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Five epic Champions League comebacks

What a night: Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates victory over PSG on Wednesday
© AFP Anne-Christine POUJOULAT

PARIS, France, March 7 – Five epic Champions League comebacks after Manchester United knocked Paris Saint-Germain out in the last 16 on Wednesday:

United stun PSG with last-gasp VAR penalty

Last 16, 2018/19

First leg: Man Utd 0 PSG 2

Return leg: PSG 1 Man Utd 3

3-3 on aggregate; Man Utd win on away goals

— Marcus Rashford scored a stoppage-time penalty awarded after a VAR review to give Manchester United a stunning 3-1 win away to Paris Saint-Germain as they improbably went through to the quarter-finals on away goals.

A seriously depleted United looked to have given themselves too much to do after losing 2-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie last month, yet a Romelu Lukaku brace in the first half at the Parc des Princes gave them hope.

Even so, Juan Bernat had netted in between for PSG, and it looked as though they would stumble on until the drama at the death.

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Slovenian referee Damir Skomina awarded a spot-kick after reviewing the images when he had been alerted of a possible handball by PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe in the box.

Rashford duly beat Gianluigi Buffon from 12 yards, as United won a European tie after losing the first leg at home for the first time in their history.

Real’s three-year grip ends

Last 16, 2018/19

First leg: Ajax 1 Real Madrid 2

Return leg: Real Madrid 1 Ajax 4

Ajax won 5-3 on aggregate

— In seven days, Madrid were knocked out of the Copa del Rey, La Liga’s title race and then the last 16 of the Champions League, the competition they had won three times in a row and four times in the last five years.

Defeat meant that Madrid failed to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.

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Hakim Ziyech and David Neres put Ajax two up at half-time and Dusan Tadic made it three before Marco Asensio gave Madrid hope.

It lasted two minutes, as Lasse Schone sent a bending free-kick into the top corner before Nacho was sent off late on.

Barcelona stun PSG

Last 16, 2016/17

First leg: Paris Saint-Germain 4 Barcelona 0

Return leg: Barcelona 6 Paris Saint-Germain 1

Barcelona won 6-5 on aggregate

— Barcelona made history as the first team to come back from a four-goal first-leg deficit in the Champions League on a dramatic night at the Camp Nou when Neymar punished his future side PSG with two goals.

If PSG’s demolition of Luis Enrique’s Barcelona in Paris was a shock, the fightback was mind-blowing with the crucial last two goals coming in added time.

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Sergi Roberto came off the bench to write himself into Spanish football folklore with Barcelona’s sixth goal in the fifth minute of added time.

Barca’s luck runs out in Rome

Quarter-finals, 2017/18

First leg: Barcelona 4 Roma 1

Return leg: Roma 3 Barcelona 0

4-4 on aggregate; Roma won on away goals

— Barcelona’s luck ran out in dramatic style 12 months after their PSG heroics with Edin Dzeko’s away goal at the Camp Nou proving crucial.

The Bosnia striker struggled to express his joy at Roma’s achievement after his sixth-minute goal in the return leg sparked an incredible turnaround by the Italians.

There appeared to be no way back for Roma after they were routed in Barcelona.

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However, after Dzeko’s early goal, a Daniele De Rossi penalty set the scene for Kostas Manolas’s 82nd-minute header to spark wild celebrations led by Roma president James Pallotta, who jumped into Rome’s Piazza del Popolo fountain.

Irureta’s miracle

Quarter-finals, 2003/04

First leg: AC Milan 4 Deportivo La Coruna 1

Return leg: Deportivo La Coruna 4 AC Milan 0

Deportivo won 5-4 on aggregate

— After his side were trounced 4-1 at San Siro, Deportivo coach Javier Irureta admitted there was no rational reason to believe in a miracle.

However, his side roared out of the blocks in the return, holding a 3-0 lead at half-time thanks to goals by Walter Pandiani, Juan Carlos Valeron and Albert Luque.

Substitute Fran Gonzalez added a fourth with 14 minutes to go and, having prayed for success, Irureta honoured his pre-match promise by taking the pilgrim trail to Santiago de Compostela after Deportivo’s unlikely victory.

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