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The Greatest Football Comebacks of All Time

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By Jonathan Lewis | 9th Jan 2023

Football is a game of twists and turns, and there have been many occasions where teams have managed to stage incredible comebacks to turn a match around. Whether you’re a fan watching at home or an expert providing tips like the ones available at WhichBookie, sometimes you just can’t predict what will happen in a football match.

Here are some of the greatest football comebacks of all time:

  • AC Milan vs Liverpool: 2005 Champions League Final

In one of the most famous comebacks in football history, Liverpool staged a miraculous turnaround to beat AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League Final. Liverpool were trailing 3-0 at half-time, but they fought back with three goals in the space of six second-half minutes to level the score at 3-3. The match eventually went to penalties, and Liverpool won the shootout to lift the trophy.

  • Manchester United vs Bayern Munich: 1999 Champions League Final

Another classic Champions League Final comeback came in 1999, when Manchester United faced Bayern Munich in the final. Bayern took the lead through a Mario Basler free-kick, but Manchester United equalised through a late goal from Teddy Sheringham. Just moments later, United scored again via Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to seal a dramatic 2-1 victory.

  • Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain: 2017 Champions League

In one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history, Barcelona pulled off a miraculous turnaround against Paris Saint-Germain in the 2016/17 season. Trailing 4-0 from the first leg, Barcelona looked down and out, but they managed to score two goals in the first half of the second leg to give themselves a glimmer of hope. A goal from the spot from Lionel Messi made it 3-0 in the 50th minute, then, in the dying minutes of the match, Barcelona scored three more goals to complete a stunning 6-1 victory and progress to the next round.

  • Liverpool vs Borussia Dortmund: 2016 Europa League

Liverpool faced a daunting task in the 2015/16 Europa League when they were trailing 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals. Throughout the match, Klopp’s side were twice left needing three goals to qualify for the next round. However, four second-half goals, including an injury time winner from Dejan Loveren,completed a remarkable 5-4 aggregate victory.

  • Juventus vs Manchester United: 1999 Champions League

In another classic Champions League comeback, Manchester United could only manage a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final clash and things were to get worse when an Inzaghi double put the home side ahead at the Allianz Stadium. However, goals from Roy Keave, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole meant that is was United who progressed to the final stage of the competition and went on to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in the final.

  • Newcastle United vs Arsenal: 2011 Premier League

In one of the greatest Premier League comebacks of all time, Newcastle United came from 4-0 down at half time to draw 4-4 against Arsenal in the 2011/12 season. Newcastle scored four goals in the final 22 minutes of the match, including a stunning long-range effort from Cheick Tioté, to rescue a point.

  • Chelsea vs Napoli: 2012 Champions League

Chelsea faced a tough task in the 2012/13 Champions League when they were trailing 3-1 to Napoli in the first leg of their knockout tie. However, Chelsea managed to score four goals in the second leg to win 4-1 and progress to the next round.

  • Tottenham’s comeback against Ajax in the 2019 Champions League

Tottenham looked to be on the brink of elimination in the 2018/19 Champions League when they faced Ajax in the second leg of their semi-final. After losing the first leg 1-0, Spurs conceded two first half goals to head into half time 3-0 down on aggregate. However, Lucas Moura found the net three times in the final 45 minutes which resulted in Tottenham progressing on away goals.

  • Manchester City vs QPR: 2012 Premier League

One of the most dramatic endings to a Premier League season came in 2011/12, when Manchester City faced QPR on the final day of the season. Manchester City were trailing 2-1 with just minutes remaining, and they needed to win to claim their first ever Premier League title. In the dying seconds of the match, Manchester City scored two goals to win 3-2 and secure the title in the most dramatic of circumstances.

  • West Germany vs Hungary: 1954 World Cup Final

One of the greatest comebacks in World Cup history took place in the 1954 final, when West Germany faced Hungary. Hungary were the overwhelming favourites and took a 2-0 lead within the first 8 minutes of the match, but West Germany fought back to level the score at 2-2 just 10 minutes later. West Germany’s Helmut Rahn scored the winning goal in the 84th minute, his second of the game, to complete an impressive comeback and a huge upset in football’s greatest tournament.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the greatest football comebacks of all time, and there are many more examples of teams staging remarkable turnarounds to win matches. Football is a game of drama and emotion, and it is the comebacks and upsets that make it such a thrilling and memorable sport.

Jonathan Lewis is an MFF Sports Writer

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