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Don't despair, Manchester United: 27 forgotten British underdog shocks in Europe

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12. Bangor City 2-0 Napoli

Cup Winners’ Cup | September 5, 1962

Seven minutes after the interval, Ken Birch’s penalty made sure Bangor were the first Welsh club to win a tie in Europe

Unsettled by a heavy Farrar Road pitch, Napoli went behind to the Welsh Senior Cup winners after 43 minutes, when 19-year-old Roy Matthews headed home a Reg Hunter cross to spark a pitch invasion.

Seven minutes after the interval, Ken Birch’s penalty made sure Bangor were the first Welsh club to win a tie in Europe. Napoli responded with a 3-1 win in Italy. If the away goals rule had been in place back then, Jimmy McAllister’s 71st-minute strike would’ve taken Bangor through. Instead, Napoli won the play-off 2-1 at Highbury. Harsh.

13. Saint-Etienne 1-4 Ipswich Town

UEFA Cup | March 4, 1981

Russell Osman’s industrial challenge knocked Platini off his game, but it was Paul Mariner who inflicted most of the damage, scoring twice

When Bobby Robson’s men arrived at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard for this quarter-final first leg, they wondered if they were late as the ground was full – two hours before kick-off. Led by Johnny Rep, Michel Platini and Patrick Battiston, Saint-Etienne were confident after winning 5-0 at Hamburg, but Ipswich weren’t even fazed by Les Verts’ 16th-minute opener.

Russell Osman’s industrial challenge knocked Platini off his game, but it was Paul Mariner who inflicted most of the damage, scoring twice. “Football can do that to you,” sighed a philosophic Platini. “It can make you feel like a clown one minute and a champion the next.” No comment on which he is right now...

14. Burnley 3-1 Hamburg

European Cup | January 18, 1961

Burnley played some cultured football in this European Cup quarter-final against a Hamburg side captained by Uwe Seeler

The pitch was a quagmire and the noise inside Turf Moor fit “to waken the dead”, according to commentator Kenneth Wolstenholme, yet Burnley played some cultured football in this European Cup quarter-final against a Hamburg side captained by Uwe Seeler.

Brian Pilkington’s brace – the second goal following a superb solo run – and a strike from James Robson seemed to wrap up the tie, only for Gert Dorfel to grab an ultimately crucial goal two minutes later. Hamburg won the return leg 4-1, with the visitors hitting the post in the last minute. Asked if Burnley had suffered any injuries, McIlroy replied: “No – just 11 broken hearts.”

15. Blackburn Rovers 4-1 Rosenborg

Champions League | December 6, 1995

Mike Newell scored three goals in nine minutes against Rosenborg for the fastest hat-trick in the competition’s history

The defining image of Blackburn Rovers’ Champions League campaign is a spot of throat-grappling between David Batty and Graeme Le Saux at Spartak Moscow. That’s hard on Mike Newell, who scored three goals in nine minutes against Rosenborg for the fastest hat-trick in the competition’s history (until Bafetimbi Gomis’ 2011 treble for Lyon away at Dinamo Zagreb). At least Newell’s was a perfect hat-trick, scoring with both feet as well as his head. “It didn’t do much good,” he later huffed. “We were already out.”

16. Fulham 4-1 Juventus

Europa League | March 18, 2010

Zamora outmuscled Fabio Cannavaro to score, before the Ballon d’Or-winning defender was shown a controversial red card for fouling Zoltan Gera

“Nine times out of 10 it won’t make it, but you’ve got to take the risk”. Clint Dempsey’s creed certainly paid off against Juventus. Beaten 3-1 in Turin, Roy Hodgson’s Fulham were 1-0 down after two minutes at Craven Cottage and the Old Lady’s lead was looking insurmountable.

However, Bobby Zamora outmuscled Fabio Cannavaro to score, before the Ballon d’Or-winning defender was shown a controversial red card for fouling Zoltan Gera. Gera netted twice to level the tie, and as extra time loomed, Dempsey dinked a delightful chip home to send his team into the last eight en route to the final. On Fulham’s greatest night, victory was sealed by their greatest goal.