5 Best Champions League Finals of All Time

Ahead of Saturday's Champions League final, we've taken a look at some of the best games the European showpiece has produced.

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As Manchester City and Chelsea prepare to lock horns in the 2021 Champions League final on Saturday, we take a look back at five classic encounters in the showpiece event on the European football calendar.

AC Milan 3-3 (2-3 Penalties) Liverpool: 2005

Where else to start than with the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ as Liverpool came back from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan in a nail-biting penalty shootout.

The Serie A giants looked to be cruising their way to the trophy in Turkey, when Paolo Maldini struck in the first minute, before a brace from Hernan Crespo landed ahead of the half-time whistle.

Reds’ skipper Steven Gerrard inspired a remarkable comeback as he scored a header to cut the deficit, before goals from Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso saw the game finish all square.

Keeper Jerzy Dudek produced an astonishing double save to deny Andriy Shevchenko from the penalty in extra-time, and again saved the Ukrainian’s effort in the resulting penalty shootout to see Liverpool crowned champions of Europe once again.

Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich: 1999

Another English European success was enjoyed just before the turn of the millennia, as Manchester United came from behind to beat Bayern Munich in the 1999 final.

The majority of the game was far from a classic, as it looked like Mario Basler’s goal was to give the Bavarian giants a 1-0 win in Barcelona.

All the drama was packed into ‘Fergie Time’ as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side stuck with two injury-time goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to secure an historic treble that season for the Red Devils.

Real Madrid 4-1 (AET) Atletico Madrid: 2014

A modern classic was witnessed seven years ago as Real Madrid added a 10th European title to the collection by beating city rivals Atletico Madrid in the final.

Atleti thought they might have edged out the win in the dying minutes of the 90, with Diego Godin’s goal set to prove the difference.

But Sergio Ramos struck in the last minutes to take the game into extra-time, where Real blew their opponents away.

Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo all got on the scoresheet to break Atletico hearts and also secure the cherished ‘La Decima’ for Los Blancos.

AC Milan 4-0 Barcelona: 1994

One of the biggest upsets in a final came back in this 90s classic as AC Milan thrashed Barcelona in the 94 showpiece.

Many expected Johan Cruyff’s Barca to come out on top in this one, against a Milan side that were missing the likes of Alessandro Costacurta, Franco Baresi and Marco van Basten through injury.

A remarkable team performance for the Rossoneri won the day, as goals from Daniele Massaro (2), Dejan Savicevic and Marcel Desailly saw Barca’s hopes of a European title come crashing down in Athens.

Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Juventus: 1997

Last but not least, another upset was witnessed in 1997 as Borussia Dortmund shocked the footballing world with a 3-1 win over Juventus in the final.

BVB managed to neutralise Juve’s attacking stars, with the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Christian Vieri unable to impact the game.

Scotland’s Paul Lambert played a dogged starring role to keep Zidane quiet in the midfield, while a brace from Karl-Heinz Riedle and an effort from Lars Ricken secured the unlikely win for the underdogs in Munich.

Manchester City are 20/23 to win on Saturday as they seek to be crowned European champions for the first time in their history on Saturday, Chelsea are 17/5 to win and a draw is 51/20.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Alex has worked as a sports journalist for a decade and is a regular content provider and tipster on the likes of football, both codes of rugby and NFL.
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