History against Blues' hopes of reaching final

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The Independent Football

English clubs have experienced some great nights in European Cup semi-finals but they have usually been rearguard actions deep into the Continent, not barnstorming comebacks on home ground.

English clubs have experienced some great nights in European Cup semi-finals but they have usually been rearguard actions deep into the Continent, not barnstorming comebacks on home ground.

Of the eight English teams to have conceded a first-leg deficit only one, Liverpool in 1978, have gone on to the final. The holders had lost 2-1 in Mönchengladbach, but Ray Kennedy, Kenny Dalglish and Jimmy Case scored without reply at Anfield to put Liverpool through.

Liverpool had only one goal to overhaul. None of the five clubs seeking, like Chelsea, to claw back a two-goal deficit did so. Of these Manchester United (1957), Tottenham Hotspur (1962) and Derby County (1973) had, like Chelsea, lost the first-leg 3-1.

The most famous performances came, arguably, from Manchester United in 1968, when they drew 3-3 in Madrid having trailed Real 3-1 at the break, and in 1999, when they came back from 2-0 down after 11 minutes to beat Juventus in Turin, and Nottingham Forest who followed a 3-3 home draw in 1979 with a 1-0 win in Cologne. The worst performances, by Manchester United in 1958 and Liverpool in 1965, had extenuating circumstances. The United team who lost 4-0 in Milan had suffered severe losses in the Munich air disaster. The Liverpool team who lost 3-0 to Internazionale in the same city seemed to have good reason, like Derby in Turin eight years later, to believe foul play was involved.

English clubs have contested 22 semi-finals, winning half. After one success in the first nine they won nine in succession, but since being readmitted after the Heysel tragedy have only won once. Manchester United have lost six semis out of eight, Liverpool won five of six. Only Tottenham and Derby, of the seven clubs to reach this stage, have not gone on to a final. Of the finalists only Leeds United have never lifted the trophy. Tellingly, for Chelsea, nine of the 11 successful semi-finalists played the first leg at home.

1956-57 Manchester Utd lost to Real Madrid 3-5 agg (A 1-3; H 2-2)

1957-58 Manchester Utd lost to Milan 2-5 agg (H 2-1; A 0-4)

1961-62 Tottenham Hotspur lost to Benfica 3-4 agg (A 1-3; H 2-1)

1964-65 Liverpool lost to Internazionale 3-4 agg (H 3-1; A 0-3)

1965-66 Manchester Utd lost to Partizan Belgrade 1-2 agg (A 0-2, H 1-0)

1967-68 Manchester Utd bt Real Madrid 4-3 agg (H 1-0; A 3-3)

1968-69 Manchester Utd lost to Milan 1-2 agg (A 0-2; H 1-0)

1969-70 Leeds United lost to Celtic 1-3 agg (H 0-1; A 1-2)

1972-73 Derby County lost to Juventus 1-3 agg (A 1-3; H 0-0)

1974-75 Leeds United bt Barcelona 3-2 agg (H 2-1; A 1-1)

1976-77 Liverpool bt FC Zurich 6-1 agg (A 3-1; H 3-0)

1977-78 Liverpool bt Borussia Mönchengladbach 4-2 agg (A 1-2; H 3-0)

1978-79 Nottingham Forest bt FC Cologne 4-3 agg (H 3-3; A 1-0)

1979-80 Nottingham Forest bt Ajax 2-1 agg (H 2-0; A 0-1)

1980-81 Liverpool bt Bayern Munich away gls (H 0-0; A 1-1)

1981-82 Aston Villa bt Anderlecht 1-0 agg (H 1-0; A 0-0)

1983-84 Liverpool bt Dinamo Bucharest 3-1 agg (H 1-0; A 2-1)

1984-85 Liverpool bt Panathinaikos 5-0 agg (H 4-0; A 1-0)

1996-97 Manchester Utd lost to Borussia Dortmund 0-2 agg (A 0-1; H 0-1)

1998-99 Manchester Utd bt Juventus 4-3 agg (H 1-1; A 3-2))

2000-01 Leeds United lost to Valencia 0-3 agg (H 0-0; A 0-3)

2001-02 Manchester Utd lost to Bayer Leverkusen away gls (H 2-2; A 1-1)

English winners of the competition in bold

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