FC Basel 1893 2-1 Manchester United FC, 7 December 2011
Runners-up the previous season, United fell at the first hurdle in 2011/12. The Old Trafford club, who required a point to progress from Group C, were tormented by Xherdan Shaqiri. The stocky playmaker provided the cross which led to Marco Streller's thumping opener and, as the visitors pressed, set up Alexander Frei to head the second six minutes from time. Phil Jones halved the deficit, but 'Bebbi' survived a tense finale to advance from the initial group stage for the first time since 2002/03.
Juventus 1-4 FC Bayern München, 8 December 2009
Bayern would finish the campaign in the Madrid final against another Serie A side, FC Internazionale Milano, but so nearly ended up in the UEFA Europa League instead. In third place at kick-off behind Juventus, the Bavarians were heading for the last 32 of the latter competition when David Trezeguet gave La Vecchia Signora a 19th-minute lead. Goalkeeper Hans-Jörg Butt equalised from the spot and, early in the second half, Ivica Olić turned the match around. Mario Gomez and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk added goals to consign the Bianconeri, for whom this equalled their record European home loss, to elimination.
FC Barcelona 2-3 FC Shakhtar Donetsk, 9 December 2008
Shakhtar took full advantage of an inexperienced Barcelona team to register a memorable result, albeit in what was a dead rubber for the Catalans. Two goals from Olexandr Gladkiy and Fernandinho's third trumped second-half efforts for the Group C winners by Sylvinho and Sergio Busquets as the Pitmen followed up a 5-0 thrashing of Basel two weeks before. The victory sent the Ukrainian club soaring into the knockout phase of the 38th and last UEFA Cup, a competition they would ultimately win thanks to Jadson's extra-time intervention against SV Werder Bremen in Istanbul.
SL Benfica 2-1 Manchester United FC, 7 December 2005
Goals from Geovanni and Beto stunned United and enabled Benfica to reach the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds for the first time since 1994/95. The result also meant that the Red Devils, who could not build on the early advantage given them by Paul Scholes, failed to advance from the group stage for the first time in ten years; by finishing bottom of Group D they did not even have a UEFA Cup berth for consolation.
Liverpool FC 3-1 Olympiacos CFP, 8 December 2004
Liverpool, who would come from 3-0 down to overcome AC Milan on penalties in the Istanbul final, demonstrated their powers of recovery five months earlier. Beaten 1-0 in Piraeus on matchday two, Rafael Benítez's men needed a two-goal victory to pip their visitors to qualification from Group A on head-to-head record. Their objective never altered in spite of Rivaldo scoring before the half-hour, but heading into the last four minutes they still required another goal to supplement strikes from substitutes Florent Sinama-Pongolle and Neil Mellor. What happened next? Steven Gerrard powered a 25-metre drive beyond Antonis Nikopolidis to spark scenes of jubilation at Anfield. The rest, as they say, is history.
Feyenoord 2-3 Newcastle United FC, 13 November 2002, first group stage
Craig Bellamy returned from suspension to fire Newcastle into the second group stage. Their European challenge in disarray following a 2-0 reverse to Juventus on matchday three, the Magpies landed in Rotterdam with hope renewed after back-to-back wins, but were still reliant on FC Dynamo Kyiv slipping up in Group E's other game. However, even though the Ukrainian club were losing at home, Newcastle were going out until Bellamy slammed in an added-time winner, his second goal of the night. Newcastle therefore became the first side in UEFA Champions League history to lose their first three matches and still progress.
FC Basel 1893 3-3 Liverpool FC, 12 November 2002, first group stage
Basel proceeded to the second group stage on their competition debut at the expense of more illustrious opponents. Liverpool had gone into the game having to win to beat the Swiss outfit to second spot in Group B, but found themselves three down within the first half-hour following a textbook display of quick, one-touch football which resulted in goals for Julio Rossi, Christian Giménez and Thimothée Atouba. Though Ballon d'Or holder Michael Owen capped an exhilarating second-half comeback by the Reds, it was not enough.
Panathinaikos FC 3-1 Juventus, 8 November 2000, first group stage
Occupying second position in Group E before kick-off, Juventus slipped to the foot of the section after an evening to forget in Athens. Trailing to an early Paulo Sousa effort, Carlo Ancelotti's men levelled through Filippo Inzaghi. They were behind again, though, when Angelos Basinas converted a penalty following the dismissal of Edwin van der Sar – it was blow from which they would not recover. Midway through the second half, Krzysztof Warzycha sealed victory for the Greens and Juventus frustrations were compounded when Darko Kovačević was also sent off.
AC Milan 1-2 Rosenborg BK, 4 December 1996
Having opened Group D with a 3-2 success at IFK Göteborg, Rosenborg saved their best until last, recording what remains to this day perhaps their most famous European triumph. Milan had lost at home to FC Porto and in Sweden, but a side containing such luminaries as Paolo Maldini, Zvonimir Boban and Roberto Baggio was heavily fancied to gain the point demanded against a team they had felled 4-1 in Trondheim. While Harald Brattbakk stunned San Siro after a wayward shot broke kindly at his feet, normality was restored when Christophe Dugarry slammed in the equaliser. Vegard Heggem had the final say, beating keeper Sebastiano Rossi to Brattbakk's deep cross 20 minutes from time to send the Norwegian club into the last eight at the expense of their storied hosts.
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