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What are the biggest second-leg comebacks in Champions League knockout round history?

Bayern Munich and Benfica have serious work to do against Manchester City and Inter respectively if they are to reach the semi-finals.

Bayern Munich and Benfica have serious work to do against Manchester City and Inter respectively if they are to reach the semi-finals.

The Champions League has seen a series of high-profile comebacks over the years, many of which Barcelona seem to have been at the centre of, for some reason. The 2022-23 campaign, however, has been lacking in such drama so far, with reigning champions Real Madrid continuing that theme on Tuesday night by comfortably disposing of Chelsea, recording a second successive 2-0 victory over the Premier League side at Stamford Bridge.

Of the 10 knockout ties that have been completed so far, only one team has been able to overcome a first-leg deficit: the aforementioned Blues progressed from the round of 16 thanks to a 2-0 home victory over Borussia Dortmund, who had edged the first meeting between the teams in Germany by a single goal.

Can Benfica and Bayern Munich upset the odds?

We must be due a comeback or two, then? Maybe Wednesday could be the day, although you’d have to admit that it seems unlikely, if not impossible. Benfica head to Milan to take on Inter having lost the first leg in Lisbon 2-0, while Bayern Munich host Manchester City seemingly needing a miracle as they look to somehow recover from a 3-0 loss at the Etihad. What hope does history suggest they have of squeaking through to the last four?

How many clubs have overturned a first-leg home defeat in the Champions League knockout rounds?

In Champions League knockout round history, only five times have a team who lost the first leg at home been able to progress to the next round. Four have done it after a one-goal defeat in their own stadium:

  • Tottenham Hotspur (vs Ajax, 2018-19 semi-finals)
  • Ajax (vs Real Madrid, 2018-19 round of 16)
  • Inter (vs Bayern Munich, 2010-11 round of 16)
  • Ajax (vs Panathinaikos, 1995-96 semi-finals)

What is the biggest away-leg comeback in Champions League knockout round history?

Only one team, however, has ever overturned a two-goal deficit in a second leg away from home: Manchester United defeated Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 at the Parc des Princes to go through to the quarter-finals in 2018-19 on away goals after a 2-0 loss at Old Trafford. Due to the away goals rule being scrapped, this result for Benfica against Inter at San Siro would still leave them with more work to do in extra-time and, possibly, a penalty shootout.

What is biggest ever Champions League knockout round comeback?

While clubs have progressed after a two-goal defeat in an away first leg nine times (Barcelona twice, Chelsea twice, Monaco, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Juventus), only four teams have gone through to the next round having lost the away leg by three goals. Could Bayern make it five? Few, I would suggest, will put their mortgage on it, but stranger things have happened.

  • Deportivo La Coruña were first to manage it in the 2003-04 quarter-finals, beating Milan 4-0 in Spain after losing 4-1 at San Siro.
  • Barcelona were then memorably on the receiving end in back-to-back seasons, first losing 3-0 away to Roma having beaten the Italians 4-1 at Camp Nou in the quarter-finals in 2017-18.
  • The Catalans then went one better in the semi-finals 12 months later, beating Liverpool 3-0 in a home first leg, only to go and lose 4-0 at Anfield.
  • Barça are, at least, the only team to have ever come back from a four-goal first leg defeat, thanks to their 6-1 round of 16 second leg thrashing of a hapless Paris Saint-Germain.

When are the 2022-23 Champions League semi-finals?

The first legs of the semi-finals will take place on Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 May, with the second legs being played the following week on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 April.

Who will play against who in the 2022-23 Champions League semi-finals?

The winner of the Benfica vs Inter tie will play against the Nerazzuri’s city rivals Milan in the semi-finals. Stefano Pioli’s side will host the first leg.

Either Bayern or City will take on Real Madrid in the last four, with Los Blancos drawn to play the first leg at home.