Champions League shockers - the best upsets in Europe’s elite competition

11:10 08 November 2012


Celtic's Tony Watt celebrates scoring during the UEFA Champions League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire.

Celtic stunned Barcelona last night by beating them 2-1 in Champions League Group G, with Neil Lennon admitting teenage striker Tony Watt will “go down in history” after scoring what proved to be the decisive goal.

Here, London24 looks back at the other underdogs who made a name for themselves by upsetting the established order.

Artmedia Bratislava 5 Celtic 0 (second qualifying round first leg, 2005-06)

Seven years ago it was Celtic on the receiving end as Slovakian champions, but European minnows, Artmedia enjoyed one of the greatest nights in their history. Juraj Halenar was the star of the show with a hat-trick as Blazej Vascak and Martin Mikulic also found the net. Celtic’s new manager, Gordon Strachan, described the result as “out-and-out the worst football night” he had ever had. Celtic won the return leg 4-0 but still crashed out.

Barcelona 1 Rubin Kazan 2 (group stage, 2009-10)

Barca, too, are no strangers to a shock defeat on Europe’s grandest stage after group stage newcomers Rubin, from Russia, announced themselves by marching into the Nou Camp and making off with three points. And they did it in style, Aleksandr Ryazantsev thundering home the opener from 30 yards in the second minute and Gokdeniz Karadeniz earning victory after Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s equaliser.

Helsingborgs 1 Inter Milan 0 (third qualifying round first leg, 2000-01)

Big-spending Inter, with Ronaldo and Robbie Keane in their line-up, were denied a place in the group stages by their unheralded Swedish opponents. Mikael Hansson volleyed the Scandinavians ahead with eight minutes of the first leg remaining and, with keeper Sven Andersson to the fore, they held on to reach the competition proper after a goalless return leg.

APOEL 1 Lyon 0 (second round second leg, 2011-12)

Cypriot champions APOEL had come all the way from the first qualifying round to reach the tournament proper, where they topped a group containing Porto, Shakhtar Donetsk and Zenit St Petersburg. Lyon awaited in the first knockout round and after a 1-0 first-leg defeat in France, APOEL won the second leg on home soil by the same scoreline thanks to Gustavo Manduca’s early goal and then triumphed 4-3 on penalties, Dionisis Chiotis saving from Alexandre Lacazette and Michel Bastos before Ivan Trickovski sealed victory.

NK Maribor 2 Lyon 0 (third qualifying round second leg, 1999-2000)

Last season’s mishap was not Lyon’s first taste of a Champions League shock. Already leading 1-0 from the first leg, Slovenian side Maribor completed their upset win over the rising French powerhouse, who would go on to win seven consecutive Ligue 1 titles from 2002 to 2008. Ante Simundza and Stipe Balajic scored the second-leg goals to take Maribor into the group stage.

BATE Borisov 3 Bayern Munich 1 (group stage, 2012-13)

BATE, from Belarus, had already upset Lille in their opening Group F game this season but a second victory against the overwhelming group favourites was certainly not in the script. Aleksandr Pavlov and Vitali Rodionov put them 2-0 up and, though France star Franck Ribery pulled a goal back, substitute Renan Bressan’s late goal made the game safe and left BATE top of the group, though they have since suffered back-to back defeats against Valencia.

Chelsea 1 Rosenborg 1 (group stage 2007-08)

The Norwegian underdogs held Chelsea, then dethroned Champions of the Premier League, to a 1-1 draw.

Marek Sapara gave Rosenborg the lead before Andriy Shevchenko levelled the scores for the Blues.

Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou hit the woodwork but Rosenborg held out to secure a draw.

It proved to be the final straw for Roman Abramovich, who sacked Jose Mourinho three days after the game.

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