The 2021/22 UEFA Champions League knockout stages produced one of the biggest upsets in the competition’s history.
The surprise occurred in the quarter-finals, and the Spanish team Villarreal was expelled from the strong German Bayern Munich from the Champions League after winning 1-0 in the first leg and then withstood a draw in the reverse match to guarantee them both. A spot in the semi-finals.
After this historic night for Villarreal, 101 They decided to take a look at the five biggest surprises in the history of the Champions League.
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5. Ajax vs Real Madrid, Round of 16 (2019)
Real Madrid are the undisputed kings of the UEFA Champions League, having won the tournament 13 times, including three times from the 2015/16 season to the 2017/2018 season.
However, their reign of dominance in 2018/19 was ended by an unlikely side.
Real Madrid faced Ajax in the round of 16 that season, winning 2-1 in the first leg in Amsterdam.
Therefore, the Spanish force was expected to have little trouble overcoming the relatively unknown Ajax again at the Bernabéu.
However, that was not the case, and Eric Ten Hag’s side went on to beat Los Blancos 4-1 on home soil – a historic win and a goal that was part of an unforgettable season for the now weak Ajax side.
4. Monaco-Real Madrid, quarter-finals (2004)
As we have already discussed above, Real Madrid is one of the most feared teams in European football.
And in 2004 they again had an exciting squad that included the likes of Ronaldo, Luis Figo, Iker Casillas and Zinedine Zidane.
With such outstanding players, it was not at all surprising when Real Madrid led 5-2 on aggregate in the second leg against Monaco.
However, in a stunning comeback in the second half, Monaco tied it back to 5-5 and managed to score away goals.
3. Liverpool vs AC Milan, Final (2005)
In current times, Liverpool’s victory over Milan was not at all surprising, as Jurgen Klopp’s side have already scored two wins over the Italian side in 2021/22.
In 2005, the story was completely different. Milan boasted one of the best teams in world football, as evidenced by its eleven start to the final:
Milan XI: Dida, Cafu, Jaap Stam, Alessandro Nesta, Paolo Maldini, Pirlo, Gennaro Gattuso, Clarence Seedorf, Kaka, Andrei Shevchenko, Hernan Crespo.
In comparison, Liverpool had one or two world class talents in the form of Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso, but the rest of the squad was filled with strong, but not great players.
Despite this, and the fact that they lost 3-0, Liverpool managed to return the result to level in 90 minutes before winning the penalty shootout.
2- Villarreal vs Bayern Munich, Quarter-finals (2022)
The next name on our list is the latest surprising name in the Champions League.
Bayern Munich has gained a reputation over the past several years for penalizing lesser-known clubs at this level – for example Salzburg in the last round when they went seven times – or big teams who are not in their game, such as FC Barcelona who lost 8-2 to Bayern in 2020.
So, when the Bavarian powerhouse was pulled against a side whose relativism had not been proven at this level – only reaching the Champions League semi-finals once in their history prior to this season – Bayern were expected to score something in cricket against Unai Emery. and Associates.
But the Spanish team beat Bayern Munich 1-0 in the first meeting between the two and then snatched a late equalizer in the second leg to secure its place in the semi-finals.
The festivities have begun in Munich 🤩
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1. Sherif – Real Madrid, group stage (2021)
While the rest of the matches on our list are perhaps more impressive achievements as they happened two feet away from the knockout stage, Sharif’s victory over Real Madrid remains one of the most shocking upsets in Champions League history.
Sharif had not reached the group stage of the Champions League before 2021/22, becoming the first Moldovan team to do so after beating Dinamo Zagreb in a qualifier.
However, despite essentially not having any European pedigree, Sherif managed to score a 2-1 win over now semi-finalists Real Madrid in the group stages this season.
Sharif continued to fall from CL in the European League as they were sent off by Braga. But their victory over Real Madrid will undoubtedly remain in the memory of their fans for a long time.
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