4 Memorable Comebacks by Liverpool FC
Liverpool FC can be definitely called as the comeback kings of Europe. Never underestimate the Reds even if you have a healthy lead over them. They just need six minutes to pounce onto you.
Don't even dare go to washroom to have a pee, as you might miss one of the best moments of the Reds! And the fans have realized that one should never take their eyes off during Liverpool FC's matches as there are high chances to miss a comeback, which could take place in couple of minutes. So let us look at some of the greatest comebacks by the Reds.
1. Liverpool FC vs AC Milan - Champions League Final 2005
Well, the greatest comeback by the Reds according to me is the Champions League final against AC Milan. A star-studded AC Milan team that included the likes of Kaka and Paolo Maldini were favourites to win the title and they proved their dominance with 3 goals in the first half to put Rossoneri in the driver's seat. An unmarked Paulo Maldini opened the scoring for Milan after just 50 seconds by converting a delicious Pirlo free-kick. Hernan Crispo tapped the ball into the net just minutes after the referee overturned a great shout for penalty after a Nesta hand-ball in the Milan box.
Had the Reds lost the match, the fans would've hurled stones at the referee’s house; he would be relieved that the Reds made the comeback of a lifetime to dump Milan! Then Crespo piled more misery on the Reds by chipping a well-crafted assist from Kaka over the exposed Jerzy Dudek and the score line read 3-0 at halftime.
And then came the incredible six minutes that just turned the fate of the match on its head. First, a well-directed header by Gerrard opened the scoring for the Reds and ignited some hope into the Liverpool FC's camp. Then a beautiful strike from Vladimir Smicer crept in at the right-hand post to make the score 2-3. Just minutes after the goal, Gerrard was fouled by Gatusso to award a penalty for the Reds. Xabi Alonso's penalty was saved by Dida, before the Spaniard scored from the rebound to level the scoring and Milan couldn't believe that they squandered a 3-goal lead in the span of six minutes. The match was forced into extra time and the added time passed with no goals scored.
The Reds won the penalty shootout 3-2 and brought home their fifth European title. Two halves, two totally different performances- The Reds were dreadful in the first half, but were unstoppable in those 6 memorable minutes after half-time that scripted a historic comeback for Liverpool FC. The players were jumping up and down in a mass huddle, and so were the fans at Ataturk stadium.
"The Miracle of Istanbul" is undoubtedly the greatest final in the history of the tournament with a perfect blend of ecstasy, joy, anxiety, and jubilation for the Reds.
Watch The Reds vs AC Milan Highlights
2. Liverpool FC vs FC Barcelona - Champions League 2019
Think of the greatest comebacks in football history, you may think of the 6-1 FC Barcelona's triumph against PSG. Well, that match wasn't the semi final of Champions League and the opponent definitely wasn't the great FC Barcelona (Oh, they were on the other side....).
The Reds crushed FC Barcelona 4-0 at Anfield to register one of the biggest comebacks in history of the Reds, given the pressure circumstances of a high-octane second leg of a semi-final. Moreover, they were 3-0 down in the first leg. Firmino and Salah could not play the second leg. But the only thing that helped them overcome the LaLiga giants was persistence.
The Reds were confident that they can score 4 goals in 90 minutes at the temple of football without their two star strikers.
Divock Origi's early goal ignited some hope into the Liverpool FC's camp. Andy Robertson was injured at half time and the problems just mounted on Jürgen Klopp. But the Reds' boss urged his players to keep believing, and brought in Gini Wijnaldum as replacement for Robertson. And the impact substitute proved his worth by converting a delicious Alexander Arnold cross to double the lead for the hosts.
And then just after a couple of minutes, the super sub headed in a Shaqiri cross to swing the tie in their favour. This goal brought them level and squandered their 3 goal lead. Then a cheeky Alexander Arnold corner caught FC Barcelona off-guard and the ball landed on the feet of the unmarked Divock Origi, who netted his second goal to entirely destroy the Catalans. The shell-shocked FC Barcelona, including Messi, were unable to fashion any response to the onslaught by the Reds. They were totally drowned in despair and melancholy.
But Anfield erupted in joy and jubilation and the home fans stayed on their feet to cheer their side home in the closing minutes. The Reds made it to their second successive Champions League final with their perseverance, grit and a never say die attitude.
They eventually went on win the Champions League for the sixth time at Madrid and this wouldn't have been possible without drubbing FC Barcelona in an epic, intense clash.
Watch The Reds vs FC Barcelona Highlights
3. Liverpool FC vs West Ham United FC - FA Cup final 2006
Of all Steven Gerrard's heroics, who is one among Liverpool FC’s top goal scorers, his performance against West Ham United FC in the FA Cup final had the biggest influence.
This final has gone down in folklore as the "Gerrrard final", which only highlights his impact in the all-important fixture against the Hammers. This match went right down to the wire and the Reds emerged victorious in the penalty shootout at Millenium stadium, Cardiff.
An own goal from Jamie Carragher opened the scoring for West Ham United FC and striker Dean Ashton pounced on a rare Pepe Reina error to double the lead for the Hammers and the Reds were in deep, deep trouble. Then our very own man Steven Gerrard set up a beautiful assist for Djibril Cissé and he put the ball past Shaka Hislop to open the scoring for the Reds.
Then Gerrard equalled the scoring for the Reds after half-time with a cracking volley that rocketed past the goalkeeper into the top corner. Then West Ham United FC's defender Paul Konchesky scored a screamer, 10 minutes later, to restore the lead in this exhilarating, exciting final. Then Gerrard scored an even better screamer, a scorcher, from 35 yards to bring back the Reds into the competition. This time he chose the bottom corner to send a low, gun-barrel straight volley screaming past Shaka Hislop.
His team was seemingly staring defeat in the face and the Reds captain forced extra time to give his team another shot at the title. Gerrard was suffering from a cramp minutes before his equaliser and with typical determination he dragged himself up for another 30 minutes. Added time passed with no goals scored, and the game was taken to a penalty shootout. The players were exhausted and witnessed very little action during the course of extra time. Pepe Reina was the hero of the penalty shootout with 3 saves to win it for the Reds.
Gerrard also converted his penalty in a calm, composed manner to help his side lift the cup for the 7th time.
This match went down in history books as the greatest FA Cup final, all thanks to Gerrard's heroics.
Watch The Reds vs West Ham United FC Highlights
4. Liverpool FC vs Newcastle United FC - Premier League 1996
Search for an article detailing Premier League's greatest matches of all time and you are sure to find this contest in every list.
3rd April marked the 24th anniversary of this epic clash, which the Reds eventually won 4-3 at Anfield. Although the Reds have had greater comebacks than this fixture, but as a game, few can match its legacy and excitement. The games mentioned above were notable for dazzling moments, for 15 or 20-minute periods, whereas that game at Anfield in 1996 was spellbinding throughout.
Striker Robbie Fowler opened the scoring for the Reds with a fine header after only two minutes. But Les Ferdinand scored the equaliser soon and winger David Ginola added a second for the Magpies with a brilliant run right from the halfway mark to the penalty area. Fowler doubled his personal tally early in the second half and nullified the lead.
Three minutes later, Faustino Asprilla restored the advantage for the Magpies and the score read 3-2. Stan Collymore then scored in the 68th minute by converting a beautiful assistant from Jason McAteer and equalled the scoring for the Reds.
David James soon pulled off a miracle to deny Newcastle United FC the lead. And then in the stoppage time, Collymore had the last laugh and scored again in a dramatic fashion to seal the fate of the match. Anfield went wild and the Newcastle United FC's boss Kevin Keegan slumped over an advertising hoarding. Collymore was adjudged the player of the match for his two goals and an assist and sprinted away in a sparkling arc of pure delight.
The entertainment value and anxiety just skyrocketed in the final few moments of the game and sparked jubilant scenes at Anfield. This match was a true classic and was surely the defining game of the 1995/96 Premier League. Even after 24 years, this game will surely be right up there among the very best and will be remembered for years to come.
Watch The Reds vs Newcastle United FC Highlights
Which was the most exciting match for you? Let me know in the comment section below.