Breathtaking, stunning, bizarre, thrilling and absolute madness – those are just some of the few words that can be used to describe the 2018/2019 UEFA Champions League.
For a keen fan who has been following proceedings since the first ball was kicked in the qualifiers in July 2018, they will tell you that this might arguably the most fun-filled, thrilling ride of a campaign they have been involved in. From classic comebacks to the fall of some unexpected giants, this season’s UEFA Champions League has not been short of drama straight from the Group stages and, for only the second time, two English sides will meet in the final after an unbelievable campaign.
The most memorable matches and incidents that shocked the football world and which will rank this edition of the Champions League as one of the greatest.
1 Real Madrid capitulation against Ajax Young Dutch side Ajax was one of the few underdogs in the Champions League coming into the campaign as their season started all the way in July 2018 as they had to cement their spot in the group stages through qualifiers. Regardless, they soldiered on and despite losing against Spurs in the semi-final on aggregate, their fans will have fond memories of this group of players especially after their unexpected 4-1 humiliation of Real Madrid at the Bernabeu which ended the Galacticos’ European domination.
2. PSG 1-3 Manchester United French outfit PSG were certainly tipped as one of the favourites in this season’s edition and their season was on course until they met a resurgent Manchester United side who somehow went to France to cause a 3-1 upset after being dominated 2-0 at Old Trafford. The game ended 3-3 on aggregate though United proceeded to the quarters on away goals. 3. Juventus 3-0 Atletico Madrid This will live long in Juventus and Cristiano Ronaldo fans as the 33-year old, who has been tipped as the greatest Champions League talisman of all time, single-handedly overturned a 2-0 first leg deficit to drag his new team into the quarters, where yet another upset awaited
4. Man City 4-3 Spurs Prior to the semi-finals, this would easily have passed as the game of the season as two sides who know each other all too well faced off in an epic clash that had it all from stunning comebacks to Video Assistant Referee (VAR) controversy. Despite free-scoring Guardiola’s side edging the second leg 4-3, a last minute cancellation of Raheem Sterling’s goal for offside meant Pep would have to wait another year for a chance of Champions League glory.
5. Juventus 1-2 Ajax With Real Madrid out and the Champions League serial champion still in the contest, Juve were clear favourites going into this match, despite being held in the Netherlands.
6. Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona Jurgen Klopp’s men were done and dusted before this one, or so it seemed. With Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino absent with injuries and trailing 3-0 from a first leg humiliation, no one would have fathomed any kind of result against a Barcelona side led by arguably the greatest player to ever grace the game – Messi. But we are talking about Klopp here and his heavy metal football coupled with an electric Anfield atmosphere proved too much for the Catalans as they capitulated in the most spectacular fashion.
7. Ajax 2-3 Spurs Fans were still recovering from the sheer thrill that came at witnessing Liverpool maul Barcelona against the odd, but were served with another classic courtesy of the young boys Ajax once again
This one was a bit special as Ajax, despite leading 1-0 from the first leg, went 2-0 up in the first half and three nil on aggregate, leaving Spurs with all to do in only 45 minutes. Despite looking down and out, Pochettino’s side, who have not signed a single player this season, did the business courtesy of former PSG man Lucas Moura who once again bagged himself a hat-trick to set up an all English final in Madrid on June 1.