This season's Champions League has thrown up more contenders for the best matches in the history of the competition, with the semi-final stage still to come.

Manchester City's 4-3 defeat of Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday was an all-time classic, with Spurs progressing on away goals 4-4 on aggregate after two moments of high VAR drama.

Earlier this season alone, Ajax stunned Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu while Manchester United made history of their own by overturning a 2-0 first-leg loss to knock out Paris Saint-Germain.

United, of course, are no strangers to dramatic turnarounds in this competition, as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows well from his treble-winning exploits 20 years ago.

But where do this season's results rank among the top Champions League matches in the competition's history? Omnisport picks out 10 of the best.

Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain (6-5 agg), 2017

Barcelona remain the perpetrators of the most remarkable of all Champions League comebacks.

Trailing 4-0 from the first leg of their last-16 tie with PSG, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored either side of a Layvin Kurzawa own goal, only for Edinson Cavani to grab what was expected to be the decisive strike for the visitors.

However, two quickfire Neymar goals – the second a highly controversial penalty after an apparent Suarez dive – levelled the tie at 5-5.

Then, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, Sergi Roberto struck to create a slice of Champions League history – no side had ever turned around a four-goal first-leg deficit before.

 

Roma 3-0 Barcelona (4-4 agg, Roma won on away goals), 2018

Comeback kings Barca were dethroned in the Italian capital last year as Roma completed one of the most unlikely turnarounds in quarter-final history.

Eusebio Di Francesco's side came back from a 4-1 first-leg deficit to progress to the last eight on away goals after a thrilling 3-0 win in front of their home fans.

Edin Dzeko, Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas secured the 4-4 aggregate draw and sent the Stadio Olimpico into raptures, as Barca completely fell to pieces.

Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan (5-4 agg), 2004

Deportivo were among Spain's major forces just after the turn of the century and one of their finest moments in Europe came in April 2004 when, despite being 4-1 down from the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final with AC Milan, they stunned the Italians at home.

Walter Pandiani, Juan Carlos Valeron and Albert Luque had Depor ahead on away goals before half-time, with Fran Gonzalez – who played for them in the second division in the late 80s and is still their record appearance holder – fittingly scored the fourth to make sure of their passage.

Depor were eliminated by eventual winners Porto in the semi-finals, but this comeback stood as arguably the very best in Champions League history until Barca went one better.

 

Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan (AET, 3-2 on pens), 2005

That famous night in Istanbul. Liverpool found themselves on the end of a hiding at half-time in the 2005 Champions League final, as Paolo Maldini and a Hernan Crespo brace had the Serie A side 3-0 up.

But the second half proved to be one of the most iconic 45 minutes in Liverpool's history, with goals from Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso levelling the match up by the hour mark.

Milan then failed to hold their nerve in the penalty shootout, as Jerzy Dudek's leggy antics in the Liverpool goal helped the Pole outsmart both Andrea Pirlo and Andriy Shevchenko after Serginho blazed the first kick over, resulting in the Premier League side lifting their fifth European title.

 

Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich, 1999

Possibly the two most dramatic minutes in the history of European club football.

United were trailing 1-0 to Bayern Munich in the 1999 final at Camp Nou, with Mario Basler's skidding free-kick into the bottom-right corner looking set to be enough for the Bavarian giants to end a 23-year wait for glory in the continent's top-tier competition.

However, the United of Alex Ferguson's era could never be discounted until the final whistle, and substitute Teddy Sheringham swept Ryan Giggs' shot into the bottom corner to bring the scores level in the 91st minute.

Solskjaer, another late substitute and now the man in the United dug-out, avoided the need for extra time by stabbing Sheringham's header from a David Beckham corner into the roof of the net as United completed an historic treble in astonishing fashion.

 

Monaco 3-1 Real Madrid (5-5 agg, Monaco won on away goals), 2004

Monaco were an unexpected member of the last eight in the 2003-04 Champions League and had seemingly been put in their place after losing 4-2 at Real Madrid in the first leg, even if Fernando Morientes – on loan from the Spanish giants – netted their second late on to give them a chance.

A Raul goal nine minutes before the break in the return leg in Monte Carlo made their task even tougher, but Monaco rallied admirably – Ludovic Giuly pulled one back on the stroke of half-time, with Morientes then adding a second just after the restart.

Giuly – whose performances with Monaco ultimately earned him a move to Madrid's bitter rivals Barca – grabbed the decisive goal midway through the second half to secure progression, with Didier Deschamps' side finally halted by Porto in the final.

 

Barcelona 5-1 Chelsea (AET, 6-4 agg), 2000

A 3-1 first-leg loss at Stamford Bridge – having trailed 3-0 – had Barca in danger of being on the wrong end of a major 1999-00 Champions League upset prior to the Roman Abramovich era, but in the return match the Catalans showed their true class.

Tore Andre Flo's 60th-minute goal was sending Chelsea through despite Rivaldo and Luis Figo scoring before the break, but Dani Garcia scored seven minutes from the end of regulation to force extra time.

Rivaldo then converted a penalty after Celestine Babayaro was sent off and Patrick Kluivert wrapped things up, crushing Chelsea's dreams.

 

Real Madrid 1-4 Ajax (5-3 agg), 2019

Despite their impressive display in their 2-1 first-leg defeat, nobody really seemed to think Ajax could turn things around at the Santiago Bernabeu. Sergio Ramos certainly did not - he earned a booking so as to avoid the risk of a quarter-final ban, earning an extra-game suspension from UEFA in the process.

In the absence of their captain, Madrid completely capitulated amid a fearless and thrilling Ajax display.

Hakim Ziyech and David Neres put the visitors 2-0 up after only 18 minutes and it was 3-0 just after the hour mark thanks to the inspired Dusan Tadic.

Marco Asensio got a goal back, but Lasse Schone's free-kick beat Thibaut Courtois and sent Madrid crashing out. It was the first time they had ever been knocked out after winning the first leg of a Champions League tie.

 

Paris Saint-Germain 1-3 Manchester United (3-3 agg, United won on away goals)

Just when you thought nothing would top Ajax's thrashing of Madrid, United made history at Parc des Princes only 24 hours later.

No side had ever won a knockout tie after trailing 2-0 from a first leg at home, and with 10 senior players missing, including the banned Paul Pogba, United's chances looked slim.

Romelu Lukaku scored just two minutes in, though, and despite Juan Bernat's equaliser on the night, Lukaku struck again after a Gianluigi Buffon error to make it 2-1.

As the game crept towards second-half injury time, Diogo Dalot's shot struck Presnel Kimpembe's arm and the referee awarded a penalty after a lengthy VAR review. Marcus Rashford scored it, United progressed, and the clamour for Solskjaer to be given the permanent manager's job grew louder.

Manchester City 4-3 Tottenham (4-4 agg, Spurs won on away goals)

No Champions League match has ever started quite like City v Spurs on Wednesday, when four goals in the first 11 minutes left the football world utterly thrilled.

Son Heung-min struck a brace of crucial away goals after Raheem Sterling opened the scoring, Bernardo Silva then levelling before the England forward made it 3-2.

Sergio Aguero seemed to have sent City into the semi-finals but Fernando Llorente, a first-half substitute due to Moussa Sissoko's injury, bundled in a corner - VAR ruling the goal should not be disallowed for offside.

And then, in added time, Sterling thought he had won the tie and completed his hat-trick in the process, only for the goal to be ruled out for Aguero straying offside in the build-up.

This season's semis, Liverpool v Barcelona and Ajax v Tottenham, have a tough task to match that drama.

Brian Lara made 375 to break the record for most runs in a Test innings 25 years ago - and his unbeaten 400 a decade on remains the highest score today. 

The NFL announced its schedule for the upcoming season on Wednesday, and there is plenty of prime-time action to indulge in.

Rather than opening action on Thursday like past championship defenders, the New England Patriots will kick off their regular season and raise their Super Bowl LIII banner in the league's first Sunday Night Football showdown on September 8 against AFC rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As for the opener, the league will kick off its 100th season by pitting the Packers against the Bears on September 5 to honour its oldest rivalry. Chicago and Green Bay first played in 1921 and have faced each other 198 times since, with the Packers holding a 97-95-6 edge.

 

Five must-see prime-time games in 2019

Browns at Jets – Monday, September 16

Odell Beckham Jr. will return to New York for the first time since being traded to Cleveland and while it will not be against his former team, it is still a notable homecoming.

The Browns were one of the surprise teams last season, finishing 7-8-1 after going 1-31 the previous two seasons. Meanwhile, the Jets went 4-12 after going 10-22 the previous two years, though the addition of Le'Veon Bell is sure to give Sam Darnold the boost he needs after a lacklustre rookie campaign.

 

Rams at Browns – Sunday, September 22

For the first time since 2008, Sunday Night Football is heading to Cleveland.

And what better way to celebrate than having two former first overall picks square off? Browns second-year signal-caller Baker Mayfield will have his work cut out for him when Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff rolls into town with Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks.

Packers at Chiefs – Sunday, October 27

It is hard to believe Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers have yet to face off under center.

In another first, the Kansas City Chiefs young gun will square off against the Packers veteran as MVP past and future collide. Mahomes went head to head with Tom Brady in the conference championship last season in a memorable matchup, and this one will be no different.

 

Chiefs at Chargers – Monday, November 18

The NFL's lone meeting in Mexico turned out to be a disaster last season, but the league hopes to make up for it this year.

The 2018 game between the Chiefs and Rams was moved to the L.A. Memorial Coliseum over concerns about the state of the playing surface at Estadio Azteca. For 2019, the Chiefs will head south of the border to take on a different Los Angeles team led by veteran Philip Rivers.

Chiefs at Bears – Sunday, December 22

Christmas is sure to come early with this intriguing matchup.

Mahomes will lead his unstoppable offense against Khalil Mack and his immovable defense. The 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year made quite an impression in Chicago after being traded from Oakland, though slowing Mahomes will not be an easy task for Mack.

The NFL announced its schedule for the upcoming season on Wednesday, and there is plenty of prime-time action to indulge in.

Rather than opening action on Thursday like past championship defenders, the New England Patriots will kick off their regular season and raise their Super Bowl LIII banner in the league's first Sunday Night Football showdown on September 8 against AFC rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As for the opener, the league will kick off its 100th season by pitting the Packers against the Bears on September 5 to honour its oldest rivalry. Chicago and Green Bay first played in 1921 and have faced each other 198 times since, with the Packers holding a 97-95-6 edge.

 

Five must-see prime-time games in 2019

Browns at Jets – Monday, September 16

Odell Beckham Jr. will return to New York for the first time since being traded to Cleveland and while it will not be against his former team, it is still a notable homecoming.

The Browns were one of the surprise teams last season, finishing 7-8-1 after going 1-31 the previous two seasons. Meanwhile, the Jets went 4-12 after going 10-22 the previous two years, though the addition of Le'Veon Bell is sure to give Sam Darnold the boost he needs after a lacklustre rookie campaign.

 

Rams at Browns – Sunday, September 22

For the first time since 2008, Sunday Night Football is heading to Cleveland.

And what better way to celebrate than having two former first overall picks square off? Browns second-year signal-caller Baker Mayfield will have his work cut out for him when Los Angeles quarterback Jared Goff rolls into town with Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks.

Packers at Chiefs – Sunday, October 27

It is hard to believe Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers have yet to face off under center.

In another first, the Kansas City Chiefs young gun will square off against the Packers veteran as MVP past and future collide. Mahomes went head to head with Tom Brady in the conference championship last season in a memorable matchup, and this one will be no different.

 

Chiefs at Chargers – Monday, November 18

The NFL's lone meeting in Mexico turned out to be a disaster last season, but the league hopes to make up for it this year.

The 2018 game between the Chiefs and Rams was moved to the L.A. Memorial Coliseum over concerns about the state of the playing surface at Estadio Azteca. For 2019, the Chiefs will head south of the border to take on a different Los Angeles team led by veteran Philip Rivers.

Chiefs at Bears – Sunday, December 22

Christmas is sure to come early with this intriguing matchup.

Mahomes will lead his unstoppable offense against Khalil Mack and his immovable defense. The 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year made quite an impression in Chicago after being traded from Oakland, though slowing Mahomes will not be an easy task for Mack.

The 2019 NFL schedule is officially set.

After a week of rumours, the league announced its schedule for the upcoming season on Wednesday.

There are clearly some marquee matchups worth looking forward to, while other games are sure to develop into must-see events as the season goes on.

The Chicago Bears will open action against the Green Back Packers on Thursday, September 5. Here are five other dates to circle on your calendar:

 

September 15: Saints at Rams

We all remember how the game ended the last time these two teams met.

With the score tied at 20 and the ball in the red zone late in the fourth quarter, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees' pass to Tommylee Lewis fell incomplete. But, Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman made contact with Lewis before the ball arrived, yet the referees did not throw a flag.

The Saints ended up kicking a field goal and the Rams answered with one of their own to force overtime. Los Angeles went on to win 26-23 in OT.

The Saints will have their chance to avenge that loss early in 2019.

 

November 17: Patriots at Eagles

There is nothing like a Super Bowl rematch.

The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles represented the AFC and NFC, respectively, in the big game two seasons ago, with Philadelphia coming out on top.

Multiple key players have left the two teams over the last few seasons, including quarterback Nick Foles — who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in March — and tight end Rob Gronkowski, who retired following 2018.

But, there will still be plenty of stars on the field who played in Philadelphia's 41-33 win in Super Bowl LII.

 

December 5: Cowboys at Bears

The Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears both made the playoffs last season, and both should be competing to advance once again in 2019.

The Cowboys have a pair of explosive offensive playmakers in Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper. Meanwhile, the Bears have one of the best defenses in all of football, led by star linebacker Khalil Mack.

It will be intriguing watching those units face off in a game that could have significant postseason implications.  

 

December 8: Chiefs at Patriots

The defending Super Bowl champions make the list twice.

The Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs battled in the AFC championship last season and they produced one of the most exciting games of the year.

New England held a 14-0 half-time lead, but the Chiefs rallied in the second half. Both sides scored in the final minute, sending the matchup to overtime, where the Patriots went on to win 37-31.

Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes threw for three touchdowns in the losing effort while New England scored three times on the ground.  

Both teams figure to be in contention for the Super Bowl once again. Their late-season rematch should be a fun one.

 

December 22: Steelers at Jets

This will be the Le'Veon Bell revenge game.

The 27-year-old spent his first five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and made three Pro Bowls during his time with the team. But, Bell missed all of 2018 after holding out over a contract dispute.

The running back eventually signed a four-year, $52.5million deal with the New York Jets in mid-March.

"The decision I made... I don't regret anything that happened," Bell said after joining New York. "Who can say if I played on a franchise tag, if I do get hurt, do I sit here with the New York Jets with a beautiful deal?"

He will get to face his former team for the first time in week 16.

The New England Patriots' path to the playoffs in 2019 does not look too difficult.

New England, based on the 2018 records of their opponents, have the easiest strength of schedule in the NFL alongside the Washington Redskins.

That seems very unfair given the Patriots' continuing dominance, but a big part of that is down to having three division rivals who continue to provide very little in the way of competition.

So, who provide the biggest roadblocks for the Patriots in the regular season as they seek an unprecedented seventh Super Bowl title?

The list is short, but includes some familiar suspects who have caused them problems in years gone by.

 

v Cleveland Browns

Games against his old team may be tougher now for Bill Belichick than they were in the past, and you can file the Browns' offense under the same category as that of the Kansa City Chiefs – one blessed with young talent, a superstar receiver and a fearless quarterback playing for an offensive-minded head coach who maximises his skill set. Throw in the depth on Cleveland's defense and this is a home game that figures to be a very tricky proposition for New England.

@ Baltimore Ravens

It has long been thought that no team scares the Patriots and their fans more than Baltimore. This is a very different Baltimore team – Joe Flacco has been replaced by Lamar Jackson and the defense has been gutted of a lot of talent – but the prospect of a road game against a team led by a coach in John Harbaugh who has had success against New England is not likely to be an enticing one for the Patriots.

@ Philadelphia Eagles

They may be reigning Super Bowl champions, but you can be sure the Philly fans will be keen to remind the Patriots of the one that got away a year earlier. Nick Foles may have taken his magic touch to Jacksonville, but if Carson Wentz is fully healthy this an Eagles team still good enough to contend with any in the league and revenge for their Super Bowl LII defeat is unlikely to come easy for New England.

@ Houston Texans

The Texans have beaten the Patriots just once in their history, but each of the two games in which Deshaun Watson has been under center have been decided by one score. There remain questions over Houston's offensive line and the back end of the defense but, with Watson's dual-threat ability and J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney pursuing Brady, the Texans have enough at their disposal to pull off an upset.

v Kansas City Chiefs

Had the Chiefs won a flip of a coin, we may be talking about them defending the title in 2019. In two games against the Patriots last season, Patrick Mahomes hung points on New England's defense almost at will and there is little to suggest he should not do so once more against a unit now without pass rusher Trey Flowers. The big question, however, surrounds the Chiefs' ability to stop Tom Brady. They failed to do so last season and the task may be even more difficult following the departures of pass rushers Dee Ford and Justin Houston.

The NFL schedule was released on Wednesday and there are a few things that stand out.

Aside from putting some good teams in London and bringing on some decent matchups in the first week of the season, the league balanced out the schedule quite nicely down the stretch.

Here are five takeaways from the NFL schedule release:

 

1. Good offense vs. defense matchups early

While the NFL loves its offense, there may be nothing more satisfying than seeing a juggernaut have to work for everything they get. These games often lead to good scoring games, but games which are much more entertaining than 52-51 shootouts where there is no stopping either team.

The NFL did a very good job of giving us some of those matchups early as you can see here:

Week 1:

- Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers
- New Orleans Saints v Houston Texans
- Jacksonville Jaguars v Kansas City Chiefs

Week 2:

- New Orleans Saints v Los Angeles Rams
- Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers

Week 3:

- New England Patriots v New York Jets
​- New Orleans Saints v Seattle Seahawks

Now are these teams guaranteed to be good offensively and defensively? Of course not. But on paper, these could be pretty fun games.

 

2. Young QBs get shots at early wins

An opening-day win is pivotal for young quarterbacks and several have shots at wins in week one this season.

The Jets will take on the Buffalo Bills and either Sam Darnold or Josh Allen could get victories in that game. The Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson get a favourable matchup with the Miami Dolphins and Baker Mayfield and his Cleveland Browns will take on the Tennessee Titans.

There is a very good chance these young QBs get off to a good start and that is good for the game.

 

3. Make-up game

It was incredibly inconvenient for the Kansas City Chiefs and Rams to have to relocate their matchup in Mexico City last year to Los Angeles, but it had to be really upsetting for all the fans in Mexico who planned to go to that game.

Well, the NFL did its best to make it up to the people as they gave the Los Angeles Chargers and Chiefs to them this year in week 11.

That is an absolutely fantastic game with Patrick Mahomes facing off against Philip Rivers and might be even better than last year's shootout in Los Angeles.

 

4. Back loaded

One of the more annoying things about the NFL season is when teams will sit their players down the stretch as they hope to preserve their health in the closing weeks of the season. We get it, and it makes complete sense. But when a backup quarterback is playing in week 15 or 16, it is a bit of a downer for fans, especially ones who bought tickets to see the starters.

This season, though, the NFL did a good job of giving good games to fans late in the season. Just take a look at his line-up down the stretch.

Week 12:

- New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers
- New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys

Week 13:

- Houston Texans v New England Patriots

Week 14:

- New England Patriots v Kansas City Chiefs

Week 15:

- New Orleans Saints v Indianapolis Colts
- Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears

Week 16

- New York Jets v Pittsburgh Steelers

Many of these games could be against teams either fighting for playoff position or spots in general, so the end of the year could be a lot of fun.

 

5. Week 17 Savior

Building off that last point, in the final week of the regular season there are not only good games, but games against rivals.

In that last week alone we will see:

- Buffalo Bills v New York Jets
​- New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
- New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers
- New York Giants v Philadelphia Eagles

The argument could be made that every one of those teams have at least a shot at a playoff spot and there is divisional pride on the line as well. Who knows? Maybe the last week of the campaign will be a fun one.

Raheem Sterling had scored an incredible hat-trick, Manchester City had got out of jail and Pep Guardiola could breathe again in the Champions League.

But wait. VAR review. The technology Guardiola has relentlessly championed intervened to deny him a shot at immortality and history. A triumph for the ages chalked off by modernity and progress.

Mauricio Pochettino, by contrast, is a consistent critic of video-enhanced decisions. Moments later he let out a guttural roar as his Tottenham warriors tore off in ecstasy having tasted agony. A 4-3 defeat played out as the sweetest victory.

It was the kind of night to play unruly havoc with the senses and make a mockery of meticulous planning. Therein lay City's downfall, one Guardiola unwittingly laid the foundations for a week ago.

"Pep is so, so stressed – all the time," Kevin De Bruyne said in a piece for The Players' Tribune this week. One can only imagine the Kilimanjaro heights of Guardiola's stress levels midway through an absurd, brilliant and berserk first half between City and Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

A two-time Champions League winner at Barcelona, the knockout stages of Europe's premier club competition have come to torment the continent's leading coach of the past decade.

Versus Real Madrid and Barcelona with Bayern Munich, quick flurries of goals left Guardiola's teams incapacitated and unable to recover. At City, faced with Monaco and Liverpool in the past two seasons, he has suffered the same fate.

Against this backdrop, he opted for calculated caution during last week's first leg in north London. Despite Son Heung-min scoring the only goal and amid accusations of over-thinking to his team's detriment, Guardiola the perfectionist had the control he craved and, so he claimed, the tie where he wanted it.

The first three minutes of an opening 11 that will be spoken of for decades were actually quite uneventful. Honestly, check the video. You'll watch it back enough.

On cue De Bruyne glided majestically in from the right touchline on halfway, exchanged passes with Sergio Aguero and found Sterling to dispatch one of those exquisite finishes he has come to make look routine.

City's masterful playmaker had broken the game open, with the added bonus of probably making his manager a little less stressed. In reality, he had released a monster.

Indeed, the only thing this game had in common with its predecessor was Son scoring. Then he did again, both times aided by mistakes from the usually immaculate Aymeric Laporte.

Lucas Moura was jack-in-the-boxing to win headers against bigger men, with the plaster-casted Dele Alli a similar nuisance as the City defence was torn asunder. You imagine the stricken Harry Kane would have enjoyed himself.

Bernardo Silva was an author of some of Guardiola's Champions League pain in the red and white of Monaco two years ago and he was on hand to scramble a deflected equaliser before combining sublimely with De Bruyne for Sterling's second.

There had been 22 minutes, with many in attendance in need of some of that ice the England forward seemed to have running through his veins.

The relatively settled period that followed took place in a fog of disorientation for most, although De Bruyne retained enviable clarity.

Seeing every angle, he spotted one for a shot that Hugo Lloris somehow kept out after the restart

One of Tottenham's first-leg heroes for keeping out Aguero's penalty, Lloris had no chance when De Bruyne picked out the Argentinian in the 59th minute.

The strike came from virtually the same blade of grass as Aguero's final-day heroics seven years go. Watch it, drink it in. You will never see anything like this ever again.

On came Fernandinho in an attempt to bolt down the nonsense and there was the control Guardiola craved, within touching distance. But there was Fernando Llorente, bundling past the best efforts of City's defence to ensure it slipped agonisingly through his fingers.

Like Sterling – who, once this anguish subsides should reflect upon another display that places him among the very best in the game – Llorente's goal was subjected to a VAR review. The first quelled a braying stadium and the second stopped bedlam in its tracks.

A quadruple bid is now downsized to a tilt at a similarly unprecedented domestic treble. Although their exertions in vain here could take a significant toll, City are still in command of their own destiny in that regard.

It is hard to claim the same for Guardiola in the Champions League, after a wonderfully wild night in the competition he adores but can no longer tame.

Liverpool and Manchester City are doing battle for the Premier League title and both sides also remain in the hunt for the Champions League.

The Reds face Porto on Wednesday, holding a 2-0 advantage from the first leg, and Jurgen Klopp will be hoping for a repeat of their rampant 5-0 victory at Estadio do Dragao in last season's round of 16 - a game in which Sadio Mane starred.

City, meanwhile, host Tottenham, with Pep Guardiola's side having to comeback from a 1-0 deficit, though Mauricio Pochettino will have to do without Harry Kane, who was injured in the first leg.

Here are some essential Opta Facts as we close in on the business end of the competition.

 

Porto v Liverpool

3 - Mane scored a hat-trick for Liverpool versus Porto last term. Only Luiz Adriano versus BATE and Cristiano Ronaldo against Atletico Madrid have recorded more than one hat-trick against an opponent in the Champions League, while no player has got two away to one club.

7 - Liverpool have never lost a European match against Porto in seven previous encounters, winning four times and drawing on three occasions, keeping three successive clean sheets in the process.

9 - The Reds have progressed from all nine of their previous two-legged European ties under Jurgen Klopp (four in the 2015-16 Europa League, one 2017-18 Champions League play-off and four knockout stage fixtures in the same competition).

2 - Two of the three teams that lost their first leg by two or more goals in the last 16 of this season's competition managed to turn the tie around in the return fixture; Manchester United v Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus v Atletico.

100 - Porto are the only remaining side in the Champions League to have won all of their home games in the competition this season.

5 - Liverpool's 5-0 win in last season's meeting at Estadio do Dragao was Porto's heaviest defeat in European competition. 

Manchester City v Tottenham

4 - Tottenham have won three successive Champions League games; they have never been victorious in four in a row. 

23 - City have won 23 of their 25 home matches in all competitions this season (L2), although they have suffered defeat in two of their past three Champions League knockout games at the Etihad Stadium, winning the other 7-0 against Schalke.

93 - Each of Tottenham's past 10 goals in the Champions League have come in the second half; indeed, 93 per cent of their goals (13/14) in the competition this season have been netted after half-time.

7 - Leroy Sane has been directly involved in seven goals in his last three home games in the Champions League (three goals, four assists). It is four more than he managed in the previous seven such outings at the Etihad.

8 - The first leg saw eight different English players in the two starting XIs. The last Champions League fixture to feature more Englishmen in the line-ups was the 2008 final between United and Chelsea.

1 - Tottenham have only won one of their last eight visits to City in all competitions, a 2-1 Premier League victory in February 2016.

Manchester United come up against a Barcelona side with a formidable home record on Tuesday, with the Premier League club aiming to overturn a one-goal deficit from the first leg and book a spot in the Champions League semi-finals.

Barcelona have not been beaten in 30 Champions League games at Camp Nou and will be confident of maintaining that streak against United, particularly given Lionel Messi's history against English clubs in the competition.

In Tuesday's other quarter-final second leg, Ajax travel to Juventus with their tie delicately poised after an absorbing 1-1 draw in Amsterdam last week.

Here are some essential Opta facts as we get ever closer to finding out who will progress to the last four.


Barcelona v Manchester United

4 - Of the 70 previous occasions a side has won a Champions League knockout tie first leg away from home, just four have been eliminated (six per cent). However, two of those instances have been in this season’s competition, including once by Manchester United.

39 - Barcelona have progressed from 39 of their 41 European ties in which they won the first leg away from home - the exceptions were against Cologne in the 1980-81 UEFA Cup and against Metz in the 1984-85 Cup Winners’ Cup.

30 - Barcelona are unbeaten in 30 Champions League home games, the longest such run in the competition (W27 D3). They've also not conceded more than once in any of those 30 games (15 goals in total) since a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the 2012-13 semi-finals.

90 - Ninety per cent of Manchester United's Champions League goals this season have come away from home. However, the Red Devils have won just one of their last five away knockout stage games in the competition (D2 L2).

0 - In their first leg defeat, Manchester United failed to register a single shot on target for the first time in a Champions League game since March 2005 (0-1 v AC Milan).

22 - Barcelona's Lionel Messi has scored 22 goals in 31 Champions League games against English opponents, more than any other player in the competition. Thirteen of those strikes have come in his last nine appearances against English sides at Camp Nou, including hat-tricks v Arsenal (April 2010) and Manchester City (October 2016).

Juventus v Ajax

10 - Juventus are unbeaten in their last 10 meetings with Ajax in all competitions, the joint-longest such run for one side against another in European matches (also Bayern Munich v Benfica).

2 - Ajax have been eliminated on two of the three previous occasions they have drawn the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie at home, most recently in the 2005-06 last 16 against Inter Milan.

2 - Juventus have lost two of their last five Champions League home games, as many as they had in their previous 45 in Turin in the competition (W28 D15 L2).

8 - Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in his last five Champions League games against Ajax, netting eight goals in total. The Portuguese forward has also scored 51 per cent of his total goals in the competition in the knockout stages (64/125).

2 - Ajax have won their last two Champions League away games, last winning more consecutively in the competition between November 1995 and March 1997 (seven).

53 - Dusan Tadic has been directly involved in 53 per cent of Ajax's 17 Champions League goals this season (six goals, three assists). The last player to score more than the Serbia international for Ajax in a single Champions League campaign was Jari Litmanen in 1995-96 (nine).

Having won five consecutive Formula One constructors' championships and then kept their team together for the 2019 season, it should perhaps come as no surprise that Mercedes are dominating again.

While the rest of the grid shuffled around in the close season, the Silver Arrows were again able to focus their efforts on champion Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

But Ferrari, and Sebastian Vettel in particular, surely could not have expected the start of the new campaign to be quite so brutal. They might well be out of the title race already.

Hamilton's victory in China - his second of the year - combined with a second-placed finish for Bottas, who won the opening race in Australia, means Mercedes have kicked off the campaign with three one-two finishes in a row.

That last happened in F1 back in 1992 when Williams enjoyed an embarrassingly straightforward season, coasting to the constructors' title with Nigel Mansell top of the drivers' standings and Riccardo Patrese second.

Such a repeat this year would be hugely damaging for Ferrari, yet it is difficult to rule it out right now. The gap between the top two teams is already at 57 points at this early stage.

Understandably, given the car's impressive performance in pre-season testing, attentions have already turned to their tactics, as they favour Vettel over new recruit Charles Leclerc.

Vettel is used to jostling with Hamilton at the front, but he required team orders to allow him through to take third in Shanghai and nudge a point ahead of Leclerc in the standings, though he still sits behind Max Verstappen.

And Vettel was spiky when asked about that call, accusing the media of "poor journalism" and claiming he would be misquoted as questions about preferential treatment persisted.

Yet such queries had existed even before Vettel failed to inspire again last week, forcing Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto to defend his driver - for the time being at least.

Vettel is Ferrari's main man, Binotto said. However, he added: "In a few races' time, things may change. We may change our position, no doubt."

After Sunday's race, Binotto acknowledged that he could understand Leclerc's disappointment after finishing in fifth place.

So, three meetings into the season, Vettel is facing a vastly different challenge to the usual title hunt. Instead, he is aiming to hold off Leclerc and ensure he retains top billing in the team.

Meanwhile, Hamilton appears to be in the clear, seemingly enjoying a free run at a sixth world title and a third in a row. His great modern rivalry with Vettel unfortunately looks in danger of becoming one-sided.

"The greatest comeback story in sports." That was how Stephen Curry described Tiger Woods' incredible triumph at the Masters on Sunday.

Woods' time as golf's premier star looked to be over as his form and fitness deserted him in recent years, with a back injury threatening to end his career.

However, after returning to contention last season, the 43-year-old claimed his 15th major title and fifth green jacket with a superb display at Augusta.

Before following Curry's lead and pronouncing this achievement the greatest ever, though, we highlight some other sporting comebacks to rival Tiger's…

 

PETRA KVITOVA

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova was one of the best tennis players in the world when she was the victim of a knife attack in December 2016, suffering a career-threatening injury to her playing left hand.

She was incredibly back in action for the 2017 French Open and then made the quarter-finals of the US Open.

Kvitova was not done there either, reaching the 2019 Australian Open final and climbing to number three in the WTA rankings. She could yet follow Woods in securing an emotional major win.

ERIC ABIDAL

Few comebacks have been as spectacularly swift as that of Eric Abidal, who was diagnosed with a tumour in his liver in March 2011 and lifted the Champions League trophy two months later.

The Barcelona defender's problems were not entirely resolved, though, and he required a liver transplant the following year that led to a lengthier lay-off.

Yet Abidal still managed to return to win LaLiga in 2012-13 and continue his playing career until 2014. He has since become Barca's technical secretary.

 

NIKI LAUDA

Niki Lauda was the reigning Formula One champion and well on course for a second straight title in 1976 when he crashed at the Nurburgring Grand Prix, with his car engulfed in flames.

Part of Lauda's ear was burnt off and his vision was impaired, but he was back in action six weeks later for the Italian Grand Prix.

The title escaped the recovering Lauda by just a point in 1976, yet he was back on top the following year and claimed the drivers' championship again in 1984 to cap a remarkable career.

MUHAMMAD ALI

Muhammad Ali went three years without a professional fight in the middle of his career.

Ali was convicted of draft evasion, sentenced to five years in prison and fined $10,000 because of his stance on the Vietnam War. He remained free while he appealed, but his boxing licence was revoked.

The American returned to action in 1970 and, although he lost to Joe Frazier in a title fight the following year and sustained a broken jaw against Ken Norton in 1973, Ali was heavyweight champion again when he defeated George Foreman in 1974, aged 32.

 

MICHAEL JORDAN

Michael Jordan did comebacks like few others.

Jordan quit the Chicago Bulls in 1993 after three straight championships to try his hand at baseball, fulfilling his late father's dream that his son might make it in two sports.

That stint in the minor leagues did not quite work out, though, and Jordan was back in the NBA in 1996 and incredibly won three consecutive titles once more with the Bulls. A second return from retirement with the Washington Wizards did not quite go to plan.

After Tiger Woods completed an extraordinary comeback by securing his 15th major title at the Masters, Omnisport's sports editor, Christopher Devine, assesses the unique impact of a true sporting great.

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Between 2014 and 2017, when an injury-plagued Tiger Woods was barely able to compete at the highest level, let alone seriously contend for honours, there were plenty of compelling storylines in golf's major championships.

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth each won two in succession to suggest a glorious new rivalry was in prospect, while the latter sensationally threw away the Masters in 2016 before producing a remarkable recovery to win the following year's Open. In addition, there were two truly memorable final-day duels, Henrik Stenson edging out Phil Mickelson to win the 2016 Open Championship and Sergio Garcia pipping Justin Rose at Augusta nine months later.

By the time Garcia finally earned major glory at the 74th attempt, it was becoming easy to view Woods' career as a top-level player in the past tense. 

Little more than a month later, the former world number one was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Florida, following an unexpected reaction to prescription medicine, and a humiliating mugshot of Woods made headlines around the world.

In light of that embarrassing episode and Woods' continued back problems, it was truly incredible to see a resurgent Tiger threaten to win two majors in 2018 before he then ended a five-year victory drought at the Tour Championship.

Yet it turned out the best was still to come. And there can be no doubt that the events of April 14 at Augusta comfortably trump all of the aforementioned major narratives. If golf was good in Woods' absence, it is a whole lot better now.

In winning the Masters for a fifth time, Woods not only added the most remarkable chapter to his stunning career, he once again proved he is the one athlete who moves the needle like no other.

While the likes of Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Tom Brady, Virat Kohli and LeBron James are all rightly recognised as masters of their respective crafts, none of those superstars can match Woods when it comes to the impact they have on their sport.

When Woods is successful, interest in golf is taken to a whole new level, for one simple reason.

As Williams herself tweeted on Sunday, to watch his triumph on Sunday was to witness "greatness like no other".

It is essentially impossible to quantify whether Messi is better than Federer, or whether Serena is superior to LeBron, given they are competing in different fields.

Yet it is hard to envisage any active sportsperson commanding more attention than a successful Woods. More than a decade after his period of outrageous dominance in golf ended, he is once again sport's most captivating figure, one who has somehow regained a majestic aura after it appeared he was a busted flush.

As he secured victory on Sunday, it felt like the whole world was watching and you can bet the viewing figures for the final round will far exceed any comparable metrics in recent history.

Whether more majors come the 43-year-old's way or not, his latest success is sure to linger long in the memory.

Sure, there were exciting tournaments when Woods was absent, but isn't it just fantastic to have him back?

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