5️⃣ defining moments that shaped this season's Uefa Champions League | OneFootball
5️⃣ defining moments that shaped this season's Uefa Champions League
And just like that, another incredible Champions League season is about to reach its conclusion.
Real Madrid and Liverpool meet in Paris – a repeat of their 2018 final – to establish who will be crowned as Kings of Europe.
But what were the defining moments of this season’s competition? We’ve broken them down below.
Haller makes history
(Matchday One: Sporting 1-5 Ajax)
Surprisingly, 16 players have scored four goals in one game throughout Champions League history. But only two have scored four on their Champions League debuts.
Sébastien Haller joined the exclusive club last September after netting four against Sporting CP on his maiden appearance in the competition – a record previously set 29 years ago by Marco van Basten (against IFK Göteborg in 1992).
However, the Ajax frontman made some unwanted history later on, by becoming the first player to score 11+ goals in a Champions League season and not reach the quarter-final stage.
Cristiano overtakes Casillas
(Matchday Two: Manchester United 2-1 Villarreal)
Few players in football history can match the longevity and impact of Cristiano Ronaldo – two qualities which were on show at Old Trafford when Villarreal came to town.
Starting the game meant Ronaldo (178 appearances) had broken Iker Casillas’s Champions League appearance record (177 appearances), but there was still time for him to net a last minute winner as well.
The 36-year-old volleyed home from a narrow angle in the 95th minute to clinch victory for his side, which would later help seal knockout stage progression.
Yellow Submarine sinks Bayern
(Quarter final: Villarreal 1-1 Bayern Munich)
Despite winning their quarter final first leg, Villarreal were still seen as huge underdogs heading into the second leg away at Bayern Munich.
The Bundesliga giants peppered their opponents’ goal but the Spanish side didn’t read the script, as one breakaway – clinically finished by Samuel Chukwueze – was all they needed to stun the Allianz Arena and earn a semi-final place.
Unai Emery’s side would eventually suffer heartbreak at the hands of Liverpool although their performances garnered credit across the world of football.
Reds survive semi-final scare
(Semi final: Villarreal 2-3 Liverpool)
You can’t argue that Liverpool are worthy finalists but they survived a significant scare against Villarreal in the semi-finals.
Having won their first leg fixture 2-0 at Anfield, the Premier League side were pulled back to 2-2 with Estadio de la Cerámica practically erupting with noise.
However, second half goals from Fabinho, Luis Diaz and Sadio Mané eventually saw the Reds through – although some grey hairs were earned along the way.
Rodrygo revives Real Madrid
(Semi final: Real Madrid 3-1 Manchester City)
When Riyad Mahrez curled past Thibaut Courtois at the Santiago Bernabéu, it looked certain that Manchester City would be Champions League finalists once again.
However, discounting Real Madrid is a lesson many have learned the hard way. An incredible cameo from second-half substitute Rodrygo saw him score twice in two minutes – after the 90th minute! – forcing the game into extra time.
Los Blancos eventually booked their final date with Liverpool thanks to a Karim Benzema penalty, but those 120 seconds of madness will live long in the memory.
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