Saturday 3 December 2016

Great European comebacks

Published 06/04/2011 | 15:18

Tottenham saw their Champions League hopes seemingly shattered following a 4-0 defeat in last night's quarter-final first leg at Real Madrid.

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While Spurs face a Herculean task to overturn the deficit against Jose Mourinho's men at White Hart Lane next week, history has shown such a feat is not impossible.

Here we take a look at some memorable European comebacks when it all looked over after the first leg.

DEPORTIVO LA CORUNA 4 AC MILAN 0 (Agg: 5-4, CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2004)

After taking the lead at the San Siro, Deportivo conceeded four goals in eight minutes as an excellent AC Milan side seemingly guaranteed themselves a place in the semi-finals of Europe's premier club competition.

But Milan saw that lead wiped out in a devastating Deportivo first half at the Riazor with strikes from Walter Pandiani, Juan Carlos Valeron and Albert Luque.

Substitute Fran Gonzalez sent the home support into raptures with the fourth goal 15 minutes from time but it required a magnificent Jose Molina save from Milan's Rui Costa in the dying moments to see Deportivo into the final four; as the Italian giants desperately tried to force extra-time.

KILMARNOCK 5 EINTRACHT FRANKFURT 1 (Agg: 5-4, FAIRS CUP 1964)

Under former Rangers winger Willie Waddell, Killie had finished runners-up in the Scottish top flight and entered Europe for the first time in the 1964-65 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

Few, though, gave them much hope after being paired against the then-mighty Germans, who in 1960 had reached the European Cup final against Real Madrid at Hampden Park, thrashing Rangers 12-4 in the semis.

As expected, Frankfurt won the first leg at home 3-0, and were further ahead after an early goal in the return at Rugby Park. However, somehow Killie found the strength to chase what looked a lost cause.

Ronnie Hamilton, Brian McIlroy and James McFadzean reduced the deficit, before John McInally levelled the tie with eight minutes left and Hamilton netted the most unlikely of winners in stoppage time.

The Ayrshire side's reward was a second-round date against Everton, who beat them 6-1, but Killie would go on to lift the Scottish title on goal-average ahead of Hearts after a 2-0 win on the final day.

PARIS ST GERMAIN 4 REAL MADRID 1 (Agg: 5-4, UEFA CUP 1993)

Real Madrid have been upset before in a European second leg, having been shocked by Paris St Germain in their 1993 UEFA Cup quarter-final.

The Spaniards were coasting after a 3-1 win from the first leg.

But the French side, inspired by one David Ginola, fought back to level before current PSG coach and former Aberdeen defender Antoine Kombouare headed a winner which inflicted Madrid's heaviest European defeat for 12 years.

REAL MADRID 3 INTER MILAN 0 (Agg: 3-2, UEFA CUP 1985)

This time Madrid were the ones dishing out the shock result.

Inter looked on course for the 1985 UEFA Cup final having taken a 2-0 lead from the first leg in the San Siro.

However, Madrid were a different proposition at the Bernabeu, where a double from Spain striker Santillana levelled the tie by half-time, with Michel completing the turnaround.

Despite Inter's protests after defender Giuseppe Bergomi was hit by an object thrown from the stands, the result stood and Madrid went on to beat Videoton, who had knocked out Manchester United on penalties in the quarter-finals, in the Hungarians' own backyard.

Madrid would successfully defend the trophy the following season.

However, that was only after another remarkable comeback in the third round where they lost the first leg 5-1 away to Borussia Monchengladbach, and also overturned a 3-1 deficit to Inter in the semis before thrashing Cologne in the final at the Bernabeu.

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