5 amazing UEFA Champions League semi-finals

Amazing UEFA Champions League semi-final moments

From awesome individual performances to “ghost goals”, the last four is always a spectacle

Expect more incredible drama like this when the nail-biting action gets under way live on BT Sport

UEFA Champions League semi-finals, from Tuesday 24 April, BT Sport

The UEFA Champions League final may be the most glittering night in club football, but the semi-finals also know how to deliver excitement on an epic scale.

 

Whether it’s individual players going above and beyond, last-minute thrills that make you feel dizzy, or controversial goals that are still discussed years later, the final four stage of the competition never fails to give us something to talk about.

So, as Europe’s finest teams prepare to do battle for a shot at ultimate glory, here’s a taste of what to expect when the action kicks off…

 

1. Keano’s one-man masterclass

Juventus v Manchester United, April 1999

Not so much a magic moment as a demonstration of how to enter footballing folklore, Roy Keane’s performance away to Juventus in 1999 has gone on to enjoy mythical status among Manchester United fans. The Irishman went full-on Captain Fantastic in Turin, scoring United’s first goal as they came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and earn a 4-3 aggregate victory – even though he knew from the 34th minute that he would be suspended for the final after a yellow card. Alex Ferguson later said that it was “an honour to be associated with such a player”.

 

2. Chelsea get the Blues

Chelsea v Barcelona, May 2009

Football has an awful knack of luring you into a false sense of ecstasy. Just ask Chelsea. In 2009 the west Londoners, leading ten-man Barcelona 1-0 on aggregate with just seconds to go in the second leg at Stamford Bridge, were already getting their suits measured for the final. Then – bang! Andrés Iniesta went and ruined everything with the most dramatic of strikes to put Barca through on away goals. Cue tantrums from outraged Chelsea players and some deep psychological scarring.

 

3. A thrashing to remember

Bayern Munich v Barcelona, April/May 2013

There’s something so very satisfying about watching a really successful team brought back down to earth with a good old battering. Bayern’s 7-0 aggregate dismantling of Barcelona in 2013 was such a moment. Barca were the established kings of Europe at this point, with three UEFA Champions League titles in seven years, but after 180 minutes against the Bavarians the footballing terrain had shifted.

 

4. The Robert Lewandowski show

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid, April 2013

Dortmund’s then-chief marksman showed no mercy against Real’s superstars in the first leg of their 2013 semi-final, scoring four times in a stunning individual display. The Poland striker’s third goal in the 4-1 victory was a thing of staggering beauty, as he showed balletic poise to whip the ball away from two defenders before lashing it into the roof of the net. Dortmund won the semi 4-3 on aggregate, only to fall short against Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich in the final.

 

5. The goal that was, but wasn’t

Liverpool v Chelsea, May 2005

Chelsea and Liverpool’s many ding-dong battles in the 2000s were never less than gripping, but one moment stands out when it comes to their epic European confrontations. Luis García’s goal in the 2005 semis – you know, the one that may not have actually crossed the line but put the Reds through – still stands as a hugely controversial episode in this competition. Where was goal-line technology when Chelsea needed it?

 

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