Arsenal and Barcelona have daunting Champions League first leg gaps to overcome. So did Deport against Milan
These days Deportivo de la Coruna are a run of the mill La Liga club, either battling relegation or enduring a yo-yo-ing between the top two divisions of Spanish football.
It's a far cry from the 1990s and early years of the Millennium when the Galician club won La Liga in 2000 and regularly qualified in the Champions League.
In a week in which Arsenal and Barcelona were facing the prospect of overturning daunting first leg deficits against Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain respectively, they could do worse than look at the Depor team of 2003-04.
They reached the semi finals but probably should have been out at the quarter final stage. Fresh from dumping out Juventus in the last-16 that season, they faced reigning Champions League holders AC Milan in the last eight.
The first leg was a disaster as Depor succumbed to a 4-1 loss with Kaka, (2), Andriy Shevchenko and Andrea Pirlo scoring. A loan Walter Pandiani goal meant a solitary away goal for Depor. Surely that had to been the tie done and dusted?
But the second leg turned the tie and convention on its head as Depor thrashed Milan 4-0 at the Riazor to complete an unexpected 5-4 aggregate win and reach a semi final against eventual winners FC Porto. The following season, Milan would fall to a comeback by Liverpool in the final.
But where are the members of the Depor starting XI from that second leg now?
The nine time Spain cap was among the leading Spanish goalkeepers of the era and played at Depor during their peak Champions League period between 2000 and 2006.
Two years before the Milan game, the 46 year old announced that he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer. Treatment was a success and he recovered.
Currently, he is currently head coach of Indian Super League Atletico de Kolkata which is part owned by one of his former clubs Atletico Madrid.
Another winner of multiple Spain caps between 2000 and 2004, the right back was one of Depor's longest serving players.
Having arrived from Las Palmas in 1998, he only retired in 2016 at the age of 40.
Along with fellow Deportivo and Spain team-mate Juan Carlos Valeron, he has been getting his coaching badges, starting the process of obtaining the UEFA B licence.
Deportivo La Coruna's Juan Carlos Valeron (r) celebrates scoring the 2nd goal against AC Milan with Sanchez Victor (l). Picture by Tony Marshall EMPICS Sport
After leaving Deportivo in 2004, the ex-Morocco defender would leave for Tottenham Hotspur where he would spend the final two years of his career under the management of Jacques Santini and Martin Jol.
During the recent Africa Cup of Nations, he shared his thoughts in the local media about what he was making of the current Morocco national team.
The 47 year old also took part in a climate change conference organised by Ghana legend Abedi Pele.
The ex-Portugal defender spent five years in La Liga with Depor until departing for Juventus in 2007.
After retiring in 2009, the 38 year old went down the coaching and management route. Given his connections with both FC Porto and Juventus, he has appeared in the Portuguese media talking about the last-16 tie between both clubs.
The left back remained at Deportivo until 2006 before retiring a year later at Real Betis. Ten years on, he still keeps a close eye on the travails of his former club. However, he is not involved in football and has focused on family life since retiring.
Deportivo La Coruna's players celebrate the fourth goal scored by Fran. Picture by Tony Marshall EMPICS Sport
The 1994 World Cup winning Brazilian and the holding midfielder was also part of the La Liga and Copa del Rey winning teams before retiring in 2005 at the age of 37 after 13 years at the club.
When his former Brazil team-mate Dunga re-took the country's managerial reins in 2014, Silva was one of the people he turned to.
Like a lot of this Depor team, the midfielder spent a long time at the club - nine years in fact between 2001 and 2010.
He is now a joint-head coach of the Catalonia national team, which plays in unofficial friendlies, having previously been boss at his former club Espanyol.
The Real Madrid youth graduate left Deportivo in 2006 after seven years. The 41 year old is now manager of La Liga top flight club Real Betis. He also managed Deportivo last season before a short-lived spell in charge of perennial Greek champions Olympiacos which ended with the sack after two months following the failure to reach the Champions League group stages.
Juan Carlos Valeron
A playmaker likened to Zidane at his peak around the turn of the Millennium, the midfielder also showed remarkable longevity.
The 41 year old only retired last year after three years at Las Palmas, having spent the previous 13 seasons at Deportivo.
Deportivo La Coruna's Alberto Luque gets past AC Milan's Cafu on his way to scoring the third goal. Picture by Tony Marshall EMPICS Sport
As with Manuel Pablo, Valeron is on the coaching badge ladder.
On the night of the second leg against Milan, Valeron scored the second goal in the 4-0 win 10 minutes before half time.
After his time with Depor came to an end in 2005, the Uruguayan had a brief one-year spell at Birmingham City.
A journeyman forward, the 40 year old played at 11 clubs during his career. He was at Lausanne Sport in Switzerland last season and has now retired.
Having scored in the first leg against Milan in 2004, his opener in the second leg helped precipitate the almighty comeback.
The 17 time Spain cap's best period was at Deportivo between 2002 and 2005. He scored one minute before half time against Milan to make it 4-4 on aggregate with the advantage of the away goal and set the stage for club legend Fran to score the fourth goal of the night.
Luque struggled at Newcastle United between 2005 and 2007, before heading to Ajax and then returning to Spain with Malaga.