FC Barcelona 6-1 PSG, RB Leipzig 4-5 Bayern Munich: The best matches of 2017
From FC Barcelona’s sensational comeback to Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League win, a look at the best football matches of 2017.football Updated: Dec 19, 2017 16:52 IST
With the year coming towards its conclusion, now is the perfect time to look back at 2017. It has been another classic year for football, with some matches that will live long in the memory.A couple of Champions League games make our top 10 - but what else is in there? Let’s have a look at the best football matches of 2017 -
FC BARCELONA 6-1 PARIS SAINT GERMAIN
Barcelona were 5-3 down on aggregate in the 88th minute, but produced one of the most stirring, emotional and triumphant comebacks of all time to reach the Champions League quarter-finals. Neymar set up the most dramatic of finales with a free-kick and penalty before Sergi Roberto cemented his place in the club’s folklore with a magical 95th-minute winner. Luis Enrique’s side ultimately crashed out to Juventus in the next round, but could at least take comfort in their role in one of football’s most memorable ever games.
MONACO 3-1 MANCHESTER CITY
Holding a 5-3 lead from the first leg, Manchester City could have been forgiven for thinking they had one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals when they visited Stade Louis II. Monaco’s swashbuckling crop of youngsters – led by the emerging Kylian Mbappe - had other ideas, though, and put City to sword with a display brimming with verve and invention. Tiemoue Bakayoko scored the decisive goal with 13 minutes remaining to deliver the knockout blow to Pep Guardiola’s side, who departed on away goals with the tie locked at 6-6.
ROMA 3-2 LAZIO
Roma won this match, but bitter city rivals Lazio went through last season’s Coppa Italia final with a 4-3 aggregate victory. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Ciro Immobile had struck in the first leg - Lazio’s first derby win in nearly four years - and they were both on target again for Simone Inzaghi’s side. Lazio looked to be cruising at 4-1 up, but Mohamed Salah hit a brace to spark dramatic closing few minutes at the Stadio Olimpico. Lazio held on. Just.
REAL MADRID 2-3 BARCELONA
Lionel Messi surely could not have hand-picked a better way to score his 500th goal for Barcelona. An injury time strike to secure a 3-2 win over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu and send his side to the top of LaLiga was a fittingly ridiculous way to do it for a man who has made a habit of achieving the impossible throughout his career.
RB LEIPZIG 4-5 BAYERN MUNICH
This one had nine goals and a whole heap of drama as Bayern came from behind to beat their nearest Bundesliga rivals, RB Leipzig, asserting their dominance as last season’s champions. Robert Lewandowski scored the second of his brace to reduce the arrears after Timo Werner put the hosts 4-2 ahead. Arjen Robben rifled in a trademark strike deep in stoppage-time to spark jubilant celebrations - you’d never guess this game had nothing riding on it.
JUVENTUS 1-4 REAL MADRID
Cristiano Ronaldo was at his imperious best as Real Madrid secured a record 12th Champions League in one of the most entertaining Europe’s premier competition has seen for years. The Portuguese superstar scored twice as Zinedine Zidane’s side wrapped up a third win in the competition in the past four years. Juventus’ Mario Mandzukic had his part to play in the pulsating match as well, scoring one of the great Champions League final goals with a stunning overhead kick.
CHELSEA 0-1 MANCHESTER CITY
This pick is not a goal-fest like many of our selections, but it was an early sign this Manchester City side may be something special. Kevin De Bruyne scored the only goal - making Chelsea’s decision to let him go look more than a little silly - as Pep Guardiola’s side controlled the game from the first whistle to the last. At the end of the season, this match may be seen as the game where Chelsea’s title of champions was effectively passed on to City.
ECUADOR 1-3 ARGENTINA
With Argentina’s hopes of qualifying for next year’s World Cup hanging by a thread, Lionel Messi showed why he is unquestionably one of the greatest to ever play the game. Jorge Sampaoli’s side had to beat Ecuador to qualify for football’s showpiece event and suffered a hammer blow when they conceded inside the first minute. Step forward Messi, though, who plundered a hat-trick in one of the great individual performances of our time to book his country’s spot in Russia.
LANUS 4-2 RIVER PLATE
A stunning comeback from Lanus saw them reach the Copa Libertadores final with a 4-3 aggregate victory over River Plate last month. Jorge Almiron’s side looked dead and buried when Ignacio Scocco’s penalty extended River’s 2-0 advantage from the first leg. But Jose Sand struck either side of the interval, with Lautaro Acosta drawing the tie level on aggregate before Alejandro Silva booked a place in the final with a penalty.
BORUSSIA DORTMUND 4-4 SCHALKE
This remarkable collapse was a key reason behind Peter Bosz’s sacking, the BVB boss watching on in horror as his side contrived to throw away a four-goal lead in last month’s Revierderby. After 25 minutes it was 4-0 to Dortmund but the visitors roared back in the last half-hour, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang seeing red. Schalke had already cut Dortmund’s advantage to two goals before Aubameyang’s red, after which Daniel Caligiuri set up a grandstand finish, Naldo heading in a stoppage-time equaliser to complete one of the great Bundesliga comebacks.
First Published: Dec 19, 2017 16:22 IST