⚽ Most memorable comebacks in football history

Liverpool vs AC Milan – Champions League – 2005

Liverpool fans travelled to Istanbul for the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan with massive expectations.

At half-time, Liverpool were 3-0 down and the second half proved that oftentimes, football can be a game of two halves in the truest sense of the phrase. Goals by Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso took the game to extra-time, and Liverpool eventually claimed victory in the penalty shoot-out.



Manchester United vs Bayern Munich – Champions League – 1999

Recovering from one goal down is common in football, but the manner of United’s comeback in the 1999 Champions League Final was extraordinary.

Bayern took an early lead through Mario Basler and looked on course to lift the prestigious trophy as the game headed into stoppage time.

However, goals by Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turned the game on its head to hand United a hugely unlikely victory.


Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain – Champions League – 2017

One of the proudest moments for Barcelona fans in recent years, La Remontada will be a night to remember for years and years to come. Barcelona headed into the second leg of the fixture four goals down against PSG.

The Spanish side clawed themselves back into the tie, but Edinson Cavani’s superb volley in the 62nd minute left them needing to score three to go through to the next round. Barca would not be denied, and late goals by Neymar (2) and Sergi Roberto sealed a magnificent 6-1 victory to win 6-5 on aggregate.


Liverpool vs Barcelona – Champions League – 2019

The words “corner taken quickly” continue to haunt Barcelona, who bottled a 3-0 lead at Anfield to Liverpool in 2019, and the Merseysiders went on to lift the Champions League for a sixth time, defeating Tottenham in the finals. Liverpool were missing a fair number of their important starting players, but still managed to get the better of Lionel Messi and co.


AS Roma vs FC Barcelona – UEFA Champions League (2018)
Before this match, Barcelona was seen as one of the best teams in football history. Naturally, they affirmed this idea when they demolished AS Roma 4-1 at the Camp Nou in the first leg of this Champions League quarter-final. Nobody thought the team capable of losing a three goal advantage against Roma.

Although Roma wasn’t a bad team, Barcelona looked so much stronger. However, the second leg of this quarter-final turned into a nightmare for the Spanish team. It started with a quick goal from Edin Dzeko in the 6th minute.


Deportivo La Coruña vs AC Milan – UEFA Champions League (2004)
Between 2002 and 2004, AC Milan was one of the biggest teams in Europe. They won the Champions League in the 2002-03 season with a squad filled with the best players of the day, including the likes of Kaká, Seedorf, Gattuso, and Maldini.

So, when Spanish outfit Deportivo la Coruña were drawn to face them in the 2003-04 Champions League season, they faced an uphill battle.

2006-07 Premier League: Everton 2-4    Manchester United

In a repeat of the fixture that will see United kick off their 2012-13 campaign, Fergie’s men travelled to Goodison Park, knowing that a win would put them in the driving seat for Premier League glory.

United trailed 2-0 after 50 minutes, before a United old boy (some fans jokingly suggest that perhaps he was doing his mother club a favour!) Phil Neville accidentally brought the Reds back into the match with an own goal.

United surged from here, and the points were all but confirmed when Chris Eagles (remember him?) scored a cracking goal to make it 4-2.

As it turned out, Chelsea had managed no better than a 2-2 draw on the same day with mid-table Bolton Wanderers, and as such the results were pivotal in United’s eventual Premier League glory.

Amazingly, it was the first time that Sir Alex had won the league in four seasons.


1999 Champions League Semi-Final (Second Leg): Juventus 2-3 Manchester United

In the same season that saw more than one spectacular comeback from Man United, they once again repeated the magic here.

The first leg of the fixture had seen Juventus dominate a far-from-elite-looking United side, leading for most of the match before a lucky last-minute equaliser had given the Red Devils a fleeting hope coming into the match in Turin.

After just 11 minutes of football, Juventus had stormed into a 2-0 lead—3-1 on aggregate—and seemed almost completely out of sight.

However, with 24 minutes on the clock, United captain Roy Keane converted from a corner.

Suddenly the game was back on. With away goals counting double, United simply needed to score once more without conceding to go through to the final.

The fans didn’t have to wait long, with the two sides being level before halftime.

Somehow United managed to withhold wave after wave of attack from the Old Lady of Football, before eventually scoring a winner themselves through the boots of Andy Cole.

Some pundits actually credit the enormity of the task against a side of Juventus’ quality as being a greater achievement than the later victory in the final itself.


Belgium vs Japan – FIFA World Cup (2018)

To say that this was a peculiar game would be an understatement. Belgium was the obvious favourite, but then, Japan got the first goal almost as soon as the second half began. Surprisingly, this was quickly followed by a second goal four minutes later.

And with that, it seemed as if Belgium was in big trouble. It would be nearly 20 minutes before the Belgians brought a goal back. Similar to with Japan, the first goal was quickly followed by a second.

With both teams on level pegging as injury time approached, it looked like the match was going to overtime. However, an excellent counterattack by Belgium allowed them to score the winning goal in the last minute of the game.


Tottenham vs Ajax – UEFA Champions League (2019)

In the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League season, Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax proved to be two of the tournament’s dark horses. Nobody was really expecting either of the teams to make it to the semi-finals.

Tottenham performed amazingly against country rivals Manchester City in the quarter-finals. Ajax played beautiful football en route to the game, eliminating both Real Madrid and Juventus.

Overall, going into the game, the Dutch side looked more confident and were playing better football. Few could dispute this as Ajax won the first game 1-0 in London. So, they had the advantage going into the second leg.
It all started very well for Ajax; they were up 1-0 in the fifth minute. Then, they nabbed a second goal in the 35th minute. For a good 20 minutes, it looked like Ajax was heading to the final for the first time in 24 years.

But Tottenham winger Lucas Moura had something to say about that. With two swift goals in the 55th and 59th minutes, he put Spurs back in the game. For the next two hours, the two teams were in a stalemate, but in the final minute of injury time, Tottenham’s hero of the night, Moura, struck one final time to give his team the win.