thumbnail Hello,

From the holders coming back from the dead in a rematch of the 2010 final to Schalke's incredible night at San Siro - vote for your favourite game in this year's competition

It's been an enthralling Champions League campaign, with anticipation high for a classic final as Manchester United and Barcelona go toe-to-toe at Wembley on Saturday evening.

There have been tears of joy and tears of sadness, moments of brilliance and moments of madness, one-sided romps and incredible fightbacks - sometimes all in the same 90 minutes!

We've trawled through our archives to bring you the five most exciting matches that the Champions League has served up for us this season - with holders Inter featuring three times!

But which do you remember the most fondly? Vote in our poll below...

Zanetti 2'
Eto'o (p) 11'
Stankovic 14'
Eto'o 35'
Referee: D. Skomina
Attendance: 49,551
Bale 52'
Bale 90'
Bale 90'

After a positive start to their debut Champions League bow, drawing with Werder Bremen in Germany and beating Twente at White Hart Lane, Tottenham were brought crashing back to earth with a bang by the reigning champions.

It took Inter just 70 seconds to score as Javier Zanetti started and finished a move, before Samuel Eto’o converted from the spot after Heurelho Gomes was sent off for bringing down Jonathan Biabiany – and the game was barely 10 minutes old.

Dejan Stankovic made it three and Eto’o, who proved almost impossible for Spurs to handle throughout, added the fourth long before half-time.

The tie was dead and buried, but it will be remembered largely for what happened in the final 40 minutes of the game, as Gareth Bale struck a conciliatory blow, striding past Inter defenders and striking beyond Julio Cesar.

The game was as good as over but Bale wasn’t finished as he added an almost identical second, before rounding off his hat-trick in the dying seconds of the game with a stinging drive, and to the rest of Europe, a star was born.


"We played wonderfully in the first half, scoring four times and playing beautiful football, but after the break the team seemed a bit too relaxed and started to think about Sunday's game [against Sampdoria]. This is an important victory, but we must learn from our mistakes and avoid a repeat of what happened in the second half in the future.” – then-Inter boss Rafael Benitez

"I said to the players at half-time that all we had to play for was our pride and that we had to make sure we didn't come off feeling embarrassed with a crazy scoreline. We stayed positive, kept the two wide players on and Gareth Bale has ended up with an amazing hat-trick. He ran them ragged. If that [third] goal comes five minutes earlier who knows what could have happened. I had visions of Arsenal when I first arrived at the club [the 4-4 draw at the Emirates].” – Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp


90' + 2
GOAL!! THAT’S HIS HAT-TRICK!! BALE AGAIN!! Lennon cuts inside from the right this time and a huge gap opens up at the heart of the Inter defence. The England man then picks out the unmarked Bale just inside the area, and he takes a touch before smashing a left-footed strike into the bottom right-hand corner for the third time in the match. Three goals for Bale, but can Spurs find a late equaliser!?
 STAR MAN: Gareth Bale (Tottenham)

Continued to provide an outlet for Spurs and got a couple of decent crosses into the penalty area for his side. Didn't look overawed when facing Maicon and scored two outstanding individual goals with two solo runs and equally sumptuous strikes to finish. Added a third goal in the dying seconds to complete a stunning hat-trick.


Borriello 49'
De Rossi 81'
Totti 84'
Referee: A. Undiano
Attendance: 42,789
Gomez 33'
Gomez 39'

Roma needed a victory against Bayern, who were unbeaten at that time, to qualify for the last 16, but when the German side took a two-goal lead through the prolific Mario Gomez, the Italians looked all but out of the competition.

Marco Borriello scored less than five minutes into the break and Roma stirred but could not find another goal until the final 10 minutes.

Then Roma’s two talismanic figures stepped up. First Daniele De Rossi latched onto a John Arne Riise cross, and three minutes later, Borriello was brought down by Bayern goalkeeper Thomas Kraft, and Francesco Totti stepped up and fired home to give the hosts a vital three points.


"We are a side on the rise, and tonight we demonstrated that we can be competitive in Europe. We started poorly, going down by two goals, and it is very tough to come back from this deficit. In front of us, we had a strong squad that wanted to win, but we had the determination to do well and get a positive result.” – Roma striker Francesco Totti

"It's not as bad as it looks now, we are still first in the group. But it is unbelievable and we are very disappointed. A defeat is not good for our confidence in our upcoming games. We played a great first half, we dominated but then it was incredible how we brought Roma back into the match in the second half.” - then-Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal


49' GOAL BORRIELLO! WHAT PLAY BY MENEZ! Menez beats Tymoshchuk for pace, touches past Demichelis, and crosses low towards Borriello. The striker falls over, but somehow manages to sweep his leg around the ball to shoot into the net! What an outstanding finish! GAME ON!
 STAR MAN: Jeremy Menez (Roma)
8.5 A superb performance by the Frenchman, who looked lively from minute one. His strength, pace and determination were a feature of Roma’s fightback, particularly when he left Tymoshchuk and Demichelis for dead in supplying Borriello’s goal.


Van Persie 78'
Arshavin 83'
Referee: N. Rizzoli
Attendance: 59,927
Villa 26'

Billed as another opportunity for Arsenal to crack arguably the finest club team in the world after being eliminated at their hands the previous season, proceedings didn’t get off to a great start for Arsene Wenger’s side as David Villa gave Barcelona a 26th minute lead after a typically precise pass from Andres Iniesta.

The game was played at a sumptuous pace and Arsenal rallied in the second half, levelling the scores through Robin van Persie, who beat Victor Valdes at his near post from a near impossibly tight angle.

Then, in the final 10 minutes of the game, Nasri pulled a ball across the 18-yard box to second-half substitute Andrey Arshavin, who beat Valdes with a drilled effort and gave Arsenal what had looked an unlikely victory, but they were unable to capitalise at Camp Nou and were ultimately eliminated in the second leg.


"It is one of the special nights because I feel we needed to be a special team. The game promised a lot and it didn't disappoint. It was a game between two special teams in my opinion.” – Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

“It was a fantastic game. Arsenal are a great team but we still have the second leg. We dominated and took control of the game. There were many chances for both sides and we created more opportunities than we did last season but this happens sometimes." – Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola


83' GOAL! ARSHAVIN PUTS ARSENAL AHEAD! Arsenal in dreamland! The Gunners break with Nasri down the right, he takes his time and crosses for Arshavin who makes a late run before curling it low past Valdes!
 STAR MAN: Samir Nasri (Arsenal)
8.0 A tidy if ineffective first half but became more influential in the second session. Slid passes to Walcott and Van Persie in promising positions that Arsenal couldn't capitalise on before a sensational piece of build-up play laid it on a plate for Arshavin.


Gomez 21'
Muller 31'

Referee: P. Proenca
Attendance: 66,000
Eto'o 4'
Sneijder 63'
Pandev 88'

After struggling through Group A and drawing Bayern Munich, Inter looked the favourites to bow out in the last 16, and when the German side left San Siro a goal to the good after the first leg, it was hard to see past a quarter-final berth for the Bundesliga side.

Inter needed to respond early at the Allianz Arena and they did just that as Samuel Eto’o struck after just four minutes, but Bayern were soon back on top thanks to a couple of smart finishes from Mario Gomez and Thomas Muller before half-time.

The Italian outfit fought back after the interval though and their hope was restored by a sweet strike from Wesley Sneijder, and with two minutes of normal time remaining, Goran Pandev sent Inter through to the last eight with a beautiful finish.


"We did everything possible, and it seemed impossible that we would lose this game. Despite having so many chances, we couldn't score more goals, and this helped keep Inter in the game. They were good to take advantage of their chances. We had some vital games this month, and we have failed them." – then-Bayern coach Louis van Gaal

“This game cannot be explained: only experienced. We won and it was a victory all from the heart. We organised well, scoring after three minutes, but there was a period when everything went Bayern’s way and we lost our balance. Tonight was all about heart.” – Inter coach Leonardo


88' GGGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY'VE DONE IT! INTER HAVE DONE IT!!!!! Incredible!!! Sneijder's long pass finds Eto'o, who beats too easily Breno before teeing up Pandev, who keeps his cool to fire high across Kraft. The champions are on the verge of a magnificent triumph here.
 STAR MAN: Samuel Eto'o (Inter)
8.5 Became one of the Champions League's all-time greats with his latest magnificent showing. If there was ever any doubt about his status as Inter's talisman this season, a goal and two assists in their biggest moment of the campaign proved it. Movement to die for. Desire of a great.


Stankovic 1'
Milito 34'
Referee: M. Atkinson
Attendance: 72,770
Matip 17''
Edu 40'
Raul 53'
Ranocchia (og) 57'
Edu 75'

Schalke shocked everyone with this unprecedented victory at San Siro, giving themselves a commanding lead to take back to Germany in the quarter-finals after looking like they would have a mountain to climb as early as the first minute.

It took Inter just a minute to take the lead as Dejan Stankovic volleyed superbly into an empty net from the halfway line as Manuel Neuer, who had raced out of his box to clear, was left stranded.

Joel Matip equalised for Schalke in the 17th minute but the hosts were quickly back in front through Diego Milito. But five minutes before the interval the visitors were level again, as Edu pounced on his own rebounded effort to make it 2-2.

Inter had chances at the start of the second half but could not score and were ultimately punished as European goal scoring supremo Raul gave Schalke the lead before an Andrea Ranocchia own goal gave the Germans a commanding advantage.

With 15 minutes left to play, Edu scored his second of the game to put Schalke three goals ahead in the tie and stun Inter.


"They got seven chances and managed to covert five of them. In the end, they deserved their win though as we simply weren't good enough." – Inter coach Leonardo

"It was an excellent night, but it's still not over. Inter are full of champions and we know anything can happen in 90 minutes. They won't give up." – Schalke striker Raul


75' GOAL! SCHALKE DIG THE KNIFE EVEN FURTHER AS EDU MAKES IT 5-2! He gets onto the end of a mix up involving the post, Julio Cesar and Ranocchia to tap home. Misery for Inter.
 STAR MAN: Edu (Schalke)
7.5 Yes, you read it right: Edu was the top performer at San Siro. A tremendously committed and brave performance saw him net twice in an evening that he'll be dining out on for years.

Our  provides the best breaking news online and our  football fan community is unmatched worldwide. Never miss a thing again!

Poll of the day

Which 2010-11 Champions League match was the most exciting?