Five of the best Champions League group wins by Premier League teams
By Andrew Dickson
Last Updated: 02/11/17 2:23pm
With their respective wins over Real Madrid and Napoli, Tottenham and Manchester City ensured Wednesday went down as one of the great Champions League nights for Premier League clubs.
Mauricio Pochettino's men inflicted a first group-phase defeat in five years on the European champions, while City's success in Italy suggested they are capable of replacing Real as holders.
In a campaign which shows increasing promise for English teams, Chelsea's 3-0 loss at Roma on Tuesday remains the only blemish in 20 games played so far.
So where do Wednesday's results rank among the best group-stage results of all time for Premier League teams in Europe's leading club competition?
Here, skysports.com's Andrew Dickson picks out five of the most impressive - but do you think other games should be on the list instead? Tweet us your views at @SkyFootball…
Newcastle 3-2 Barcelona, 17/09/97
Kenny Dalglish's tenure as Newcastle manager was largely unsuccessful but this remarkable win stands out as the undoubted high point of his reign. With Rivaldo and Luis Figo in their side, Barcelona were expected to take full points at St James' Park but fell behind instead in spectacular fashion as Colombian striker Faustino Asprilla scored a first-half hat-trick to send the Gallowgate wild. His first, from the penalty spot, set the tone and by the interval Newcastle were 3-0 up and seemingly cruising to victory.
Not so, with Barca coming back after the restart with an incessant passing game. They pulled one back through Luis Enrique and finally got another two minutes from the end as Figo netted, but they fell just short of nicking a point and Newcastle hung on for a famous victory. It wasn't enough for them to make the knockout stages, though, with Newcastle, Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven all finishing behind Dynamo Kiev.
Manchester United 3-2 Juventus, 01/10/97
Having twice lost 1-0 to the 1996 champions the previous season in the group phase, Manchester United recorded a result which suggested Alex Ferguson's young team packed with home-grown talents were starting to hold their own against Europe's best. They didn't get off to a great start at Old Trafford as Alessandro Del Piero scored in the first minute, but Teddy Sheringham brought Manchester United level seven minutes before the break.
Paul Scholes then compounded the impact of Didier Deschamps' red card with another goal four minutes later and Ryan Giggs burst past two men to fire the winner into the top corner past Angelo Peruzzi a minute from the end. Not even a goal from Zinedine Zidane moments later could take the shine off a memorable victory, and within two years Manchester United had claimed their first Champions League title, beating Bayern Munich 2-1 at the Nou Camp.
Leeds 1-0 AC Milan, 19/09/00
Thrashed 4-0 in Barcelona in their opening group game and burdened with a lengthy list of absentees, there was not great grounds for optimism at Leeds as five-time European champions AC Milan came to Elland Road on matchday two. What unfolded, however, was a dramatic late win which helped propel David O'Leary's team to the semi-finals of the competition in what remains their only Champions League campaign to date.
Leeds' winner came a minute from the end on a waterlogged pitch as Milan goalkeeper Dida unexpectedly fumbled a hopeful 30-yard shot from Lee Bowyer over the line. It gave the hosts a deserved win when drawing instead would likely have been a significant blow to their aspirations. A draw at the San Siro in the final group game sent Leeds through to a second section of four, where they finished above Anderlecht and Lazio to progress again. Incredibly, Leeds played four different Spanish clubs in their run - Barca, Real Madrid, Deportivo La Coruna and Valencia - but won only one game out of eight, with their luck running out against the latter in the semis as they lost 3-0 at the Mestalla to crash out by the same aggregate score.
Inter Milan 1-5 Arsenal, 25/11/03
Having been beaten 3-0 at Highbury by Inter two months earlier and travelled to Italy with several players out injured, Arsenal's hopes of avoiding the defeat which would knock them out of the competition were slim. And yet, after an even first half saw Christian Vieri cancel out Thierry Henry's opener, Arsene Wenger's team surged to one of their most emphatic Champions League wins.
The game actually remained in the balance for more than half an hour after Freddie Ljungberg had put the visitors back in front at the San Siro. In the last five minutes, however, Arsenal added gloss to a fine victory as Henry struck again before Edu and Robert Pires rounded off a 5-1 success. The result still stands as Inter's heaviest home defeat in Europe and it was the catalyst for Wenger's team to go on and win their group.
Liverpool 8-0 Besiktas, 06/11/07
This result doesn't necessarily stand out for the calibre of opposition beaten because it was a game many Liverpool fans expected to win. It does, however, carry significance in the sense it set a new record-winning scoreline in the Champions League, with only Real Madrid matching the 8-0 result in their mauling of Swedish side Malmo in the group stages two years ago. Much like Arsenal had in Milan four years earlier, Liverpool went into the game needing a win to keep their hopes of qualifying alive - and how they delivered on a night to remember at Anfield.
Peter Crouch put Rafa Benitez's team in front and Yossi Benayoun gave them a cushion at half-time but it was after the break that Liverpool truly pressed home their superiority. Benayoun completed a hat-trick before Steven Gerrard struck, Ryan Babel netted a quick double and Crouch scored again. In truth, the 4-1 and 4-0 wins over Porto at home and Marseille away which followed over the next month to take Liverpool through were arguably more impressive - but it was the manner with which they disposed of Besiktas which sparked their recovery.
Most of Chelsea's best Champions League wins have come in the knockout stages but their 4-0 and 5-0 group wins at Lazio and Schalke in 2003 and 2014 stand as two of the biggest successes by English clubs at teams from Europe's big five leagues. Newcastle's victory against Barcelona was by no means their sole Champions League high, with a 1-0 home win against Juventus in 2002 another. Manchester United's 6-2 thrashing of Fenerbahce in 2004 saw Wayne Rooney hit a hat-trick on his debut for the club and Leicester's 1-0 victory over Porto at the King Power Stadium last season had a hand in taking them into the knockout rounds. Scottish clubs have had plenty of Champions League group phase successes too, with Celtic's 2-1 win over Barcelona five years ago their best. Rangers' 3-0 win at Lyon in 2007 was another result which made a lasting impression.
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