A week of Champions League comebacks: fans go wild online

Football this week has sent fans across Europe on a rollercoaster journey of emotion. Liverpool, despite a seemingly impossible task, created history on Tuesday night when they made one of the greatest comebacks in the Champions League, beating Barcelona 4-0 (4-3 on aggregate) to reach the final for the second year running.

On Wednesday night, Tottenham managed to produce a miracle and undo all of Ajax’s hard work over 2 legs in the space of just 45 minutes in the second half, with Lucas Moura scoring a second half hattrick – the last of which came in the final seconds of the game to ignite tears of joy for some fans and anguish for others.

How did the online media react?

Using our Live Search data, part of our Reputation Intelligence offering, which looks back at 12 months of historical online news articles, we can see how the online media built up to and reacted to the Champions League semi-finals.

Liverpool vs Barcelona, Tuesday 7th May

Looking at a 24-hour period between 12pm on the day of the match to 12pm the day after (Tuesday – Wednesday), our Live Search data shows that across Europe there were 9,052 articles posted online that included the search term “Liverpool AND Champions League”. In comparison, Liverpool’s first leg game against Barcelona only produced 6,674 articles in the same timeframe. As expected there were more articles posted on the day after the game but there was still a significant build up to the game and straight after.

When looking more specifically at articles posted in the UK, using the same search term, there were 1,696 articles posted that contained both ‘Liverpool’ and ‘Champions League’. Once again there was more activity the day after the match.

Using data from Kantar Sport, we can also determine the number of global tweets sent. Between 12pm on 7th – 12pm on the 8th there were over 3.5 million tweets posted globally related to Liverpool. The peak hour, unsurprisingly, was around 10pm just after full time where the result sent shockwaves across social media, with over 1.1 million tweets. Less than 500,000 tweets were sent on the day of Liverpool’s victory against Newcastle on the 4th May which took them back to the top of the Premier League, showing the popularity and appeal of the Champions League.

Ajax vs Tottenham, Wednesday 8th May

Our Live Search shows that Tottenham’s inspiring comeback against Ajax triggered 9,664 articles online across Europe from midday on Wednesday 8th to midday on Thursday 9th. The unexpected last-minute goal from Tottenham played a part in the amount of discussion post-match with 5132 articles coming from the day after the match. These are articles containing both ‘Tottenham’ and ‘Champions League’ together.

The Liverpool result the night before sparked a lot of excitement and anticipation for the second semi-final, as 4,532 articles were posted the day of the Tottenham match.

In the UK, the Tottenham match drew slightly more focus than the Liverpool game. 1,715 articles were posted just in the UK in the same timeframe (12pm Wednesday – 12pm Thursday), with the majority coming from the day after the game.

The Tottenham game wasn’t as popular on social media as the Liverpool match. Between 12pm on 8th – 12pm on the 9th there were just under 1.6 million tweets posted globally related to Tottenham. As was the case with the Liverpool game, the peak hour for tweets was at full time, as Tottenham scored a last-minute goal to see them through to the final. This hour alone saw more than 650,000 tweets being posted.

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