When The UEFA Super Cup Lived Up To Its Name

Remembering five famous finals
15:41, 12 Aug 2019

Ajax 6-0 Milan (6-1 on aggregate), 1963

The Super Cup was introduced into the European football calendar in 1962, with reigning European champions Ajax the maiden victors thanks to a 6-3 aggregate triumph over Rangers, that year’s Cup Winners’ Cup winners. 

However, it was not until 1963 that the match became official after receiving the endorsement of UEFA (the previous year’s version was an idea dreamed up by De Telegraaf journalist Anton Witkamp).

No matter: Ajax were again victorious thanks to a stunning 6-0 demolition of Milan in the second leg having lost 1-0 at San Siro. Johan Cruyff had left for Barcelona by this point, but goals from Jan Mulder, Piet Keizer, Johan Neeskens, Johnny Rep, Gerrie Muhren and Arie Haan showed that he was not missed – in this tie at least. 

Aston Villa 3-0 Barcelona (3-1 on aggregate), 1982

The greatest night in Aston Villa’s history came on 26 May 1982, when Peter Withe’s goal brought a 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the final of the European Cup. This success against Barcelona was not quite as seismic, but it confirmed Villa’s position at the top of the continental tree.

Marcos Alonso’s strike had given the Catalan club a narrow lead heading into the second leg in England, and they were closing in on an aggregate victory as the clock ticked down at Villa Park. But Gary Shaw restored parity in the 80th minute, before goals from Gordon Cowans and Ken McNaught in extra time gave Tony Barton’s men the trophy.

Juventus 6-1 PSG (9-2 on aggregate), 1996

Given the club’s size and their record of success domestically, it is somewhat surprising that Juventus have only won the Champions League on two occasions. The most recent of those triumphs came in 1996, when they edged out holders Ajax in a penalty shoot-out.

Juve were far too strong for PSG, the Cup Winners’ Cup winners, running out 6-1 victors at the Parc des Princes and then posting a 3- 1 win back in Turin. Their performance in the first leg remains one of the best in Super Cup history, with Juve racing into a 4-0 lead in the first half and adding two more goals for good measure late on.

Liverpool 3-2 Bayern Munich, 2001

After the Cup Winners’ Cup was abolished in 1999, the winners of the UEFA Cup went forward to the Super Cup to face the Champions League holders. Liverpool emerged victorious in the junior competition two years later, beating Alaves 5-4 in a thrilling final – and they were also involved in another memorable match against Bayern, the European champions, in this one-legged contest.

John Arne Riise put the Reds ahead midway through the first period, with Emile Heskey and Michael Owen scoring either side of half-time to put them within touching distance of the trophy. Goals from Hasan Salihamidzic and Carsten Jancker made for a nervous finish, but Gerard Houllier’s charges held on. 

Atletico Madrid 4-1 Chelsea, 2012

Chelsea were somewhat fortunate to win the Champions League in 2012, but they were outclassed in that year’s Super Cup by Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid, who had got the better of Marcelo Bielsa’s Athletic Club in an all-La Liga Europa League final.

Radamel Falcao was the star of the show, netting a first-half hat-trick to put the game beyond Roberto Di Matteo’s men. Joao Miranda made it 4-0 on the hour mark, with Gary Cahill’s 75th-minute goal nothing more than a consolation.

Barcelona 5-4 Sevilla, 2015

The highest-scoring Super Cup in history took place four years ago, as Barcelona beat Sevilla in an incredible nine-goal encounter. A Lionel Messi brace and Rafinha’s strike gave the Blaugrana a 3-1 lead at the interval, and Luis Suarez increased the European champions’ advantage to three goals soon after the interval.

Sevilla refused to give up, though, and the deficit was reduced thanks to efforts from Jose Antonio Reyes and Kevin Gameiro, then wiped out when Yevhen Konoplyanka made it 4-4 in the 81st minute. The match seemed destined for penalties, but Pedro Rodriguez struck with five minutes of extra-time remaining to give Barcelona victory.