Changed 19 Apr 2020, 12:32 IST
When it comes to the Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi lead the record-breaking goalscoring exploits, but there are plenty of masterful performances on the other end of the pitch.
An exhibition like this came up three years ago on April 7, when Juventus came to terms with misery and lost to Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the competition.
An interdisciplinary team led by Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid and Jose Mourinho has arranged some of Europe’s most memorable rearguard exhibits.
We look back at the best five defensive displays in Champions League history.
1992-93 Final: Marseille 1-0 Milan
Marseille was the underdog at the Olympiastadin in Munich but managed to become Europe’s first French champion in the inaugural Champions League.
Daniel Masaro went close for Milan in the opening opener when he was narrowly wide, and Fabian Bartz rejected him from a sharp angle after stopping a low effort by goalkeeper Marco van Basten.
Bacilli was struggling with a muscular injury for much of the first half but went home in the corner of Abedi Pell to move forward with Raymond Gaithells due to a stroke of half-time.
Marseille, who was holding firm for the second time fully claiming the trophy, told Bowie UEFA: “The last 45 minutes felt like 45 years and with the final whistle blowing it felt like 100 years.”
However, after the match-fixing scandal in the Ligue 1 match, they were stripped of their domestic crown and died as Marseille were prevented from holding their title.
– Olympic de Marseille (@ OM_English) May 26, 2016
2004-05 Semifinal Second leg: Liverpool 1-0 Chelsea (1-0 aggressive)
When Jerzy Dudek saw more work than Petr Cech after the goalless draw at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool took just four minutes to score against Chelsea – who was the Premier League champions for the first time in three years three years ago – in the return match to Anfield.
Louis Garcia later replayed what he termed the ‘ghost target’ and was unable to confirm whether the ball crossed the line before clearing William Gallas due to lack of technology.
Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool sat down to play the rest of the game with ease and limited pressure put on Chelsea and ended their expectations.
Ud Dur Gudjohnsen missed the glorious chance of being equalized during the stoppage after a punch by Dudek, which means Liverpool have reached the final against Milan.
The attack was more than Istanbul’s defense that the Reds faced success as they downed the Reds’ success 3-0 to defeat Rossoni on penalties and become the champion of Europe for the fifth time.
– Liverpool FC (A) (@LFC) May 3, 2015
27-5 Semifinal Second Leg: Barcelona 3-1 Inter (2-1 Attack)
Mourinho may lose to Inter-Camp Nou, but a 3-1 margin in the first leg would mean they are in the finals.
In the 28 minutes, when former Barsa midfielder Thiago Motta was shown a red card to put his hand in the face of Sergio Busquets, it was certainly the final test of their communication.
Even with the disadvantages of the numbers, Inter dismissed an attack that boasted Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Pedro with a compact display, and their continued gamemaking caused a disappointment in the fierce battle of Bursa.
Gerard Pique gave Pep Guardiola’s men hope of breaking the silence in the last minute of the Ra৪s, but they could not deny Mourinho crossing the pitch during the final whistle.
Inter won the final for the first time since 1972 and defeated Bayern Munich in the Santiago Bernabeu .A.
– Inter (@internally) April 28, 2016
24-5 Quarterfinals Second Leg: Atletico Madrid 2-1 Barcelona (3-2 Aggressive)
Barcelona’s quest to be the first team to hold the Champions League trophy ended Atletico at Vicente Calderon
A trademark of Simeon has seen defensive masterclass Atletico on one of the best offensive units in modern football – Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar on MSN.
The hosts occupied just 20 percent and finished one-fifth (122 to 616) of Bursa’s passes, but the great combination of Diego Godin and Lucas Hernandez benefited Luis Enrique’s team.
Antoine Griezmann plays in the first half, converting a delivery from Saul Niguez after Barcelona crashed after Andreas Iniesta was sentenced for handball.
A similar performance from the back saw Atletico take Bayern to the final but they lost to local rivals Real Madrid for the second time in a three-year showpiece.
– Atletico de Madrid (@AttletinGlish) April 13, 2016
27-17 quarterfinals second leg: Barcelona 0-0 Juventus (0-3 arrival)
They may have lost the courtesy of the first leg of the inspired Paolo Dybala show, but with a 4-0 aggregate deficit against Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16, Bursa still had high hopes for Juve’s past.
Surprisingly they showed the visitors a flurry of goals with the shot but they were only able to score the goal with one of them, Messi heating up Gianluigi Buffon’s glove from 25 yards in the first half.
Giorgio Chellini and Leonardo Bonucci – joined by third center-backs Andrea Barzagli for the final 15 minutes – showed extraordinary protection and discipline to give Buffon outstanding protection throughout.
Massimiliano Allegri joined Manchester United (27-0-6) and Bayern (212-5) as the only teams to stop Bursa’s score on both legs of the Champions League.
Juve managed to get to the finals but could not wait 21 years to get their hands on the trophy, with Madrid doing two consecutive games in Cardiff.