2006/07. Manchester United vs. Roma – 7:1
This crushing defeat happened in the quarter-finals, even further into the match. Having beaten Shakhtar on the group stage, Roma defeated United with great effort (2:1) in their home match and was ready to pull out all the stops at the Old Trafford. And yet Sir Alex Ferguson had a plan, which worked perfectly. Between the 11th and the 19th minute Michael Carrick, Alan Smith, and Wayne Rooney’s goals annihilated the Romans without hopes of resurrection. It was like their team wasn’t on the field at all. The Italians’ only answer came in the form of a single goal at a 0:6 score.
2008/09. Bayern vs. Sporting – 7:1
Unlike the previous example, the intrigue was dead right after the first match. Once again, the club that got humiliated outplayed Shakhtar on the group stage. We’re talking about Portugal’s Sporting – do you remember Hirnyky’s two 0:1 score losses? During play-offs, the bullies were put against Bayern, who back then was not as impeccable as they are now. Still, this competition was absolute hell for Sporting. The Portuguese club kept their score at zero until almost halftime. Finally, they conceded defeat with a 0:5 score after Franck Ribéry and Luca Toni’s doubles. The Munich players showed off at their hearts’ content during their home match. It was a free-for-all, even for nderson Polga (who is he anyway?). The score of 7:1 and 12:1 on aggregate was the most significant goal difference in an individual Champions League play-off competition.
2011/12. Barcelona vs. Bayer – 7:1
Bayer beat everyone on their own field in the group stage, even “Chelsea”, the future cup winners. However, they couldn’t even scratch Pep Guardiola’s “Barcelona”, who back then reached absolute perfection, in the 1/8 finals home match. The 1:3 loss only left a tiny chance for victory. And then everything fell apart in Catalonia’s capital city. That day, Lionel Messi put on yet another alien football show by striking the Pharmacists’ goal five times – the first Penta-trick in the history of the Champions League (later only one person will do the same – Luiz Adriano from Shakhtar, an extraterrestrial in his own kind of way). “It’s time to shut Bundesliga down!” was the headline of one German newspaper in response to this national humiliation.
2011/12. Bayern vs. Basel – 7:0
Bayern rushed to the finals that were to take place on its native Allianz Arena that they knew so well but quickly took a beating from the unassuming Basel, who claimed a minimalistic yet sensational 1:0 victory in the first play-off match. The Swiss shouldn’t have angered the Munich bear! Bayern won the play-off with a goal difference of 7 – a first in the history of the Champions League. Still, Basel persisted for quite a long time and kept the score at 0:1 until the 42nd minute, which gave them some hope; however, they missed two goals at the end of the first half and collapsed right afterwards. Mario Gómez, who scored a poker, was the star of the game.
2014/15. Bayern vs. Shakhtar – 7:0
The whole progressive world felt bad for Shakhtar – the team who lost their luxurious home, the incomparable Donbas Arena. Perhaps Bayern was sorry, but they did not intend to pity the victims. The Lviv score was 0:0, so the opposition decided to get up in arms and oppress Shakhtar from the very first moments of their home match. It all pretty much ended on the 3rd minute after Oleksandr Kucher broke the rules in his box and Thomas Müller realized a penalty. Bayern continued to slowly and methodically swallow up Shakhtar like a boa eating a rabbit. Alas, our team could not oppose them in any way, as if hypnotized by the looming giant…
2018/19. Manchester City vs. Schalke – 7:0
Schalke had a promising beginning in their home match – the Cobalts won 2:1 in the first half. But the last 5 minutes of the match changed everything – Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling’s goals put the German team in an awkward position. Undeniably, they intended to put up a fight at the Etihad, and they did – for 38 minutes straight, until the opposition scored its first goal (Sergio Agüero, from the penalty spot). The second half began with a solid beating of the guest team by anyone who wished to engage in it, including, for example, the rookie Phil Foden. City entered the quarter-final with a confident strut – and lost to Tottenham after an incredibly dramatic struggle that shall never be forgotten.
2019/20. Bayern vs. Barcelona – 8:2
This was a Champions League epic – Barcelona’s biggest European failure and the most crushing defeat in the history of play-offs. Bayern gave the Catalans a good lesson in quality pressure that could not be resisted if two “old-timers” – Leo Messi and Luis Suárez – were involved. Bayern simply shattered the competition’s defence, dealing with all possible issues in just 9 minutes of the first half – with a score of 1:1, they scored three goals between the 22nd and the 31st minute, after which there could be no talking about a quality counterplay. Everything ended in a similarly humiliating fashion – in the last 8 minutes, there were three more balls flying into Barca’s goal. Even worse, 2 of these were struck by the hapless Philippe Coutinho, a player on loan.