Oh what could have been and probably should have been.
That had been Real Madrid bet on progress by online bookmakers, but when Timo Werner gave the visitors a 3-0 lead with just under 15 minutes remaining, Chelsea must have thought they had booked their place in the Champions League semi-finals. But it would be Karim Benzema – after his hat-trick in the first leg – who would prove himself a hero once again, scoring a ball-head in extra time for his fourth goal of the two legs. seal a 5-4 aggregate win for his side in the process.
It is the record 13-time European champions who are once again in the last four, avenging last season’s semi-final defeat at Stamford Bridge and raising a potential clash with Madrid in the process. The Blues have completed a string of incredible European
Comebacks over the years, although this time Tuchel’s men failed to turn the tide. Let’s take a look at two of the best of them.
Jose Mourinho’s first season back at Stamford Bridge in six long years has been a surprisingly quiet affair. The Blues finished third in the Premier League and had just one outside shot at the title. In Europe, however, things had gone smoothly. They had reached the last eight at a gallop. That was until a date with the newest member of the European elite, PSG.
The Parisians were well on their way to a home treble. They were miles ahead in Ligue 1, the Super Cup was already in the bag and a League Cup final against Lyon was on the horizon. It seemed they had too much for Chelsea too. Goals from Argentina’s Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore, plus an own goal from David Luiz, meant they would travel to west London firmly in the driver’s seat.
However, it took just 31 minutes for German winger Andre Schurrle to bring the tie to life, securing a 1-0 lead in the second leg and halving the deficit. However, the second goal didn’t come as expected. As the minutes ticked by, it seemed like it would be the visitors who would secure their biggest night on the continental stage. Edinson Cavani had a chance to put the tie to bed but he shook his lines. Then, with three minutes remaining, Gary Cahill’s long striker found his way to Demba Ba, who fired home and secured a famous away goal win.
In 2005, Frank Rijkaard’s Barcelona was arguably the best team in the world. With Ronaldinho at the peak of his powers and Deco orchestrating things in midfield, it would take a special team to defeat the Catalans over two games. A special team fitted the bill perfectly for The Special One
but had created.
Two goals in six minutes from Maxi Lopez and Samuel Eto’o meant the visitors traveled to Stamford Bridge by a slim margin, but it wasn’t long before the hosts closed the gap, with three goals in just 19 minutes leaving The Blues in dreamland.
However, just when some light night work seemed to be imminent, a Brazilian magician took center stage. He had first conceded a penalty after it was discovered that Paulo Ferreira had managed well in the penalty area and his brilliant moment came just 11 minutes later. Surrounded by blue shirts on the edge of the box, Ronaldinho faked one way, then the other, then pocketed a superb finish behind Petr Cech to put his side within reach of the last eight.
The hosts were in desperate need of a goal and in their hour of need John Terry came on. Who else? With 15 minutes to go, his header from Duff’s corner shot wide and landed in the bottom corner of Victor Valdes’ goal, giving his side an away goal win
Announcing Chelsea’s arrival on the European stage.