Sevilla FC v Real Madrid CF - La Liga

Great Champions League comebacks should inspire Madrid


Okay, we all know it is a long shot. Nobody has given Real Madrid, or Barcelona for that matter, a chance of overturning heavy first leg defeats.

The seismic shift of European soccer has occurred, German football now overshadows their Spanish counterparts, blah, blah, blah…

But it can be done. Here’s some proof from past Champions League competitions, that should give fans of Real Madrid some hope ahead of the semifinal clash in a matter of hours.

1. Deportivo La Coruna 4 vs. AC Milan 0 (2003-04 quarterfinal second leg)

Milan were all but assured of their place in the UCL semifinals, well on the way to retaining the trophy they won in 2003. After winning the first leg 4-1 at the San Siro, nobody gave little Deportivo a chance of reaching the semis. How wrong they were. The team from northern Spain raced into a 3-0 lead at half time, before Gonzalez Fran scored to make it 4-0 in the 75th minute and send them into the semis after a 5-4 aggregate win.

2. Barcelona 5 vs. Chelsea 1 (1999-00 quarterfinal second leg)

Barcelona have done it before. But that was only a two-goal deficit against Chelsea way back when. The London club defeated Barca 3-1 at Stamford Bridge in the first leg and were going through 4-3 on aggregate going into the last 10 minutes of normal time. But Dani Garcia scored to take the game to extra-time, as Barcelona ran riot and won 5-1 thanks to Rivaldo, Figo and Patrick Kluivert.

3. Chelsea 4 vs, Napoli 1 (2011-12 round of 16, second leg)

The Blues looked down and out, after Andre Vilas-Boas lost his job following the 3-1 first leg defeat in Naples. But Chelsea rallied at home, with the experienced trio of Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard scoring to send the game into extra-time. Branislav Ivanovic  proved to be the hero with the winning goal, as Chelsea went on to lift the European cup in similarly dramatic fashion in Munich last May.

VIDEO: Marco Verratti plays a brilliant pass to Eder for Italy goal

PALERMO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Marco Verratti of Italy in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Italy and Bulgaria on September 6, 2015 in Palermo, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
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Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.

The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.

The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.

Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.


Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.

Agent: Liverpool contacted Klopp only after Rodgers firing

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09:  Jurgen Klopp arrives to be unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool FC at a press conference at Anfield on October 9, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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As soon as Brendan Rodgers was dismissed by Liverpool on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp’s name was tossed around as the likely successor to the then-vacant Liverpool managerial position.

However, according to Klopp’s representatve Marc Kosicke, Liverpool did not make contact with the German until after Rodgers had been officially let go.

“The first call from Liverpool came after the dismissal as coach of Rodgers,” Kosicke told Bild. “Before Liverpool there were naturally quite a few inquiries. But Jurgen always asked me not to take it any further.”

Club management was less committal than Klopp’s rep, but did say they had their eye on the German for some time. “We have learned to keep certain matters confidential. We had a meeting recently with Jurgen that he has talked about and I don’t want to talk too much about these conversations. But we have thought about him for a long time and everyone who knows football knows he is an outstanding manager.”

It’s relatively hard to believe Liverpool would have canned Rodgers without knowing for sure that a top-level target such as Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti were on board to replace him. It also would mean discussions of the contract terms and logistics would have moved at lightning speed, with just four days between the Rodgers dismissal and Klopp’s official unveiling.