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Classic UEFA Champions League semi-finals

Published: Friday 24 April 2015, 9.31CET
Two all-Spanish ties, a famous Roy Keane display for Manchester United FC and a four-goal salvo by Robert Lewandowski feature in's review of some memorable semis.

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Published: Friday 24 April 2015, 9.31CET

Classic UEFA Champions League semi-finals

Two all-Spanish ties, a famous Roy Keane display for Manchester United FC and a four-goal salvo by Robert Lewandowski feature in's review of some memorable semis.

1994/95: AFC Ajax 5-2 FC Bayern München
A youthful Ajax team reached the club's fifth European Cup final after an extraordinary second-leg display. A goalless 90 minutes a fortnight earlier had not hinted at the drama to come in Amsterdam, where Jari Litmanen scored twice, his second putting the Dutch side 4-1 up in the 47th minute. Bayern had equalised through Marcel Witeczek, but a thunderous effort from Finidi George and Ronald de Boer's intervention before the break turned the tide the hosts' way. Though Mehmet Scholl gave Giovanni Trapattoni's men hope with a 75th-minute penalty, Marc Overmars settled matters in the closing stages.


Mario Basler after Bayern's 3-3 draw in Ukraine

1998/99: FC Dynamo Kyiv 3-4 FC Bayern München
Stefan Effenberg, with a free-kick, and Carsten Jancker struck in the last 12 minutes as Bayern salvaged a thrilling 3-3 first-leg draw in Ukraine. Having scored twice at home in the previous round against Real Madrid CF, a 22-year-old by the name of Andriy Shevchenko enhanced his growing reputation with another double, his seventh and eighth European goals of the campaign, as Dynamo seized control of a tie they would lead 3-1 after Michael Tarnat and Vitaliy Kosovskiy registered either side of the interval. Mario Basler later confirmed Bayern's place in the Barcelona final with the only goal of the return fixture.

©Getty Images

Roy Keane after making his mark against Juve

1998/99: Manchester United FC 4-3 Juventus
For large swathes of this tie it seemed Juventus would get to their fourth straight final, the Bianconeri having gone in front at Old Trafford through Antonio Conte. Though Ryan Giggs equalised in added time, Filippo Inzaghi's double had Juventus 3-1 ahead on aggregate within 11 minutes of the return. A nightmare start for United improved when Roy Keane, who subsequently received a booking to rule him out of the final, headed in David Beckham's corner. With their midfield general driving them on, the Red Devils wrested the initiative as Dwight Yorke nodded in Andrew Cole's cross. Cole, after Yorke had been felled by Angelo Peruzzi, completed a stunning comeback as United advanced to their first European Cup final in 31 years, where they would overcome Bayern in even more dramatic style.

©Getty Images

Valencia celebrate reaching the final

1999/2000: Valencia CF 5-3 FC Barcelona
Valencia achieved one of their greatest European triumphs in the last home game of their debut UEFA Champions League campaign. At Mestalla they had been irresistible, putting four past SS Lazio in the last eight, a feat they quickly repeated against their domestic rivals thanks partly to two first-half goals from Miguel Ángel Angulo. Barcelona's second-leg task then became gargantuan when Gaizka Mendieta, on target in the first leg, found the net on 69 minutes at Camp Nou, making it 5-1 on aggregate. The Catalan team did manage to claim victory on the night, Frank de Boer and Phillip Cocu scoring, but it was too little, too late as Héctor Cúper's men marched into the final, where they would lose to another Liga heavyweight Real Madrid CF.

©AFP/Getty Images

Steve McManaman takes on Barcelona

2001/02: FC Barcelona 1-3 Real Madrid CF
Madrid, shorn of the suspended Luís Figo, withstood a barrage of attacks in the first leg to secure a 2-0 away win. Barcelona had gone 19 years without a home loss to their great rivals, but second-half goals from Zinédine Zidane and Steve McManaman brought that run to a dramatic conclusion. The tie was all over by half-time of the return match, Raúl González latching onto a ball outside the area and blasting a shot into the net. Iván Helguera's own goal did not provide the Blaugrana with the springboard they would have hoped for as Madrid progressed to the final.


Juventus react to ousting Madrid

2002/03: Juventus 4-3 Real Madrid CF
On target in a 2-1 defeat by the holders eight days before, David Trezeguet struck again 12 minutes in at the Stadio delle Alpi. Alessandro Del Piero extended La Vecchia Signora's lead on the night before the halfway point of an encounter that was decided midway through the second period. Figo, given the chance to level the aggregate scores, had a penalty saved by Gianluigi Buffon – and six minutes later Pavel Nedvěd put the outcome beyond doubt. A late goal by Zinédine Zidane, back at the stadium he graced for five years, was meagre consolation for the deposed European champions. Sadly for Nedvěd, an 82nd-minute caution kept him out of the Old Trafford final against AC Milan.


PSV's Mark van Bommel tracks Clarence Seedorf

2004/05: AC Milan 3-3 PSV Eindhoven (Milan win on away goals)
Twelve months after RC Deportivo La Coruña launched the mother of all comebacks from 4-1 down to eliminate Milan in the quarter-finals, PSV almost reawakened that nightmare for the Rossoneri. Beaten 2-0 in the first leg at San Siro, the Eredivisie side erased that deficit on home soil with the help of Ji-Sung Park and Cocu before an added-time goal from Milan's acting captain Massimo Ambrosini – after Paolo Maldini had gone off with a head injury – left PSV needing two more to advance. Cocu looped one of them over Dida, but it was not to be. "PSV dominated the game for almost 90 minutes and that is not the way we need to play," said Milan defender Jaap Stam.

©AFP/Getty Images

Robert Lewandowski after his fourth against Madrid

2012/13: Borussia Dortmund 4-3 Real Madrid CF
Quite simply, this tie was all about one man: Robert Lewandowski. Dortmund's Poland forward claimed a semi-final record four goals in the first leg, his opener having been cancelled out by Cristiano Ronaldo's 50th in the competition, as José Mourinho's men were floored by a stunning performance. "I gave all my players a hug, because they fully deserved it," enthused Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp. "That was pure football tonight, my players were unstoppable." That was not the case at the Santiago Bernabéu, though, quick-fire late goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos making it 2-0 to Madrid on the night and setting up a frantic finish. "We were close," said Mourinho. "If we had scored earlier, we would have had more opportunities."

©AFP/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos after Madrid's fourth in Munich

2013/14: Real Madrid CF 5-0 FC Bayern München
Taken apart by Dortmund in the first leg of the previous season's semi-final, Madrid's pride was restored as they followed up a 1-0 home win with a 4-0 success in Munich – Bayern's heaviest home loss in a UEFA competition. Sergio Ramos provided the first two, before Cristiano Ronaldo hit numbers three and four, his 15th and 16th of the campaign setting a competition record. "This team never ceases to surprise me and today they were very good," coach Carlo Ancelotti concluded. Next up: a final encounter with Club Atlético de Madrid, and even more surprises.

All headline scores aggregate

Last updated: 24/04/15 9.28CET

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