Liverpool’s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League are hanging by a thread.
They head to Real Madrid on Wednesday needing to overturn a three-goal deficit – something only achieved on three previous occasions in the competition – after losing 5-2 in the first leg at Anfield.
But the Reds do have previous for unlikely Champions League fightbacks and will take heart from their 7-0 thrashing of Manchester United in the Premier League.
Before Liverpool look to upset the odds at the Bernabeu, we revisit some of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history.
Ajax 2-3 Tottenham (semi-final second leg, 8 May 2019)
Aggregate 3-3: Tottenham win on away goals
Tottenham travelled to Ajax for the second leg of their semi-final trailing 1-0, and things went from bad to worse in Amsterdam when Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech put Ajax 3-0 ahead on aggregate before the break.
Spurs needed to score three times without reply to progress, and were given a glimmer of hope 10 minutes into the second half through Lucas Moura – and it was game on just four minutes later.
Moura pounced on a loose ball in the box after Fernando Llorente’s shot was saved and he curled home to put the hosts on the ropes.
The stunning turnaround was completed in the 95th minute when Moura completed his hat-trick to seal Tottenham’s spot in the final on away goals, leaving Ajax players strewn across the turf in disbelief.
Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona (semi-final second leg, 7 May 2019)
Aggregate: Liverpool 4-3 Barcelona
Just 24 hours before Tottenham’s heroics in Amsterdam, Liverpool had become just the third club in the history of the Champions League to overturn a three-goal first-leg deficit.
The Reds’ hopes of forcing their way back into the semi-final after a 3-0 loss to Barcelona at the Nou Camp looked slim, especially with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino unavailable due to injury.
But Divock Origi got the ball rolling on seven minutes, before the tie really turned in the space of 166 seconds after half-time when substitute Georginio Wijnaldum scored twice.
A moment of quick thinking saw Liverpool complete the job as Trent Alexander-Arnold spotted Barcelona’s defence switch off from a corner, whipping the ball in low for Origi to fire home and spark wild scenes at Anfield.
Paris St-Germain 1-3 Manchester United (last 16 second leg, 6 March 2019)
Aggregate 3-3: Man Utd win on away goals
In a memorable year for English comebacks in the Champions League, it all started with Manchester United seeing off Paris St-Germain in the last 16.
Interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suffered the first defeat of his tenure in the first leg when a 2-0 loss at Old Trafford halted an 11-game unbeaten run.
None of the previous 107 clubs to lose a Champions League or European Cup first leg by two goals or more at home had managed to advance and few expected United to buck that trend.
But Romelu Lukaku got United off to the perfect start after two minutes only for Juan Bernat to hit back 11 minutes later, restoring PSG’s two-goal aggregate lead.
The Red Devils refused to give up and Lukaku put them ahead on the night before Marcus Rashford converted his first competitive penalty for the club in the 94th minute to send United through.
Roma 3-0 Barcelona (quarter-final second leg, 10 April 2018)
Aggregate 4-4: Roma win on away goals
“Roma have risen from their ruins.”
That iconic line from commentator Peter Drury summed up an incredible night as Roma clinched a memorable comeback to send Barcelona packing in the quarter-finals.
Own goals from Daniele de Rossi and Kostas Manolas helped Barca record a 4-1 win in the first leg at the Nou Camp.
Edin Dzeko’s late goal in Spain gave Roma something to build from and the forward struck early in the return leg to further strengthen their belief.
De Rossi atoned for his own goal with a second-half strike and, with just eight minutes to go, Manolas headed home a corner to end Roma’s 34-year wait for a place in the semi-finals of Europe’s leading competition.
Barcelona 6-1 Paris St-Germain (last 16 second leg, 8 March 2017)
Aggregate: Barcelona 6-5 Paris St-Germain
Arguably the greatest comeback of all, this one is so iconic that it has its very own title in France and Spain – La Remontada (the comeback).
PSG were clinical at home, winning 4-0, but the Nou Camp sensed something special when Luis Suarez scored after just three minutes in the second leg.
Barcelona were two goals to the good at the break courtesy of a Layvin Kurzawa own goal, but still trailed by two goals on aggregate.
Lionel Messi scored a penalty soon after the restart but Edinson Cavani hit back to silence the home faithful, although it wasn’t the pendulum-swinging moment PSG hoped for.
Barcelona, now trailing 5-3, needed three goals in fewer than 30 minutes to achieve a miracle. Neymar scored a free-kick in the 88th minute to offer further hope, before the Brazilian stroked home a 91st-minute penalty to level the tie at 5-5 on aggregate.
But PSG were still heading through on away goals.
But with 20 seconds of added time remaining, La Remontada came to fruition when Sergi Roberto turned home Neymar’s chipped pass, with Barcelona becoming the only team in history to overturn a four-goal Champions League deficit.
AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool (final, 25 May 2005)
AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool (AET) – Liverpool win 3-2 on penalties
That famous night in Istanbul.
Moving away from two-legged ties, the 2005 Champions League final was an unforgettable night of football.
AC Milan thought they had their hands on the trophy after racing into a 3-0 half-time time, but seven second-half minutes altered the course of history.
Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso scored to level the game for Liverpool and that is how it remained after 120 minutes, with Reds keeper Jerzy Dudek making a stunning double save from Andriy Shevchenko in extra-time.
Invoking memories of Bruce Grobelaar in 1984, Dudek’s wobbly legs and goalline antics played a major part in earning his side victory in the penalty shootout, when Serginho, Andrea Pirlo and Shevchenko failed to convert.
Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan (quarter-final second leg, 7 April 2004)
Aggregate: Deportivo La Coruna 5-4 AC Milan
Deportivo La Coruna, currently plying their trade in the third tier of Spanish football, are no longer associated with the Champions League – but they carried out an unforgettable fightback against heavyweight opposition in 2004.
Milan travelled to Spain with a 4-1 lead from the first leg, but Deportivo were not ready to roll over.
Walter Pandiani, who broke the deadlock at the San Siro, got the Spaniards up and running on home soil.
Unlike the first leg when they sat back after taking the lead, Deportivo threw caution to the wind and it paid off as they wiped out Milan’s aggregate advantage in just 43 minutes.
That was enough to go through on away goals but they continued to press and Fran slotted home a fourth to confirm Carlo Ancelotti’s side were heading out.
Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich (26 May 1999)
It was almost scripted that Manchester United would seal the final piece of their historic treble in ‘Fergie Time’.
With the Premier League and FA Cup already secured, United had the small matter of German giants Bayern Munich standing in their way in the 1999 Champions League final at the Nou Camp.
With Roy Keane and Paul Scholes both suspended, United’s hopes had already been dealt a blow, and their mission grew even tougher when Mario Basler put Bayern ahead on six minutes.
But ultimately the final proved to be a tale of two substitutes – Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Sheringham helped on Ryan Giggs’ scuffed shot to level in the 91st minute before Solskjaer poked in the second just two minutes later, handing manager Sir Alex Ferguson his first Champions League trophy.