Regardless of what happens in the final, the image of Jose Mourinho triumphantly running around the pitch after 10-man Inter held off the dynamic attack of Barcelona will be an image soccer fans worldwide won't soon forget. A Special Moment courtesy of The Special One.
Chamakh heads Bordeaux into quarters
A goal as notable for its beauty as for its impact, Bordeaux forward Marouane Chamakh's header against Olympiacos put an exclamation on the French side's Round of 16 victory, and set up an all-French quarterfinal against rival Lyon.
Olic's hat trick sends Bayern into final
After a 2-1 home win in the first leg of their semifinal, Bayern Munich knew it needed a solid performance against an in-form Lyon team. Bayern desperately wanted an early road goal to put the pressure on the home side. Ivica Olic did that and more. He scored once in the first half to give Bayern the lead, then netted two more in the second half to cap off his hat trick, sending the German side into the final.
Liverpool fails to reach knockout round
In what has been a dreadful season all around for Liverpool, the Reds' Champions League showing was likely the lowlight. Only able to manage victories against Debrecen among the six group stage matches, Liverpool lost twice to Fiorentina and drew once and lost once to eventual semifinalist Lyon. There wasn't even any suspense on the final match day, as Liverpool had for all intents and purposes played themselves out of the competition before the final indignity of a 2-1 loss to Fiorentina at Anfield.
Robben's strike stuns Fiorentina
Once again, Bayern Munich found itself in danger of elimination -- this time in the Round of 16 against Fiorentina. Down 4-3 in aggregate with time ticking down on the road, Dutch winger Arjen Robben took matters into his own hands. Cutting in with the ball from the right flank, Robben dribbled the ball parallel to the goal, about 25 yards out. He found a glimpse of space, and unleashed an absolute rocket. Fiorentina keeper Sebastien Frey never had a chance. The ball nearly tore a hole in the upper corner of the net, and the Italian side's European hopes came crashing down.
Eto'o, Inter end Chelsea's run
The match was billed a Mourinho vs. his former team. Chelsea were one of the preseason favorites to win the Champions League, boasting one of the deepest, most experienced squads in Europe. On paper, the Londoners were superior to their Italian foes. But Inter had Mourinho, and Mourinho, ever the master tactician, knew the ins and outs of his former side. The first leg at the San Siro ended 2-1 to Inter. A road goal for Chelsea meant that the oddsmakers favored the Blues to go through. But Inter held strong for much of the match, keeping the dangerous Chelsea attack in check. Then, with less than a quarter of an hour remaining, Samuel Eto'o -- against the run of play, no less -- slid a perfect shot past Ross Turnbull, a goal that would ensure a most satisfying victory or Mourinho.
Cesc soldiers on despite broken leg
While Barcelona would eventually eliminate Arsenal in the quarterfinals, no one will be able to forget what Cesc Fabregas did towards the end of the first leg at Emirates. With the Gunners down 2-1, having just scored to close the deficit to one, Carlos Puyol of Barcelona took down Fabregas in the box for a penalty. Good news for Arsenal, right? It would have been, except Fabregas fractured his leg on the play. Still, the Arsenal captain stepped up and calmly converted the penalty to tie the score. Unfortunately, Arsene Wenger had already used all three of his substitues, so Fabregas courageously stayed on, limping around the field, trying to do anything he could to help his side.
Lyon shocks Real Madrid in Round of 16
What can $300 million buy? In the case of Real Madrid, a trip to the Round of 16 in the Champions League. No more. In a mind-bending summer spending spree, Real bought Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka -- back-to-back world players of the year -- along with French superstar Karim Benzema. In the end, after failing to score a road goal in a 1-0 loss at Lyon, Real could only manage a 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu.
Messi scores 4 against Arsenal
He's not the World Player of the Year for nothing. In the second leg of their quarterfinal clash with Arsenal, Lionel Messi showcased his sheer brilliance in a dazzling display. Messi went over (as seen in the photo), under and around Gunners keeper Manuel Almunia, who was helpless in the face of Messi's creativity. Messi tallied four goals in that second leg, a total that helped him to the top of the Champions League scoring list.
Robben burns Red Devils
After his heroics against Fiorentina, it seemed impossible that Arjen Robben could once again save Bayern Munich from the clutches of elimination. His tricks were bound to run out. Then came a corner kick for Bayern. The ball was played far and wide, well outside the box, beyond where Manchester United's defenders had taken up their posts. There waiting was Robben. He didn't take a touch. He didn't let the ball hit the turf. He didn't need to. Robben's blistering volley knifed its way through the crowded penalty area, finding its home just inside Edwin Van der Sar's far post. It was a nightmare for the home fans at the Theater of Dreams, and yet another miracle from Munich's magician.