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Five biggest Champions League final upsets

Borussia Dortmund will look to defy the odds when they face the unenviable task of conquering perennial Champions League winners Real Madrid in the final of the competition at Wembley.

The Bundesliga giants eliminated PSG to reach their first final in 11 years and now 14-time winners Real Madrid stand in their way of a first Champions League crown since 1997.

Real Madrid are odds-on favourites at 3/10 to lift the trophy, while Dortmund are priced at 5/2 to come out on top.

But if history has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. We've delved through the archives and picked out the five biggest shocks in Champions League finals gone by.

Champions League Final

2005: AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool (Liverpool win 3-2 on penalties)

It’s been 19 years since the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ and it seemed prophetic last year's Champions League final returned to the Ataturk Stadium for another title decider between an English and Italian team. 

This occasion saw a star-studded AC Milan team that was expected to win the 2005 final against Liverpool

Milan's starting line-up that night featured Paolo Maldini, Cafu, Clarence Seedorf, Kaka and Andrea Pirlo, amongst others, whereas Liverpool were reliant on the likes of Steve Finnan and Djimi Traore. 

It’s a well-told tale how the final unfolded with the first half going to form as Milan took a 3-0 lead, only for the Reds to come storming back after the break, levelling the scores with three goals in seven second-half minutes. 

A wobble-legged Jerzy Dudek was then the hero in the shootout on a night when Liverpool not once, but twice overcame the odds.

2012: Bayern Munich 1-1 Chelsea (Chelsea won 4-3 on penalties)

The script looked to have already been written for Bayern Munich to win their fifth European title at their home ground, the Allianz Arena, against a Chelsea side playing in just its second Champions League final and managed by the inexperienced Roberto Di Matteo. 

Bayern were the first team to have home advantage for a final since 1984 and were odds-on to win, with the Blues seemingly up against it having lost the likes of Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry to injury and suspension en route. 

The Germans controlled the majority of the contest but only made a breakthrough in the 83rd minute through Arjen Robben. 

Having seemingly thought they had broken Chelsea’s resistance, Bayern switched off, allowing Didier Drogba to equalise with two minutes to go. 

Drogba would then step up to score the winning penalty, redeeming himself for his red card in the 2008 final as Chelsea took home their first Champions League trophy.

1997: Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Juventus

Borussia Dortmund had only previously qualified for the Champions League/European Cup on four occasions before the 1996/97 season but enjoyed a fairytale run all the way to the final. 

There, they met Champions League holders Juventus, who hadn’t rested on their laurels following the previous season's success, having added Zinedine Zidane, Christian Vieri and Alen Boksic in the summer. 

A largely homegrown Dortmund team featuring Paul Lambert and Paulo Sousa in midfield, therefore, looked overmatched on paper, only to then take a 2-0 lead in the first half through a Karl-Heinz Riedle brace. 

Alessandro Del Piero pulled one back for Juve, only for Lars Ricken to step off the bench and score with his first touch to seal Dortmund’s first Champions League title.

1994: AC Milan 4-0 Barcelona

Barcelona had been expected to pick up their second European title in three years in 1994, with Johan Cruyff having built a seemingly unstoppable Blaugrana outfit that had won four consecutive La Liga titles. 

Belief in a Barca win only went up when it was revealed that Milan would be missing Marco van Basten, Franco Baresi, Gianluigi Lentini and Alessandro Costacurta for the final. 

Milan had also been beaten in the previous year’s final. 

What followed next was one of the great demolition jobs carried out in a Champions League final as Daniele Massaro bagged a brace and Dejan Savicevic and Marcel Desailly scored one each as the Italians routed Barca.

1986: Steaua Bucharest 0-0 Barcelona (Steaua win 2-0 on penalties)

Barcelona have enjoyed plenty of success in European finals but also had their fair share of upsets, with the 1986 final another case in point. 

Terry Venables’ Barca team were expected to brush aside Romanian opponents Steaua Bucharest, who were aiming to be the first team from Eastern Europe to win the European Cup. 

As well as having the better team on paper, Barcelona also had the advantage of the game being played on Spanish soil in Seville. 

But, on the night, they couldn’t find a way past Steaua goalkeeper Helmuth Duckadam. 

Duckadam would keep a clean sheet and then save all four of Barcelona’s penalties in the shootout, earning him the nickname ‘the Hero of Seville’.

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