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Classic Champions League semi-finals

Liverpool's famous comeback, a four-goal Robert Lewandowski salvo and a record-breaking Cristiano Ronaldo night feature among the competition's memorable last-four ties.

The 2023/24 UEFA Champions League is the 31st edition to feature a semi-final stage. UEFA.com picks out some of the most memorable ties from down the years.

Most semi-final appearances by club (up to 2023/24)

17 Real Madrid
Bayern München

Bayern 0-0 Ajax
Ajax 5-2 Bayern (agg: 5-2)

A goalless first leg gave little indication of what was to come in Amsterdam, where Jari Litmanen scored twice. Finidi George, Ronald de Boer and Marc Overmars piled in with further goals as a youthful Ajax team reached the club's fifth European Cup final. Marcel Witeczek and Mehmet Scholl struck for Giovanni Trapattoni's visitors.

1994/95 semi-final highights: Ajax 5-2 Bayern

Dynamo Kyiv 3-3 Bayern
Bayern 1-0 Dynamo Kyiv (agg: 4-3)
Andriy Shevchenko, 22, scored twice as Valeriy Lobanovskiy's resurgent Dynamo took a 3-1 lead at home, but Bayern struck twice in the last 12 minutes, and Mario Basler got the only goal of the return fixture. "When we were 3-1 up, we had chances to score a fourth and fifth," striker Serhiy Rebrov recalled. "Many years have passed but I can say that we deserved to win that Champions League."

Manchester United 1-1 Juventus
Juventus 2-3 Manchester United (agg: 3-4)
Trailing to Filippo Inzaghi's double within 11 minutes of kick-off in the second leg, United were inspired by Roy Keane, who headed in a David Beckham corner before Dwight Yorke levelled and Andrew Cole's late winner completed the turnaround. "It was the most emphatic display of selflessness I have seen on a football field," said Sir Alex Ferguson of his captain, who received a booking which meant he missed the final.

Valencia 4-1 Barcelona
Barcelona 2-1 Valencia (agg: 3-5)
Immense at home in their first Champions League season, Héctor Cúper's men shredded Barcelona in the first leg, Miguel Ángel Angulo striking twice. Gaizka Mendieta made it 5-1 on aggregate 69 minutes into the Camp Nou return before the home side rallied. "We took people by surprise," Cúper noted, though there were to be no shocks in the all-Spanish decider against Madrid.

Valencia edge all-Spanish semi

Barcelona 0-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 1-1 Barcelona (agg: 3-1)

Goals from Zinédine Zidane and Steve McManaman ended Barcelona's near-19-year run without a home loss to their great rivals, and there was no way back after Raúl González put Vicente del Bosque's Galácticos ahead in the return fixture. "I want to honour Barcelona's attitude, it was great," Del Bosque said after the visitors bossed the return leg. "But our individuals, especially Raúl, have been crucial."

 Real Madrid 2-1 Juventus
 Juventus 3-1 Real Madrid (agg: 4-3)
Returning to his old stamping ground for the second leg, Zinédine Zidane was upstaged as David Trezeguet and Alessandro Del Piero put Juve 2-0 up, with Gianluigi Buffon saving a Luís Figo penalty before Pavel Nedvěd made it 3-0. Zidane got a late consolation, but Nedvěd's despair was greater, a booking triggering a suspension for the final. "I am so sad I could die," he said afterwards.

AC Milan 2-0 PSV Eindhoven
PSV Eindhoven 3-1 AC Milan (agg: 3-3, Milan win on away goals)
Twelve months after succumbing to the mother of all comebacks against Deportivo La Coruña, Milan flirted with disaster in Eindhoven, going 2-0 down before stand-in captain Massimo Ambrosini scored in added time. There was time for Philip Cocu to make it 3-1 on the night, Milan defender Jaap Stam concluding: "PSV dominated for almost 90 minutes and that is not the way we need to play."

Dortmund 4-1 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 2-0 Dortmund (agg: 3-4)

Robert Lewandowski's semi-final-record four goals in the first leg put Cristiano Ronaldo's 50th in the competition in the shade. "I gave all my players a hug, because they fully deserved it," enthused Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp. "My players were unstoppable." José Mourinho's side made a game of it in the return, but Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos's goals came a little too late.

Real Madrid 1-0 Bayern
Bayern 0-4 Real Madrid (agg: 0-5)

A narrow home win in the first leg should have heralded a close decider, but as it was, Bayern were handed their heaviest home loss in UEFA club competition, while Ronaldo set a competition record with his 15th and 16th goals of the campaign. "This team never ceases to surprise me and today they were very good," coach Carlo Ancelotti concluded.

Liverpool 5-2 Roma
Roma 4-2 Liverpool (agg: 6-7)
The Reds scored five times in 34 first-leg minutes, including two each for Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, to seemingly put the tie to bed but two late goals gave the Giallorossi a sniff. Edin Džeko's second of the tie and a late Radja Nainggolan double left Roma one shy but ensured the record was equalled for most goals in a Champions League knockout tie. "It's completely normal that you have to keep your nerve in situations like this," summarised Liverpool manager Klopp.

See Liverpool blitz Roma

Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool
Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona (agg: 4-3)
Lionel Messi struck twice in a Camp Nou procession – a comeback from three down after a semi-final first leg had never happened before. Liverpool, not averse to making history, had other ideas. Divock Origi started and finished the scoring in the second leg with a Georginio Wijnaldum double in between. "I said to the boys before the game that it was impossible – but because it was them, they had a chance," said Klopp. It was one of the most astonishing turnarounds... until the following night.

Tottenham 0-1 Ajax
Ajax 2-3 Tottenham (agg: 3-3, Tottenham win on away goals)
Donny van de Beek decided the first game before Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech appeared to settle the tie before half-time in Amsterdam. Enter Lucas Moura, the Brazilian conjuring a miracle with a second-half hat-trick, including a 96th-minute decider. "Football gives us moments like this that we cannot imagine," said the match-winner. "It's the best moment in my life."

Manchester City 4-3 Real Madrid
Real Madrid 3-1aet Manchester City (agg: 6-5)
The first leg was a feast of attacking intent with the Merengues kept alive by Benzema's double. Riyad Mahrez seemed to extinguish their hopes in the return only for Ancelotti's side to blindside them with Rodrygo's last-gasp double taking the tie into extra time, where Benzema kept his nerve from the penalty spot to complete the turnaround. "Another mad night," said Federico Valverde. City would, however, get their revenge at the same stage in the following season on their way to a maiden Champions League crown.

Highlights: Real Madrid 3-1 Man. City