Football’s 9 Greatest Ever Comebacks
Following New England Patriots’ inspiring comeback to win the Super Bowl, a look at some memorable footballing fightbacks...
MILAN 3-3 LIVERPOOL (2005)
Rafael Benitez may have left Anfield under a cloud but even his fiercest critics would have to concede that Istanbul 2005 was an epic achievement. Milan took the lead inside a minute and were three-up by half-time, prompting some Reds fans to leave the Ataturk Stadium. At half-time Benitez mapped out Liverpool’s strategy for the second 45 minutes. He initially had planned to send out 12 players before Jamie Carragher pointed out his error! In six crazy minutes the match was all square and the Reds eventually ran out winners in a penalty shoot-out.
MONACO 3-1 REAL MADRID (5-5 AGG) (2004)
Real were on course to progress into the semi-final stage of the Champions League, leading Ligue 1 side Monaco 5-2 on aggregate, before Ludivic Giuly pulled one back for Los Blancos. Fernando Morientes made it 2-1 on the night and 5-4 on aggregate, with Giuly levelling the game and sending Monaco through on away goals with a clever backheel.
LIVERPOOL 4-3 DORTMUND (5-4 AGG) (2016)
Liverpool staged one of the most dramatic comebacks Anfield, and the Europa Leag ue, has ever seen to overcome Jurgen Klopp’s former side Borussia Dortmund and reach the semi-final stage of the competition. A 1-1 draw in the first meeting in Germany was followed by two early goals from Thomas Tuchel’s side, putting the Bundesliga club into a 3-1 aggregate lead. Divock Origi pulled one back for the Reds before Marco Reus looked to have put the tie to bed, before Philippe Coutinho, Mamadou Sakho and a last-gasp Dejan Lovren goal snatched the semi-final spot from Dortmund.
BARCELONA 5-4 ATLETICO (1997)
Having seen been 3-0 down at half time in the Copa del Rey quarter-final, Barcelona mountedasensationalcomebackwithgoals from Luis Figo and Ronaldo. Following the tie,ElMundoDeportivodescribedthecomeback as the “most vibrant, emotional and spectacular match of recent years”.
HUNGARY 2-3 WEST GERMANY (1954)
Unbeatenin32gamestheWorldCupseemed destined for Hungary when the teams met again in Berne’s final. Despite not being fully fit Ferenc Puskas put Hungary in the lead in the sixth minute and team-mate Zoltan Czibor made it two moments later. Thanks to a certain Adi Dassler the German team switched to longer studs which suited the soggy turf and their preparation paid off as Helmut Rahn angled in the winner with six minutes to play.
BAYERN 1-2 MANCHESTER UNITED (1999)
Against Bayern Munich in the final the Red Devils were outplayed and enjoyed several slices of luck as the Bavarians twice hit the woodwork in the second half. Then English commentator Clive Tyldesley asked: “Can Manchester United score? They always score.” United provided the answer with in- jury time strikes from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sealing an improbable victory.
KAISERSLAUTERN 7-4 BAYERN MUNICH (1973)
Bundesliga giants Bayern led comfortably at half time, with a double from Bernd Gersdorff and a Gerd Muller goal before half time. Muller then scored on the other side of the break but Bayern were powerless to a Kaiserslautern on- slaught, with six goals from the host in just 30 minutes.
INTER 3-2 SAMPDORIA (2005)
Sampdoria took the lead just before halftimeandhadtoendureanInteronslaughtin thesecondhalf.Asthegameentereditsfinal 10 minutesan equaliserlookedlikelybutthe visitorsrippedupthescriptandscoredasecond. Cue a mass exodus from the home support,butthedramawasonlygettingstarted. Inspired by substitute Alvaro Recoba, who momentsearlierhadsmackedthepost,Inter pulled one back through Obafemi Martins after an assist from the Uruguayan. In injury time Christian Vieri made it 2-2 before that man Recoba smashed home the winner with a perfect left foot drive.
WEST GERMANY 3-2 ENGLAND (1970)
There are plenty of people in England who will tell you that the Three Lions’ 1970 team was better than their 1966 winners. A rematch with West Germany was always going to be tasty in the searing Mexican heat four years later. England made light of the conditions and were two goals to the good with just under 20 minutes to go. West Germany pulled one back through Franz Beckenbauer and moments later England manager Alf Ramsey substituted Bobby Charlton. Uwe Seeler made it 2-2 with a looping header and the match headed for extratimewhereGerdMullercompletedthefightback with a close range volley.
Liverpool won Champions League in 2005