Barcelona are only the fourth team in UEFA club competition history to overturn a four-goal first-leg defecits. UEFA.com looks back at the greatest ever two-legged comebacks in Europe.
Barcelona are only the fourth team in UEFA club competition history to overturn a four-goal first-leg defecit, and the first in the European Cup/UEFA Champions League. UEFA.com looks back at the greatest ever two-legged comebacks in Europe.
- Recovering a four-goal deficit in UEFA club competition
La Chaux-de-Fonds 6-2 Leixões
Leixões 5-0 La Chaux-de-Fonds
1961/62 European Cup Winners' Cup first round
Leixões are best remembered for a 2-0 victory against near neighbours Porto in the 1961 Portuguese Cup final, with that result earning them a European Cup Winners' Cup place. On their continental debut, Filpo Núñez's men were crushed 6-2 at La Chaux-de-Fonds, yet the Swiss team buckled at the Campo de Santana. Osvaldo Silva made it 2-0 before the break, with Oliveirinha – twice a scorer in the first leg – hitting two more either side of a Vandinho effort. Until Barcelona in 2017 Os Bébés were the only club to overhaul a four-goal European deficit without recourse to away goals.
Queens Park Rangers 6-2 Partizan
Partizan 4-0 Queens Park Rangers
1984/85 UEFA Cup second round
With Partizan trounced at Arsenal's Highbury home, where QPR played their European games due to their artificial pitch at Loftus Road, success looked to be a formality for Alan Mullery's team in Belgrade. Yet goals from Dragan Mance, Dragan Kaličanin, Miodrag Ješić and Zvonko Živković upended the tie. "We got battered on the night," recalled QPR midfielder Gary Waddock. "We thought we had a big enough lead to get through. We prepared properly, but the result shows what can happen if you get off to a bad start in the return leg in European football."
Borussia Mönchengladbach 5-1 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 4-0 Borussia Mönchengladbach
1985/86 UEFA Cup third round
Madrid initially took a beating from a Gladbach side coached by future Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes, but Jorge Valdano struck twice inside the first 17 minutes of the second leg to put Luis Molowny's men in the hunt. Santillana added two more late on to complete a phenomenal comeback, and his team went on to beat Köln in the final. Forward Juanito said: "I've been a Spanish international, I've played at two World Cups, I've won trophies with Madrid, but this comeback tops the lot. It's the happiest day of my life."
Paris Saint-Germain 4-0 Barcelona
Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain
2016/17 UEFA Champions League round of 16
For the first time in the senior competition a team managed to overturn a four-goal first-leg deficit. In fact it was the first time in 59 attempts that any team had lost 4-0 in UEFA club competition but still went through, without even the cushion of an away goal. Barcelona had three goals back within 50 minutes but Edinson Cavani struck just past the hour, meaning the home side needed three more. They still did on 88 minutes but then Neymar's free-kick changed mattters; in added time he converted a penalty and it was his pass that set up Sergi Roberto's clincher. "I was brought to my knees," said coach Luis Enrique.
- Recovering from five goals down in UEFA club competition
Honvéd 5-2 Panathinaikos
Panathinaikos 5-1 Honvéd
1987/88 UEFA Cup third round
Panathinaikos retrieved a mere three-goal deficit in Greece but what makes this tie unique is that they actually trailed 5-0 at one point in the first match. No other team have been five behind at any stage of a tie and recovered to win on aggregate.