On This Day: Chelsea reaches UCL final, Manning trade changes NFL history

April 24 is a date that has produced some NFL Draft drama and it is a favourable one in the history of Chelsea.

#OTD: Fernando Torres sealed his place in Chelsea folklore

#OTD: Fernando Torres sealed his place in Chelsea folklore   -  Getty Images

The NFL is currently completing its first virtual draft in 2020, 16 years on from a dramatic draft day that changed the league's recent history.

Eli Manning was taken at number one overall by the San Diego Chargers in 2004, but that was not where the quarterback ended up going.

It is eight years since this date in the calendar produced a match that will never be forgotten by supporters of Chelsea, after the side's famous battle against Barcelona.

Here we look back on some of the most memorable moments from the world of sport to take place on April 24.

 

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The win was one of Chelsea's most memorable victories ever.   -  AFP

 

2012: Chelsea reaches first Champions League final

Chelsea and Barcelona have had their fair share of epic Champions League battles over the years and this meeting in 2012 was no different.

The Blues, under interim manager Roberto Di Matteo, looked to be on the brink of elimination when Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta had Barca two goals up on the night, with captain John Terry having been sent off.

Trailing 2-1 on aggregate, Ramires scored a magnificent chip for the 10 men and it looked like it might just be their night when Lionel Messi smashed a second-half penalty against the crossbar.

READ | Hope mixed with worry and uncertainty as football reawakens

Barca was dominant, but it could not find a third goal and Fernando Torres raced clear in a late counter-attack to make it 2-2 on the night, and 3-2 on aggregate, one of the Blues' most memorable wins ever.

Chelsea went on to win its first Champions League final against host Bayern Munich on penalties.

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A large statue of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning at the NFL Experience in the Phoenix Convention Center on January 30, 2015.   -  AFP

 

2004: Manning snubs Chargers for Giants

Eli Manning made it clear he did not wish to play for the Chargers (then from San Diego rather than Los Angeles) when he came into the 2004 NFL Draft as the leading college prospect.

His father Archie had cited reports about how the Chargers had treated fellow QB Ryan Leaf as evidence for why his son did not want to play there.

The Chargers selected him nonetheless, while the Giants picked QB Philip Rivers at four, and a trade was promptly worked out between the two teams.

It was a move that changed the recent history of the NFL, as Manning went on to guide the Giants to two dramatic Super Bowl triumphs, both against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Rivers had an impressive 16 seasons with the Chargers but fell short of postseason glory and will now try to go all the way with his new team, the Indianapolis Colts, in 2020.

Another two-time Super Bowl champion, Ben Roethlisberger, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers at number 11.

He, like Rivers, is back vying for glory this year, while Manning retired after being usurped by Daniel Jones in New York.

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Fans hold placards to wish Sachin Tendulkar on his birthday during the Coca Cola Cup finals in 1998.

 

1973: Sachin Tendulkar is born

April 24, 1973 was a great day in the history of Indian cricket, as Sachin Tendulkar was born.

The legendary batsman was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) and made his Test debut against Pakistan as a 16-year-old.

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What followed was a career that produced 15,921 runs and 51 centuries, which are both records in the longest form of the game.

The Little Master also racked up 18,426 runs in ODIs, another record mark that sees him stand alone atop the charts.

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Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp applauds fans following the UEFA Champions League semi-final match between AS Roma and Liverpool.   -  AFP

 

2018: Liverpool 5-2 Roma in memorable UCL semi

Liverpool’s front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah combined for five goals in the space of 68 minutes as the Reds blew Roma away in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie at Anfield.

Two late goals from the Italians gave them a faint glimmer of hope, and they ended up just one goal short of forcing extra time in a return leg which they won 4-2.

ALSO READ | Hudson-Odoi would 'love' Sancho at Chelsea

Liverpool lost the eventual final to Real Madrid, but made amends by winning the trophy in 2019, beating Premier League rival Tottenham in the final.

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Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, center, shoots during the second half of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against Oklahoma City Thunder on April 24, 2019.   -  AP

 

2019: Lillard hits stunning game-winner to settle series

On this day last year, the Portland Trail Blazers had not won a playoff series in the previous two seasons, but that all changed when Damian Lillard drained a three-pointer from 37 feet to settle a thrilling battle against Russell Westbrook, Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Portland led 3-1 but game five was on a knife edge at 115-115 before Lillard produced a moment of brilliance as time expired.

The team went on to beat the Denver Nuggets in seven games to reach the Conference Finals, where the Golden State Warriors blew it away in a clean sweep.

George and Westbrook now play for new teams, but Lillard remains the Blazers' leading man.