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Champions League greatest comebacks: Liverpool can draw inspiration from past successes

There have been some spectacular, implausible and downright outrageous comebacks in Europe's premier club competition over the years and Liverpool know, perhaps better than most, that anything is possible.

Jurgen Klopp has said in the build-up to Wednesday's game that even "if there's only a one percent chance" of his side overturning their first-leg deficit in the Spanish capital then they will give it their all, and he does not have to look far to find inspirational stories of previous comebacks in the competition.

Liverpool are 16/1 to pull off a sensational comeback and book their place in the last eight of this season's Champions League, while Real are 1/40 to avoid becoming the latest side to let a seemingly insurmountable lead slip in the competition.

WhatReal Madrid v Liverpool
WhereSantiago Bernabeu, Madrid
When20:00, Wednesday 15th March
How to watchBT Sport 1 and Ultimate
OddsReal Madrid 13/10, Draw 3/1, Liverpool 17/10

Reds have history in comeback department

There has arguably been no better team at comebacks in Champions League history than Liverpool, as they have pulled off two of the most spectacular turnarounds of recent years.

Perhaps the most famous of those was the 2005 final in Istanbul when they trailed AC Milan 3-0 at half-time before three goals in the space of seven second-half minutes from Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso saw the Reds draw level.

Liverpool went on to win the match 3-2 on penalties to claim what, at the time, was their fifth European title, with goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek proving the hero, as he conjured up his best Bruce Grobbelaar impression to save Andriy Shevchenko's decisive spot-kick.

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Fast-forward 14 years and Liverpool were at it again, this time they trailed Barcelona 3-0 heading into the second leg of their semi-final tie at Anfield, with their hopes of reaching the final having seemingly been dashed.

Liverpool's cause was not helped by the absence of key players such as Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino through injury, but braces from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum sealed a 4-0 win on the night and a 4-3 aggregate success.

The current Liverpool team will be hoping lightning can strike for a third time at the Bernabeu this midweek.

English teams are the comeback kings

Liverpool are not the only English team that have mastered the Champions League comeback over the years, with Tottenham producing an equally sensational turnaround that came just 24 hours after the Reds booked their place in the 2019 final.

Spurs were bidding to reach a first Champions League final but, having already lost the home leg of their semi-final tie with Ajax 1-0, Mauricio Pochettino's side then found themselves 2-0 down on the night and three behind on aggregate heading into the second half of the return leg in Amsterdam.

At that point, the north Londoners needed a hero and up stepped Lucas Moura, who scored arguably the most important hat-trick in Tottenham's history, with his third goal coming in the 96th minute to seal his side's passage through to the final via the away goals rule.

Tottenham would go on to lose that final to Liverpool, but Manchester United saved their comeback in 1999 until the showpiece game, as trailing Bayern Munich 1-0 heading into stoppage time of that year's final, Sir Alex Ferguson's side took 'Fergie time' to a whole new level to win the match 2-1.

Firstly, Teddy Sheringham struck a 91st-minute equaliser to seemingly take the game to extra time, but fellow substitute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had other ideas, as he fired home the winner two minutes later to send United's travelling fans at the Camp Nou into raptures.

Continent turnarounds aplenty

Arguably the greatest comeback in Champions League history came at the Camp Nou in 2017 when Barcelona overturned a 4-0 deficit from the first leg of their last 16 tie to beat Paris Saint-Germain 6-5 on aggregate.

The Camp Nou began believing the comeback was on as early as the third minute when Luis Suarez put them 1-0 up on the night before a Layvin Kurzawa own goal and a Lionel Messi penalty moved the Blaugrana even closer to their target.

However, Edinson Cavani then struck for PSG, seemingly taking the tie away from Barca once again, as the hosts needed at least three unanswered goals in the final 30 minutes to progress.

The first of those did not come until the 88th minute when Neymar struck home a free-kick, before the Brazilian - and future PSG player - added another from the penalty spot in the first minute of stoppage time.

At that stage PSG were still going through on away goals, but Neymar then popped up with a 95th-minute assist for Sergi Roberto, who sealed a 6-1 win on the night for Barca and 6-5 success on aggregate.

That was a spectacular night for everyone connected with Barca, but 12 months later it was they that were on the receiving end of a comeback, as after taking a 4-1 lead into the second leg of their quarter-final tie with Roma, the Blaugrana were promptly beaten 3-0 in the return match at the Stadio Olimpico to exit the competition on the away goals rule.

While it was Italian joy and Spanish agony on that evening, in 2004 it was the other way around, as Deportivo La Coruna overturned a 4-1 deficit from the first leg of their quarter-final tie with AC Milan by winning the return match at the Riazor 4-0.

Walter Pandiani and Juan Carlos Valeron were among the scorers on what was arguably Depor's greatest European night, especially when you consider the club are these days languishing in the third tier of Spanish football.

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