Champions League Comebacks: Five Times Real Madrid Suffered Huge Upsets

Champions League Comebacks: Five Times Real Madrid Suffered Huge Upsets

Isaac Darko
March 15, 2023 at 6:39 AM
  • Real Madrid will welcome Liverpool to the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday
  • Los Blancos romped to a 5-2 win at Anfield three weeks ago
  • The Spanish giants have suffered upsets in the past despite winning the first leg

Defending champions Real Madrid have one foot in the last eight of this season's Champions League following their 5-2 victory over Liverpool at Anfield on February 28.

Many fans and pundits, including Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, have written off the Reds in the return leg which is scheduled to take place at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

There have been occasions in the past when the 14-time Champions League winners have struggled to advance to the next stage, even when the Spanish giants have recorded a resounding win in the first leg.

Ajax, Chelsea, Odense, Juventus, Real Madrid
Here are the five times Real Madrid have suffered huge Champions League upsets. Credit: @marca
Source: Twitter

Unfortunately, and surprisingly, some of the games even ended in throbbing eliminations for Los Blancos.

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Sports Brief takes a look at some of the events in the past that posed a threat to Real Madrid against Liverpool.

Odense (UEFA Cup 1994/95)

In an attempt to recapture European supremacy from Johann Cruyff's Barcelona, then Real Madrid president Ramon Mendoza secured the signatures of Denmark icon Michael Laudrup and Spanish star Emilio Amavisca.

Midfield maestro Fernando Redondo was signed from La Liga minnows Tenerife, with manager Jorge Valdano promoting youngster Raul Gonzalez from the academy.

In the UEFA Cup, Los Blancos eliminated Luis Figo's Sporting Lisbon before facing Danish powerhouse Odense. Madrid won the first leg 3-2 at Odense Stadium in front of 15,000 fans.

The reverse fixture in Spain was a nightmare. Ulrik Pedersen opened the scoring in the 74th minute and Morten Bisgaard's 90th-minute strike ensured that Madrid lost 2-0 at home

Schalke (Champions League 2014/15)

Real Madrid were the defending champions going into the 2014/15 season after beating Atletico Madrid to win the La Decima.

Los Blancos were highly considered favourites to retain the trophy. They qualified from the group with ease, winning all their matches in a group that comprise Liverpool, Basel and Ludogorets Razgrad.

They faced second-placed side Schalke 04 in the round of 16, whom they beat 2-0 in the first leg on the road.

However, the German side fought gallantly in the second leg, notching a 4-3 win at the Santiago Bernabeu. Carlo Ancelotti's side qualified 6-3 on aggregate.

Juventus (Champions League 2017/18)

Cristiano Ronaldo scored one of the greatest Champions League goals with a sublime bicycle kick in Real Madrid's 3-0 thrashing of Juventus.

They had one foot in the semifinals going into the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu. However, the Old Lady staged a remarkable comeback, scoring three goals with half an hour to go.

With everything indicating that the match would go to extra time, Zinedine Zidane's charges were awarded a controversial penalty, which was converted by Ronaldo in the dying embers of the game.

Madrid qualified for the next stage 4-3 on aggregate.

Ajax (Champions League 2018/19)

After appointing Julen Lorpetegui as Zinedine Zidane's replacement, Real Madrid were hoping to showcase that they are still the dominant force in the Champions League.

The Spanish giants were the defending champions going into the 2018/19 season, having won the previous three Champions League under Zidane.

They had also lost the services of their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus but were poised to prove that they can become victorious in Europe's greatest competition without their talisman.

And the White Angels rightly did so, at least when they topped their group, and were paired with Ajax Amsterdam in the round of 16.

Madrid won the first leg 2-1 at the Johan Cruyff Arena, with Sergio Ramos disclosing that he got a yellow on purpose in order to miss the return leg at Santiago Bernabeu, and ultimately be available for the quarter finals games.

However, Erik ten Hag's Ajax produced one of the most remarkable displays by an away team on Madrid's own turf, grabbing a resounding 4-1 victory and eliminating the Spanish giants of the competition.

Chelsea (Champions League 2021/22)

After losing in the semifinals to Chelsea in 2021, Carlo Ancelotti led Real Madrid to record an impressive 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge against the Blues in the first leg of the quarter finals.

The second leg on home soil was thought to be a mere formality for Karim Benzema and co, but Thomas Tuchel had other ideas.

Chelsea were the better side on the night, scoring three goals with 15 minutes to proceedings. However, Real Madrid substitute Rodrygo Goes scored a late goal to send the game to extra time, thanks to a fantastic assist from Luka Modric.

Benzema nodded home a 96th minute winner to secure a semifinal berth for Real Madrid, qualifying on a 4-3 aggregate scoreline.

Kroos to stay at Madrid

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos appears to have reversed his decision to retire at the end of the 2022/23 season after having a change of heart, Sports Brief earlier reported.

Kroos who maintains he would love to retire at Real Madrid had earlier on revealed he was going to hang up his boots when the current campaign ends with his contract due to end in June 2023.

According to Football Espana, Kroos has now settled on staying at the Santiago Bernabeu and will extend his contract for a further year with the reigning La Liga champions.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Editor- La Liga I Bundesliga I French Ligue
UEFA Champions LeagueWorld