Manchester United achieved a UEFA Champions League first on Wednesday, becoming the first team in the competition’s history to win a knockout round tie following a two-goal first-leg defeat at home.
United had lost 2-0 at Old Trafford three weeks ago but pulled off a 3-1 win in Paris to reach the quarter-finals on away goals. It is not the first time the Ligue 1 side have been on the receiving end of a remarkable comeback – including the most sensational of all.
In 2016/17, Barcelona became the first team to fight back from four goals down to win a UEFA Champions League tie – only the fourth time it’s been done in any UEFA club competition tie.
If Paris’s demolition of Luis Enrique’s men in France had been a shock, the Barça recovery was simply out of this world, Sergi Roberto striking in added time to decide the tie. “I told him: ‘Get into the box! You’re going to score!'” Neymar recalled. Sergi Roberto added: “I didn’t know if I was dreaming – I have never known a noise like that.”
Edin Džeko struggled to communicate the magnitude of Roma’s feat after his sixth-minute finish sparked this extraordinary revival of fortunes, saying: “You cannot imagine, I mean it was incredible, crazy – I don’t know how to describe it. We did it when definitely nobody believed in us.”
Certainly, there looked to be no way back after a 4-1 loss at Camp Nou, but Džeko’s goal and a Daniele De Rossi penalty set the scene for Kostas Manolas’s 82nd-minute headed winner.
“Miracles often happen, things you might not rationally expect,” said Depor coach Javier Irureta, holding on to faint hope ahead of the return leg, the Spanish team having been well beaten despite scoring first at San Siro.
Astonishingly, his troops were ahead on aggregate by half-time in the return, Walter Pandiani, Juan Carlos Valerón and Alberto Luque making it 3-0 – before substitute Fran González added a fourth. Having prayed for success, Irureta later honoured a promise by taking the pilgrim trail to Santiago de Compostela.
By away team in second leg …
By home team in second leg …