Top Five Matches of 2017: Barcelona and Man City star in list of most exciting clashes of the year

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There have been some absolutely sensational games of football that have been played in the past 12 months, from Man City’s 5-3 win against Monaco in the Champions League, to Barcelona’s dramatic 3-2 win at the Santiago Bernabeu in April.

So, we picked out the five matches which we thought were the most exciting that have happened in the past year.

Man City 5-3 Monaco, Champions League round of 16

Up first on our list is a match that literally had it all. Manchester City’s round of 16 clash against Monaco was one of the most eagerly anticipated match ups of the Champions League knock-out stages, with both side’s ruthless attacks going against each other, a flurry of goals were expected. Man City took the lead through Raheem Sterling in the first half, before a diving header from Falcao drew the French side level. Kylian Mbappe then made is 2-1 to Monaco just minutes later as the away side went into the break a goal to the good. Sergio Aguero equalised for City before a stunning solo goal from Falcao saw the French giants re-take the lead. We then witnessed something quite remarkable, as three goals in Aguero, John Stones and Leroy Sane put the home side 5-3 up, and gave Pep Guardiola’s a huge advantage going into the second leg, with City taking a huge step towards the quarter finals.

Barcelona 6-1 PSG, Champions League round of 16

Having trailed PSG 4-0 from the first leg at the Parc de Princes, Luis Enrique’s Barca needed to do something that had never been achieved in European Cup history before: overturn a 4-0 first leg deficit to advance into the next round. Many had written the tie off, however Messi and Co had another idea in mind, as two first half goals from Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta set the home side on their way to achieving the seemingly impossible. Despite scoring a third just after half time, a fine volley from Edinson Cavani made it look as if Barcelona were to crash out of the Champions League, however from there on out Brazilian winger Neymar took things into his own hands. The former Santos star scored twice, converting a penalty and free kick, before his lobbed ball into the box from a short free-kick found the run of Sergi Roberto, who stabbed the ball home to lift the roof off the Nou Camp and secure the unlikeliest of victories for the Spanish giants. A truly remarkable turn of events.

Barcelona's Sergi Roberto
Roberto’s goal saw Barcelona become the first to ever overturn a 4-0 deficit in the Champions League

Real Madrid 4-2 Bayern Munich (AET), Champions League quarter finals

Next up on our list is a game that saw Los Blancos legend Cristiano Ronaldo cement himself as one of the all time European greats, and one of the Champions League’s greatest ever players. Going into the second leg already 2-1 up, the German side had it all to do going to the second leg at the Bernabeu, and they so nearly pulled it off, as goals from Robert Lewandowski and an own goal from Sergio Ramos saw the two sides end the 90 minutes level, however it was then Ronaldo’s turn to show us was he was all about. Two goals in the first and second half of extra time saw the Portuguese international bag a hat-trick, with Marco Asensio wrapping up the scoring to set up an all Spanish affair with rivals Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals, as Los Blancos charged towards their 12th European Cup.

RB Leipzig 4-5 Bayern Munich, Bundesliga

This hotly contested affair between eventual champions Bayern Munich and second place RB Leipzig will go down as one of the most dramatic matches to have ever taken place in Germany’s top flight. Newly promoted Leipzig took a 4-2 lead going into the 84th minute thanks to goals from Marcel Sabitzer, Timo Werner and Yussuf Poulsen, however no one could’ve predicted what was to happen next. A Robert Lewandowski strike followed by a free kick from David Alaba got Carlo Ancelotti’s side on their way, before Dutch international Arjen Robben skipped past a number of players on his way to the goal before lobbing the ball over the Leipzig ‘keeper to complete a dramatic, almost unthinkable comeback for the Bundesliga champions.

Real Madrid 2-3 Barcelona, La Liga

Last up on our list is a match that will be remembered for years and years to come, and is one that saw a certain Lionel Messi etch his name into football folklore. Real took the lead through Brazilian Casemiro, before goals from Messi and Ivan Rakitic saw Barcelona go into the last five minutes of the match 2-1 ahead, needing a win to have any chance of winning the title. Madrid, who were down to 10 men at this point after having Sergio Ramos sent off for a tackle on Messi, found an equaliser through James Rodriguez just four minutes from time, however what happened next will be forever remembered as one of the most dramatic moments in Spanish football history. As the clock struck the 92nd minute, a ball from Spaniard Jordi Alba found it’s way across the edge of the Madrid box, with the brilliant Lionel Messi waiting to hammer the ball home with his deadly left foot to secure all three points for the Blaugrana in what had turned out to be the most dramatic El Clasico of all time. Simply breathtaking stuff.

Lionel Messi
Messi’s celebration was one of the most memorable in El Clasico history
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