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

11:10 08 November 2012

Celtic

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.

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest football news

Friday, May 6, 2016
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made a welcome return at London Colney.  (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will miss the European Championships after Arsene Wenger revealed he has suffered a fresh knee injury which will keep him sidelined for up to two months.

Friday, May 6, 2016
Aerial view of Wembley Stadium (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke says Chelsea could play home games at Wembley in the near future for as long as three seasons.

Friday, May 6, 2016
West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian celebrates after Cheikhou Kouyate put his side in front at The Hawthorns (pic: Nick Potts/PA)

Slaven Bilic has ruled goalkeeper Adrian out of the clash with Swansea at Upton Park but the Spaniard should return to face Manchester United.

Friday, May 6, 2016
Nemanja Matic of Chelsea and James McCarthy of Everton compete for the ball (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

We round up all the talking points from Friday morning’s papers ahead of a busy weekend of football around London.

Friday, May 6, 2016
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech (Steve Paston/PA Wire)

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech is in the running to win this season’s Premier League Golden Glove award, ahead of North London rival Hugo Lloris.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more
Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport