Domestic Champions League semi-finals can be rare but wonderful

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid meet at that stage this year

BY Daniel Kelly 10:51 Tuesday 2 May 2017, 10:51 2 May 2017

Picture by: VWPics/SIPA USA/PA Images

On Tuesday night, Atletico Madrid will make the short journey across the Spanish capital to the Santiago Bernabeu to face Real Madrid in their Champions League Semi-Final.

It is the fourth season in a row that the two teams will meet in the competition, but their first in the semi-finals. Real Madrid have won all three previous ties, winning two finals, and a quarter-final.

Domestic semi-finals are a rare occurrence in the Champions League era. In the 44 previous semi-finals, since the European Cup was re-branded in the early 1990s, only eight of them have been involving teams from the same league.

Valencia 5-3 Barcelona (2000)

The turn of the millennium saw the first domestic semi-final, with Valencia booking their place in their first of two successive finals. A 4-1 win at home in the first leg helped Valencia book their place in the final against Real Madrid. 

Miguel Angel Angulo scored twice in the first leg, as Gaizka Mendieta scored in each leg to help Hector Cuper's side reach their first European Cup final.

Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona (2002)

Two years after losing to Valencia, Barcelona would be on the wrong end of a domestic European semi-final once more. Goals from Zinedine Zidane and a 93rd minute strike from Steve McManaman gave Real a 2-0 win in the Nou Camp.

After such a strong first leg, Real played within themselves at home, and still drew 1-1. Raul gave the side a 1-0 half-time lead before an Ivan Helguera own goal gave Barcelona an away goal but it was not to be enough.

AC Milan 1-1 Inter Milan (2003)

The only Italian tie on the list, 2003 was the year Italian football was on top of European football, with AC Milan going on to defeat Juventus in the Final.

The semi-final itself was a defensive affair with, the first leg ending scoreless. In the second leg, an Andriy Shevchenko "away" goal in the San Siro was enough to see the team go through on away goals.

Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool (2005)

The beginning of an era of English dominance is best remembered for the "ghost goal" on front of The Kop. After a scoreless first leg in Stamford Bridge, Luis Garcia scored the only goal at Anfield.

Despite scoring after only four minutes, Liverpool would hold out for the win, and would eventually defeat AC Milan in the final.

Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool (2007)

Two years after meeting at the same stage, Liverpool advanced once more to the final to play AC Milan. Unlike the 2005 semi-final, the game was not decided in 180 minutes, with extra-time and penalties needed in Anfield.

Joe Cole and Daniel Agger gave their sides a 1-0 win at home to send the tie to extra time. Dirk Kuyt was the hero for Liverpool scoring the winning goal in the shootout, as Liverpool won 4-1.

Liverpool 3-4 Chelsea (2008)

Like a glittering film franchise, the teams completed their trilogy one year later, and once more it was the team who was at home in the second leg, who advanced to the final. Extra-time was needed once more, but Chelsea advanced without the need for penalties.

The sides drew 1-1 in Anfield, with Dirk Kuyt looking like giving Liverpool a first leg lead, before a late John Arne Riise own-goal levelled the tie. The second leg was a modern-day classic, with Chelsea winning 3-2 after extra-time. Goals from Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba were enough to advance.

Manchester United 4-1 Arsenal (2009)

For the fourth time in five years, the Champions League semi-finals saw an all-English tie. John O'Shea gave United a 1-0 win in Old Trafford in the first leg, but the team impressed at the Emirates Stadium to advance.

Goals from Park Ji-sung and Cristiano Ronaldo in the opening 15 minutes gave United a brilliant start, and the Portugal striker scored once more to cap a famous win.

Real Madrid 1-3 Barcelona (2011)

The most recent domestic semi-final was a mirror result of what happened eight years previously, with Barcelona advancing to the final, where they would defeat Manchester United.

Two goals from Lionel Messi gave Barcelona a 2-0 win in the Bernabeu in the first leg. At the Nou Camp, Pedro gave the home side the lead, before Marcelo scored a consolation for Real.


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