just 25 seconds, the Italian team established their dominance. But the Germans remain unfazed even with a 2-2 score after the first half.
In the second half, the Germans showed what they could do as they left Inter Milan scoreless. While Raúl González had a goal at 53′, Andrea Ranocchia at 57′, and Goncalves Edu at 75’. They dragged their 5-2 lead to win the match.
22. Tottenham vs. Ajax (2018/2019)
One of the recent semi-finals comebacks happened in the game between Tottenham and Ajax in 2019. Ajax is highly anticipated to enter the finals after defeating two powerhouse teams of Real Madrid and Juventus before entering the semis.
The game went early on Ajax’s side as De Ligt scored a goal in the first 5 minutes of the match. It then became a 2-0 lead with Ziyech’s goal at the 35th-minute mark.
However, Lucas Moura had a different plan for the game’s result for Tottenham. He tied the match alone with two goals in 55’ and 59’. There was an extension, and Moura scored another one after 6 minutes into the extension, sending in the Hotspurs to the finals.
21. Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund (2012/13)
As proof that German football is on the rise again, the two German teams in UEFA met in the Champions League’s finals in 2012-2013.
The match between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund was even with a 1-1 score in most of the game. Both teams exhibited a great defense and offense, even with different attacking styles.
It was until the 89th minute of the game when Arjen Robben of Bayern Munich secured a goal that silenced the Dortmund crowd. The title was bagged with the great individual performances of Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery.
20. Roma vs. Barcelona (2017/18)
The game between Roma and Barcelona in 2017-2018 is one of the best comeback games in the season. Roma left Barca scoreless in the 90-minute match, with a 3-0 record.
Edin Dzeko shot a goal in the first 6 minutes of the game, which was the only goal made all throughout the first half of the game. It was Daniele de Rossi who added another score for Roma on the 58th-minute mark.
Kostas Manolas cemented their win as he scored after 82 minutes in the game. The win propelled Roma to enter the semi-finals.
19. Manchester United vs. Juventus (1998/99)
Before winning the championship in the 1998-1999 season, Manchester United had a hard time securing a finals slot that time against a feisty Juventus team.
With a 1-1 score in the first leg of the semifinals, Manchester United was put to the test as Juventus scored two goals in the first 11 minutes of the second leg game courtesy of Filippo Inzaghi.
Roy Keane and Dwight Yorke tie the match with their respective goals before the first half. The match went scoreless since the start of the second half, not until the heroics Andy Cole scored with seven minutes left in the match, eventually making them qualify for the finals.
18. Barcelona vs. Arsenal (2005/06)
The game in the UEFA Championship League in 2005-2006 between Barcelona and Arsenal is probably one of the best matchups in the leagues’ finals. Both of the teams’ record on their way to the finals is untarnished; thus it is a battle of the undefeated.
Aside from being undefeated, their playing styles and philosophies are contrasting. Barcelona is a high-caliber attacking team, while Arsenal is the meanest defensive team during the season.
Arsenal had an early lead of 1-0 in the game. But after a small controversy in the 18th minute, Arsenal goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann, was called for a foul resulting in a 10-man team. Barcelona took the chance and got the lead with 2 goals in just five minutes, and eventually getting the title as well.
17. Real Madrid vs. Manchester United (2002/03)
The battle of the two strongest teams in the league in the quarter-finals of UEFA Champions League in the 2002-2003 season seems to be on the record of sports fans. The reigning champions Real Madrid battled with the English power Manchester United.
Manchester United pulled a surprise in winning the second leg in the quarter-finals with a 4-3 score record. Van Nistelrooy (43′), Iván Helguera (52′), and Beckham (71′, 85′) scored the four goals for the English team.
Even though Cristiano Ronaldo was the only one to score for the Spaniards with three goals, Real Madrid was the real winner in the quarter-finals as they had an aggregate score of 5-6, which made them push through the semi-finals.
16. Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain (2017-2018)
Paris Saint-German would have pulled off a surprise if they successfully eliminated powerhouse team Barcelona from entering the quarter-finals of the 2017 season. This is after a PSG 4-0 win in the first-leg game.
The second leg was a memorable one as it had the name “La Remontada” or “The Comeback” for the Spaniards. A four-goal deficit is already a huge hurdle to pass, but Barcelona pulled a miracle in the game.
In the 90-minute duration of the match, the Spaniards secured five goals from Suarez 3’, Kurzawa 40’, Messi 50’, Neymar 88’, and a penalty, tying the aggregate score of PSG with five also after a goal of Cavani 62’. But, Roberto of Barca scored five minutes into the overtime and won it for the team.
15. Manchester United vs. Chelsea (2007/08)
This finals game between two English teams, Manchester United and Chelsea, is the first in the Champions League history.
Cristiano Ronaldo made a goal at the 26th minute for United for a lead, but it was equalized by Frank Lampard before half-time. The finals game ended with a 1-1 record after 90 minutes and still tied during the extension.
The game was led into a dreaded penalty shootout because a Chelsie player slapped a United player. The first two attempts made by United’s Ronaldo and Chelsea’s John Terry to end the game on their side was a flunk. It was the save of Edwin van Der Sar that gave United their 2nd championship title.
14. Deportivo La Coruna vs. AC Milan (2004/05)
One of the most interesting games ever must have an underdog story. The game between Deportivo La Coruna and AC Milan in the first leg of the 2004 season is a great example.
All odds are in favor of AC Milan as a powerhouse in the league, but the underdog Spanish team of Deportivo La Coruna defied all odds as they swept the Italian team with a 4-0 record.
It was the efforts of Walter Pandiani, Juan Carlos Valeron, and Albert Luque to give the Spaniards a lead in the first half. Further cementing their advantage was Fran’s goal in the second half.
13. Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich (2013/14)
Real Madrid secured their long-time drought of entering the UEFA Champions League in the 2013-2014 season.
The Spanish team celebrated their win to enter the finals and ended the reign of the current champion at that time, Bayern Munich. This was made into reality after a 4-0 second leg semifinals match.
In the said game, Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals each. Ramos at 16’ and 20’, while Ronaldo at 34’ and 89’. The semifinals’ contention ended with a 5-0 aggregate record.
12. Liverpool vs. Barcelona (2018/19)
The semifinal match between Liverpool and Barcelona is one of the books of comeback games. Barcelona has a 3-0 in the home game, but Liverpool turned that with a 4-0 game in the second-leg match.
The record 4-3 in favor of Liverpool propels them to the finals of that year. It was the tandem of Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum that gave Liverpool the win.
Origi secured a goal after seven minutes of the game and dragged the lead of 1-0 into halftime. Wijnaldum scored two goals in just three minutes in 54’ and 56’. Origi ensured their slot at the finals with a goal at the 79th-minute mark.
11. Barcelona vs. Manchester United (2010/11)
Lionel Messi cemented his name worldwide as one of the greatest football players of all time during the Champions League final against Manchester United.
Meeting for the second time in two consecutive seasons, this saw a win for Barcelona with a total of 3 – 1 score by the end of the match.
The three goals came from Pedro, Lionel Messi, and David Villa, helping the team secure their fourth win. Although Manchester United certainly put up a strong fight, with Wayne Rooney scoring a lone point for the team and forcing a half-time, Barcelona ultimately dominated the match from the get-go.
10. Bayern Munich vs. Basel (2011/12)
Of the four goals scored by Bayern Munich against Basel during the Champions League in 2011/12, Mario Gomez was responsible for hitting four of those – all within 65 minutes of his playing time. The team towered over Basel with a 7 – 1 landslide victory.
He was certainly the star of the show, with Gomez’s four goals being considered the fastest four-goal ever in Champions League history.
It goes without saying, however, that Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben’s contributions during the match sealed the deal, with the latter scoring two of his own.
9. Borussia Dortmund vs. Juventus (1996/97)
This match saw how the German underdogs Borussia Dortmund successfully defeated the much-liked and powerfully skilled rivals, Juventus. Juventus was looking to defend its crown as it came off hot just the previous year, defeating Ajax in the year before.
Borussia Dortmund, on the other hand, though the underdogs, were not without skill, especially after they managed to snag a surprising win over Man. U. This team, however, swept the crowd off their feet as they won with an impressive 3 – 1 match, giving them their first taste of the European Cup.
Borussia Dortmund scored within 16 seconds of the game thanks to Lars Ricken, a substitute for the team. The victory was also quite sweet for former Juventus players who defeated Borussia Dortmund previously, namely Cesar, Kohler, Sousa, and Moller, getting back-to-back wins.
8. AC Milan vs. Barcelona (1993/94)
Fresh from their disappointing end of the previous season from losing in the finals, AC Milan climbed its way through the finals again in the following season.
In the 1993-1994 season, AC Milan faced Barcelona in the finals and exacted their revenge with a 4-0 game. The Italian team set their dominance early in the game as they scored their two goals in the first half, 2-0.
Daniele Massaro started the scoring in the 22nd minute and followed it with another one in the 45th-minute mark. Dejan Savićević also chipped in a score in the 47th minute. Marcel Desailly widens the gap with another goal in the 58th minute.
7. Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich (2011/12)
Many people say that this is one of the most iconic UEFA Champions League wins of all time, with this having a redemption story being written all over it. Both teams were looking to secure their teams’ victory, with this being Chelsea’s second time in the finals and Bayern Munich’s fourth one since ’92.
Given the storylines, what a redemption story it was, with both teams giving their all. Chelsea beat Bayern Munich with just one point at a score of 4 – 3. While Bayern was set to win the game, Didier Droga was able to successfully put in a goal, thus putting the game into overtime.
Drogba also sealed the winning penalty against that of Arjen Robben’s penalty kick, the latter of which unfortunately missed the spot-kick. Drogba ended his career with Chelsea after this, but not after being met with a hero’s welcome after a satisfying win.
6. Bayer Leverkusen vs. Real Madrid (2001/02)
In the 2001/02 Champions League season, Bayer Leverkusen found themselves facing Real Madrid, with the former’s first time participating in the said European cup. Bayer Leverkusen put up a good fight against the crowd favorite, especially providing more playing opportunities against their rival.
The first few minutes in the first half of the game saw cutthroat gameplay against the two teams, with Raul from Real Madrid scoring a goal in just the eight-minute mark and Bayer Leverkusen’s very own Lucio scoring as well.
What was astonishing and perhaps even miraculous, however, was Zinedine Zidane’s smooth and seamless move that left the people in awe. This match gave Real Madrid its second and last trophy in the football league.
5. Real Madrid vs. Malmo (2015/16)
The ever-popular players and team, Real Madrid, were favored to win the match from the get-go, especially with Cristiano Ronaldo on the roster. In fact, Ronaldo was the one to seal Malmo’s fate and pummeled the latter with a score of 8 – 0 by scoring four times for Real Madrid.
The match between Real Madrid and Malmo is considered one of the biggest victories ever in the European cup. Others who contributed to the game-winning match include Karim Benzema and Matero Kovacic.
Given the historical win, various news sites say that this is a reflection of manager Rafael Benitez’s leadership, especially as this mirrored the same success in 2007 when Liverpool won against Besiktas. This match also saw Ronaldo being the first-ever player to gain more than 10 goals in the group stages.
4. Liverpool vs. Besiktas (2007/08)
As mentioned above, the match between Real Madrid vs. Malmo in 2015/16 was a seeming recreation of this match which happened in 2007/08. This game even earned Besiktas the moniker of earning the heaviest defeat in history after ending the match with an 8 – 0 in favor of Liverpool.
Among the players who made themselves known in the scoresheet was Peter Crouch, who started off their winning game, Yossi Benayoun, as well as Steven Gerrard and Ryan Babel. Babel, in particular, scored two goals in the span of three minutes.
The fans and the crowds at Anfield alike rooting for Liverpool to win seemed to get their wish early on, especially having seen Crouch in his element right at the very beginning.
3. Liverpool vs. Barcelona (2005/06)
Another Liverpool match that’s not to be missed is no other than its game against Barcelona in the European Cup for season 2005/06. This particular match saw the Reds’ momentous win over Barcelona in a stunning 4 – 0 match in the second leg of the semis in the Champions League.
While the match started on quite an even footing for the two teams, with Divock Origi making a point just after the seven-minute mark, the game only escalated and secured Liverpool’s win when Georginio Wijnaldum scored one point after another in just 122 seconds.
Although the steadfast Lionel Messi attempted to set the pace and make the match turn in their favor, Origi once more putting in a goal further moved Liverpool to victory. To date, this match is considered one of the best in history, with Liverpool proving time and again why it continues to reign supreme.
2. Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich (1998/99)
This match is considered a remarkable moment for Manchester United as it is the first time they emerged victorious since the 1960s. In fact, the club got a treble win, snagging trophies for the Premier League, FA Cup, and the UEFA Champions League.
The most notable thing about this win is that Manchester United played without two of their vital players, namely Paul Scholes and Roy Keane, after being suspended in prior matches, placing the team at a disadvantage.
With decreased strength for their lineup, the team had to substitute two of the players, replacing one of them with Teddy Sheringham. This was a good move for the team as he scored the first goal, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored the second and final goal, ending the game at 2-1.
1. AC Milan vs. Liverpool (2004/05)
First on this list is AC Milan versus Liverpool, which marked the first time the two clubs faced each other. The two teams have had their fair share of losses, as they both lost two matches on the road to the final. AC Milan, however, had the audience’s favor as it is expected to get its third Championship League title.
Despite this, Liverpool gave AC Milan a hard time, even after being topped three to zero in favor of AC Milan early in the match. However, Liverpool was able to turn things around when it scored a whopping three points within six minutes.
With a 3-3 score, the referee went for a penalty shoot-out, which ended with a 3-2 score in favor of Liverpool.
It is the teams above that make football worth watching; whether you’re watching at a stadium or watching football on TV, they make the game come to life with pure passion. It is the skill and heart that each team possessed that made them go down in history as some of the best in the UEFA Champions League.
As the matches continue to be tighter than ever, we’re sure to see the members of the above UEFA Champions League wins list show up again and again in the UEFA Champions hall of fame.