Jun 6, 2015 at 7.45pm UK at ​Olympiastadion, Berlin
Juventus
1-3
Barcelona
Morata (55')
Vidal (11'), Pogba (41')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Rakitic (4'), Suarez (68'), Neymar (97')
Suarez (70')

Top five greatest Champions League finals

Sports Mole looks back at five classic Champions League final encounters ahead of tonight's meeting between Barcelona and Juventus in Berlin.

Since its inception in 1992, when the European Cup became known as the Champions League, club football's showpiece competition has provided many memorable moments.

Each of the last 23 finals has had its own tale to tell, whether it be late drama or a side simply clicking together to produce a masterclass on the biggest stage.

With that in mind, Sports Mole picks out five classic finals ahead of tonight's meeting between Barcelona and Juventus in Berlin.


5. Bayern Munich 1-1 Chelsea, Munich (2012)

The script had already been written. Bayern Munich, in front of their home supporters, were surely destined to lift the Champions League crown for the first time in 11 years when they took on Chelsea. Things certainly went to plan when Thomas Muller broke the deadlock seven minutes from time in Bavaria.

However, Didier Drogba clearly had ideas of his own, heading home an equaliser in the dying embers of the game to set up a tense period of extra time. The Blues had never lifted the trophy before, in fact no side from London had prevailed in the competition, but the spirit shown in the previous round to overcome favourites Barcelona was on show once more.

Less than three minutes into the additional time, Drogba felled Franck Ribery inside the area to seemingly dent his side's hopes of creating history. This was to be Chelsea's night, though, and after Petr Cech kept out Arjen Robben's spot kick, Roberto di Matteo's men held their nerve to claim victory on penalties.


4. Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Juventus, Berlin (1997)

The venue for this year's final provided the setting for Dortmund's fairytale success against, ironically, Juventus back in 1997. This was all about the underdog prevailing against all the odds, as a plucky BVB side tamed the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Christian Vieri and Alen Boksic.

Incredibly, Dortmund fielded four players who had previously been released by their opponents, while a fifth - the injured Julio Cesar - watched on from afar. Two quick-fire Karl-Heinz Riedle goals put the German outfit in command on home soil, the first coming on the end of a Paul Lambert cross, although Alessandro del Piero came off the bench to pull one back for Juve.

Then came one of the famous competition's greatest moments, as 20-year-old substitute Lars Ricken scored an audacious lob just seconds after being introduced to write his name in Dortmund folklore. The Yellow and Blacks held on for the remainder to see out the win, with Juventus losing the first of three finals in the space of seven years.


3. AC Milan 4-0 Barcelona, Athens (1994)

This was another match which saw the unfancied side ultimately come out on top, as Italian champions Milan beat a Barcelona outfit boasting an array of attacking talent. Having lost to Marseille in the inaugural final 12 months beforehand, the Rossoneri clearly learned from past experiences to produce one of the greatest team displays in the tournament's history.

Factor in that key players Marco van Basten and Gianluigi Lentini were missing through injury, and it is clear to see why so many had backed Barcelona heading into the Olympic Stadium clash. However, the opening hour was pure Milan domination; Daniele Massaro (2), Dejan Savicevic and Marcel Desailly - on the break - each finding the net to blow Barca completely away.

The side labelled by many as being a 'Dream Team' had just been torn apart by the Italian club, who scored just 36 goals in 34 games on their way to lifting the domestic crown. Fabio Capello played an important part from the bench, earning himself a reputation as being a fine tactician, while Milan would go on to lift the trophy a further couple of times over the next 13 years.


2. Bayern Munich 1-2 Manchester United, Camp Nou (1999)

This may have been far from a classic for 90 minutes or so, but what took place in added time at Camp Nou ensures that this contest earns its place in Champions League folklore. Without midfield duo Paul Scholes and Roy Keane, United had an almighty task on their hands as they looked to become the first English team to taste success on the European stage since Liverpool went all the way in 1984.

Mario Basler's sixth-minute free kick was all Bayern had to show for their dominance heading into the final stages of the game, but it looked to be enough to send the trophy to Bavaria. Then came an incredible three-minute spell, which all began with Teddy Sheringham bundling the ball home after FCB failed to clear their lines.

Scenes of joy followed, yet there was still far more to come. Sheringham was involved again as a late corner kick was played into the box, heading towards the back-post area where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was waiting to rifle home. The reaction of supporters inside the 99,000 capacity stadium could not have been more stark - United's fans partying long into the night, while the Bayern contingent were left shell-shocked by the late twist.


1. AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool, Istanbul (2005)

Even now, a decade on from this hugely memorable clash in the Turkish city of Istanbul, those in attendance are still unable to quite work out exactly what happened in this six-goal affair. Arguably the greatest comeback in the sport's history, certainly on the big stage at least, Liverpool battled back from three goals down to claim the most famous of victories.

Damage limitation seemed the most likely cause of action in the second half, after Paolo Maldini and Hernan Crespo (twice) took the Reds' backline apart. Liverpool, who have plenty of fond memories from their European adventures, were on the brink of being completely embarrassed in front of an audience of millions worldwide.

A lot has been made of Rafael Benitez's half-time team talk in the year's since this final, but it was possibly the introduction of Didi Hamann in the middle which truly allowed the English club to push on. Skipper Steven Gerrard led from the front, finding the net on the 54-minute mark to give his side a glimmer of hope. Goals from Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso followed in the next six minutes to take the game into extra time and then penalties. The rest, as they say, is history, as Liverpool held their nerve to claim a fifth European title in the most incredible of circumstances.


Marcel Desailly of AC Milan in action during a Series A match against Verona on September 2, 1996
Read Next:
OTD: Milan hammer Cruyff's 'Dream Team'
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City65102121916
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd65101721516
3Chelsea6411125713
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs6321105511
5Liverpool63211211111
6Watford6321910-111
7Huddersfield TownHuddersfield62315329
8Burnley62316519
9Newcastle UnitedNewcastle63036519
10West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom52214408
11Southampton622245-18
12Arsenal521278-17
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton621357-27
14Everton6213411-77
15Swansea CitySwansea612337-45
16Stoke CityStoke6123510-55
17Leicester CityLeicester6114912-34
18West Ham UnitedWest Ham6114613-74
19Bournemouth6105411-73
20Crystal Palace6006013-130
LIVE SCORES VIDEPRINTER
expand