The Champions League returns: Relive the top five matches of the 2019/20 season so far
Europe's elite competition is set to return to BT Sport in August and to whet your appetite, we've looked back at the best this season has had to offer.
The Champions League is finally returning, with a 12-day mini tournament in Lisbon to decide who will be the kings of Europe - with every game live on BT Sport.
By the time the four remaining last-16 second legs are played, five months will have elapsed since the last ball was kicked in anger in Europe's premier club competition.
So for those of you that might need a refresher on some of the thrilling encounters we've been treated to so far, here are five of the very best.
Red Bull Salzburg 6-2 Genk
19 September, 2019 - Group Stages
The match that made the man.
Erling Haaland was largely unknown outside of Austria and Norway before Red Bull Salzburg’s Champions League group-stage opener at home to Genk.
It was a different story 90 minutes later, as the towering teenager - making his debut in the competition - bagged a sensational hat-trick in a thumping 6-2 win.
It took two minutes for Haaland to open the scoring and he bagged twice more before the interval, in a contest that was effectively over at half-time as Salzburg led 5-1.
The Norwegian became the third-youngest hat-trick scorer in the competition’s history and youngest-ever to net a treble in the first half.
Incredibly, the three-goal haul meant he’d scored 23 goals in his last nine matches in all competitions including a ridiculous nine goals for Norway Under-20s against Honduras.
Son of former Leeds and Manchester City midfielder Alf-Inge, Haaland moved well and truly out of his father’s shadow that evening and the legend has just kept on growing, with a move to Borussia Dortmund following in the January transfer window.
Tottenham 2-7 Bayern Munich
1 October, 2019 - Group Stages
Another evening that was all about one man - Serge Gnabry.
The former Arsenal player destroyed last season’s finalists with an incredible five goals as the German ran riot on his return to north London.
What was billed as a thriller between the two favourites for the group, instantly lived up to the hype with Tottenham starting the strongest and taking the lead through Heung-min Son.
It proved a false dawn.
Joshua Kimmich curled in a wonderful equaliser from outside the area before Robert Lewandowski arrowed home to give Bayern the advantage.
Cue the second half, a.k.a. the Gnabry show.
The winger got his first, bombing down the flank and cutting inside, before bagging Bayern’s third and his second, two minutes later via a crisp first-time finish.
Spurs added some respectability with a Harry Kane penalty but that soon went out the window. Gnabry finished off another counter-attack for the fifth, Lewandowski’s measured finish provided the sixth and the man of the moment completed the rout with his pick of the bunch.
“I imagine all the Arsenal fans enjoyed that one,” Gnabry joked post match.
Dortmund 3-2 Inter Milan
5 November, 2019 - Group Stages
Every point could prove vital and with Barca top on seven points after three matches, it would be a battle between these two (both four points before kick off) to determine who finished as runners-up.
Antonio Conte’s men made a statement at the San Siro with a 2-0 win over the Germans and it looked as though it would be a similar story at Signal Iduna Park when the Italians raced into a two-goal lead.
Lautaro Martinez’s solo run and finish put them on their way before Matias Vecino scored one of the goals of the season – rounding off a sensational move just before the break.
Lucien Favre must have said something at half-time though, as the hosts came out of the blocks brimming with belief. Achraf Hakimi, who has just sealed a move to Inter, halved the deficit and Julian Brandt squeezed in from a tight angle to draw the home side level.
The momentum was with Dortmund and Jadon Sancho then teed up Hakimi to score his second of the night 13 minutes from time, to seal a dramatic comeback.
Ajax 4-4 Chelsea
5 November, 2019 - Group Stages
Group stage games don’t come much better than this eight-goal thriller from Stamford Bridge. Frank Lampard called it “madness”, Reece James said it was “crazy” and at the final whistle, the players fell to their knees in exhaustion and disbelief.
In a crucial tie to determine who would finish in the top two, Ajax took just two minutes to take the lead when Tammy Abraham diverted a free-kick into his own net.
Chelsea were back on level terms two minutes later through Jorginho’s penalty. Abraham then had the ball in the net at the right end, but he was ruled offside and the goal chalked off before Ajax edged back in front in the 19th minute, when a sensational Hakim Ziyech assist teed up Quincy Promes.
Ziyech, who completed a move to Chelsea in the January transfer window, then left Kepa Arrizabalaga red-faced when he bent in a free-kick over the Spaniard’s head and in from a ridiculous angle. Two minutes later and the contest looked to be over, as Donny van der Beek’s smart finish gave Ajax a 4-1 advantage.
But captain Cesar Azpilicueta breathed new life into the hosts when he stabbed in from close range and one disastrous Ajax passage of play swung the momentum completely.
Daley Blind, on a booking, charged into two challenges on Christian Pulisic and Abraham and the ball fell to Callum Hudson-Odoi whose shot was blocked by Joel Veltman’s arm in the box.
Two red cards for Ajax’s central defenders and Jorginho slotted in his second spot-kick to make it 4-3. Stamford Bridge would erupt in the 73rd minute when Reece James lashed in a rebound to draw Chelsea level against the nine men.
The only shock was that Chelsea didn’t get a fifth – they thought they had through Azpilicueta’s second but the would-be winner was disallowed for handball.
Liverpool 2-3 Atletico Madrid (2-4 aggregate)
11 March, 2020 - Last-16 second leg
The holders were dumped out as Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid did exactly what you expect Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid to do in a Champions League knockout tie.
With a 1-0 lead to protect from the first leg, Atletico set up to frustrate Jurgen Klopp’s side and almost made it to half-time before Georginio Wijnaldum broke the resistance with a well-taken header.
The Liverpool onslaught continued. Sadio Mane, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah all tested Jan Oblak, but the Spaniards held firm while Andy Robertson agonisingly struck the bar.
The visitors, completely against the run of play, had the ball in the net in the dying moments of normal time but Saul Niguez’s header was pulled back for offside.
Extra-time continued in the same vein with Liverpool on top and Roberto Firmino finally made the pressure count, heading against the post but slotting the rebound past Oblak.
Yet three minutes later the match swung back in the visitors’ favour.
Adrian’s poor clearance was picked up by Marcos Llorente and the substitute tried his luck from distance on a rare foray forward for Atletico.
He was in luck. The back-up goalkeeper misjudged the effort, diving late as it nestled into the corner and the Spaniards were going through on away goals.
Llorente repeated the trick on the stroke of half-time in extra time and in the dying moments Alvaro Morata clinched the win on the night as well as the tie, to send Liverpool crashing out and Atletico into raptures and the quarter-finals.
Watch every Champions League match exclusively live on BT Sport this month!