We begin with the final of the second-ever season of the European Cup held in 1957. The venue for the final was selected in honour of the previous year’s winners, Real Madrid. The defending champions would face Fiorentina, the first Italian team to make a continental final, in their home ground. Real’s first goal was surrounded by controversy as Dutch referee Leo Horn gave a penalty for a foul on Enrique Mateos, which was made outside the box. Furthermore, Mateos was offside, which the linesman signaled, but Horn ignored his colleague. Di Stefano scored the penalty and Gento added a second goal for Real, who won one home turf.
Eight years later another defending champion would have the chance to win their second title in front of a home crowd, namely Inter. With Giacinto Facchetti, Sandro Mazzola and Luis Suarez in their side they would face Eusebio’s Benfica. Only one goal separated the two teams, scored by Jair in the 43rd minute. This final also marked the last time a team won in their own stadium.
In 1984, the Stadio Olimpico in Rome had been earmarked for the game long before AS Roma made the final. In the showpiece match, Roma would have to overcome three-time winners Liverpool, but could count on their crowd to give them an extra edge. In a scrappy game where the stadium was a red and yellow cauldron, Liverpool took the lead in the 15th minute before Roma equalized just before halftime. The match ended one all and Liverpool broke Roman hearts in the subsequent penalty shootout.
The last final on this list was a wild one, Bayern versus Chelsea in the Allianz Arena in 2012. Chelsea’s failed season under Andre Villas-Boas seemed poised to fizzle out under interim manager Roberto Di Matteo. However, they defied the odds to reach the final, where Bayern waited for them.
In a game where the Bavarians were utterly dominant, Thomas Muller opened the scoring in the 83rd minute only for Didier Drogba to somehow push the whole of Bayern’s defense out of his way to score from a corner kick five minutes later. In extra time Arjen Robben, who had missed a penalty earlier in the game missed a second one and Chelsea braved the Bayern assault to take the game to penalties, where they won, despite Mata missing the first one.
Next year: Wembley Stadium will play host to the final so we have no chance of adding another team to the list, but two years from now Bayern will be looking to reach the final at the Allianz Arena final and win it.
By: Eduard Holdis / @He_Ftbl
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / MirrorPix