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Top five second-leg comebacks

Sports Mole rounds up five of the best second-leg comebacks in European football.

There were some thrilling clashes in the Europa League on Thursday night, but none more so than Valencia's quarter-final second leg against Basel. Trailing 3-0 from the first game, Valencia completely turned the contest around to book their place in the semis with a 5-0 aggregate win.

That result got Sports Mole thinking of the best second-leg turnarounds in European competitions. Below are the ones that this writer selected.

1. Deportivo 4-0 AC Milan - 2004

Going to the San Siro and losing 4-1 to the mighty AC Milan is about as tough a prospect for the second leg as is imaginable. The away goal meant that a 3-0 win would have been enough in the Riazor to reach the Champions League semi-finals. Only a 3-0 win against the reigning champions, then. Incredibly the feat was achieved with goals from Walter Pandiani, Albert Luque and Juan Carlos Valderon, but there was time for gloss and a 4-0 win thanks to Fran's late goal.

2. Juventus 2-3 Manchester United - 1999

Manchester United's stoppage-time turnaround in the 1999 Champions League final has gone down in history as arguably the best comeback ever. However, it is easy to forget that they were heading out of the tournament in the semi-final stage to Juventus. Having drawn 1-1 at Old Trafford they were 2-0 down in Turin, but three unanswered goals from Roy Keane, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole gave United a 3-2 win on the night and 4-3 on aggregate.

3. Fulham 4-1 Juventus - 2010

Yes, that's right, Fulham are on the same list as all these European giants for their incredible achievements in their run to the 2010 Europa League final. There was a 2-1 turnaround win against Hamburger SV in the semi-finals, but in the round prior at Craven Cottage came arguably the best night in Fulham's history. They had lost 3-1 in Turin in the first leg and were 4-1 down on aggregate very quickly in London. However, match-winning performances from Bobby Zamora and Zoltan Gera helped the Whites to a 4-1 win on the night, with Clint Dempsey scoring a sublime chipped winner to fire them through 5-4 on aggregate.

4. Monaco 3-1 Real Madrid - 2004

Just as Milan were rarely beaten in 2004, Real Madrid were the giants of European football at this time. How dare Monaco even consider thinking about battling back from a 4-2 deficit in the first leg? Not only that, but they pulled it off too. Ludovic Giuly was their hero despite them going 5-2 down on aggregate. He scored twice with Real man Fernando Morientes adding the middle goal in the 3-1 win that put Monaco through on away goals.

5. Chelsea 4-1 Napoli, 2012

The tale of two managers. Chelsea looked out of the Champions League in the year that they went on to win it after a 3-1 defeat to Napoli away from home. By the time the second leg came around Andre Villas-Boas had been replaced by Roberto Di Matteo and he, with the help of a Branislav Ivanovic winner in extra time, guided the Blues to a 4-1 win - 5-4 on aggregate - over the Italian side.


Click here for more stories about Walter Pandiani

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Then Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo on the touchline on November 20, 2012
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Top five Champions League comebacks
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