The Top TEN Football Comebacks of All Time

In light of Newcastle’s epic 2nd half turnaround at the weekend I looked into the top ten football comebacks in recent memory.

10. Turkey 3-2 Czech Republic: European Championship, 2008.

We all know how crazy Turkish fans are, as football means more than life itself to them. They went absolutely mental when Turkey produced this shocker of a comeback.

2-0 down with just 15 minutes left, but Arda Turan pulled one back to make it 2-1, and a late brace from Nihat Kahvaci saw the Turcs mark down a most unlikely win against the Czechs.

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9. Bayer Uerdingen 7-3 Dynamo Dresden: German Cup, 1986.

A comfortable 2-0 home win in the first leg put Dynamo forward as favourites to progress, and was comforted by a 3-1 half-time lead in away in the return game.
5-1 ahead on aggregate by the break, Bayer Uerdingen produced one of the most exciting, spectacular comebacks of all time and scored another six goals to put them through to the semis.

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8. West Germany 3-2 England: World Cup, 1970.

We all know about this comeback, and what a one it was from the Germans. England looked to defend a 2-0 lead to progress to the Semi-Finals, but Sir Alf Ramsey took off star striker Bobby Charlton to rest him for the next game, but dramatically turned into a German Victory.  Beckenbauer, Seeler and an extra-time (108’) goal from Gerd Muller sent the Deutchland’ers through to the semis.

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7. Liverpool 3-1 Olympiakos: Champions League 2004-05.

In a year which saw Liverpool lift the European Cup in Istanbul, before another stunning comeback against AC Milan, the Reds went into the game needing to score two following a 1-0 defeat in Greece but fell short of the wire in the first half, and two became three after Rivaldo scored a free-kick.

It was two substitute appearances which pushed Liverpool to victory. Florent Sinama Pongolle tapped in Harry Kewell’s cross from 6-yards out, whilst Neil Mellor raised the Kop’s hope just 9 minutes from time. However it was an absolute peach from skipper Steven Gerrard from 30-yards out which saw Liverpool progress to the next stage, making their comeback one of the best of all time.

“This is stuff of which dreams are made – but this real life”

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6. Tottenham  3-4 Manchester City: FA Cup 2004.

Manchester City scratched their names into history for arguable one of the best FA Cup comebacks of all time away to Tottenham at White Hart Lane, after Ledley King, Robbie Keane and Christian Zieger put Spurs 3-0 up by half time. Joey Barton was sent off just before the break, leaving City with an almighty task ahead of them in the second half – hoping to not increase Tottenham’s lead.

A deflected shot from Sylvain Distin gave the light blues a glimpse of hope, but goals from Paul Bosvelt and Shaun Wright-Phillips put City back on track, whilst a stoppage time header from Jonathan Macken gave manager Kevin Keegan an almighty 10-man comeback victory.

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5. Tottenham Hotspur 3-5 Manchester United.

Dean Richards scored on his debut for Spurs following an £8.1 million switch from Southampton a week earlier, Les Ferdinand made it two and Christian Zieger three all before half-time.

Andy Cole, Laurent Blanc, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Juan Sebastian Veron and David Beckham scored as United to complete an amazing five goal comeback.

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4. Angola 4-4 Mali: Africa Cup of Nations 2010.

A Stunning comeback saw Mali score four goals in 11 minutes to prevent the hosts in winning the opening game of the Cup. A brace from Barcelona’s Samuel Keita, and goals from Kanoute and Yatabare saw Mali clench an exciting draw.

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3. Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich:  Champions League Final 2007, Nou Camp – Barcelona.

Mario Basler took the lead after six minutes,  and Bayern Munich managed to hold on all the way into stoppage time before an UNBELIEVABLE two goal comeback from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunner Solskjaer on 90+1’ and 90+3’ saw Sir Alex’s men take the title home to England.

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2. Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal: St. James’ Park – Premier League 2011.

Walcott, Djourou and Van Persie put the Gunners ahead 3-0 within ten minutes, and four up within 26’. Newcastle were lucky to not be down by more at the break, but they turned it around for one of the best games of football I’ve ever seen.

I don’t know what Alan Pardew said in that dressing room, but I would put money down that his voice hurt or maybe a spare boot thrown Ferguson-Beckham style.

Abou Diaby’s short temper and conflict with Joey Barton (who else?) let him take an early shower whilst two controversial penalties and an effort from Leon Best pulled the Magpies back to 4-3. However it took a contender for goal of the season for the Toon Army to grab an 87’ equaliser, with Cheik Tiote smashing one in from 30 yards out into the bottom corner.

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1. Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan (3-2 penalties): 2005 Champions League Final.

Milan went ahead after just one minute of play, nicely reinforced by a double brace from Hernan Crespo just six minutes before the referee put an end to a miserable Liverpool half.

Despite nearly going to bed, I stayed up to watch the rest, and I am thankful that I did!

What a comeback from the 18-time domestic league champions. Three goals in six minutes  from Gerrard, Smicer and Alonso put the Reds firmly back on track, and a penalty shootout saw Rafa Benitez’s side clench their first European victory in 21 years.

Unbeatably the BEST comeback of all time.

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Have I missed any? Follow me on Twitter and ask me!
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