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Great Champions League comebacks should inspire Madrid

Apr 30, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

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Okay, we all know it is a long shot. Nobody has given Real Madrid, or Barcelona for that matter, a chance of overturning heavy first leg defeats.

The seismic shift of European soccer has occurred, German football now overshadows their Spanish counterparts, blah, blah, blah…

But it can be done. Here’s some proof from past Champions League competitions, that should give fans of Real Madrid some hope ahead of the semifinal clash in a matter of hours.

1. Deportivo La Coruna 4 vs. AC Milan 0 (2003-04 quarterfinal second leg)

Milan were all but assured of their place in the UCL semifinals, well on the way to retaining the trophy they won in 2003. After winning the first leg 4-1 at the San Siro, nobody gave little Deportivo a chance of reaching the semis. How wrong they were. The team from northern Spain raced into a 3-0 lead at half time, before Gonzalez Fran scored to make it 4-0 in the 75th minute and send them into the semis after a 5-4 aggregate win.

2. Barcelona 5 vs. Chelsea 1 (1999-00 quarterfinal second leg)

Barcelona have done it before. But that was only a two-goal deficit against Chelsea way back when. The London club defeated Barca 3-1 at Stamford Bridge in the first leg and were going through 4-3 on aggregate going into the last 10 minutes of normal time. But Dani Garcia scored to take the game to extra-time, as Barcelona ran riot and won 5-1 thanks to Rivaldo, Figo and Patrick Kluivert.

3. Chelsea 4 vs, Napoli 1 (2011-12 round of 16, second leg)

The Blues looked down and out, after Andre Vilas-Boas lost his job following the 3-1 first leg defeat in Naples. But Chelsea rallied at home, with the experienced trio of Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard scoring to send the game into extra-time. Branislav Ivanovic  proved to be the hero with the winning goal, as Chelsea went on to lift the European cup in similarly dramatic fashion in Munich last May.

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