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7 of The Best Ever Football (Soccer) Comeback Games

Updated on September 21, 2014

Have you ever been watching a football match on the television and it seems that one of the teams is running away with a win, and the cameraman pans to fans leaving the game with sometimes an hour left to play? Well this article is going to look at some of the best Footballing comebacks, and show you why those fans are un-wise to leave so prematurely, because even leaving 2 or 3 minutes before the final whistle can end up making you regret that decision for many years to come.

Leicester City v Manchester United (Sunday 21st September 2014)

Score After 61mins 1-3 Full-Time Score 5-3

Being newcomers to the Premier League in 2014 after a 10 year exodus, and despite a good start to the season with 2 draws and a win in their first 4 games, when Leicester City came across massive spenders Manchester United, who had the attacking line-up of Falcao, Angel di Maria, Wayne Rooney & Robin van Persie, not many people gave them a chance. After Ander Herrera extended Manchester United's lead to 3-1 after 57mins, it was a case of hoping and praying the scoreline wouldn't get too embarrasing for the Leicester City faithful. Although in the 62nd minute, Jamie Vardy won Leicester a slightly controversial penalty after maybe fouling a Manchester United player himself before been taken down. David Nugent dispatched the penalty with applomb, and Leicester never looked back, running riot and creating the Manchester United defence problem after problem, and even forcing young Tyler Blackett in to making a last gasp foul which earned him a Red Card, and gave Leicester another penalty that top-signing Leonardo Ulloa scored with confidence to get is 2nd goal of the day and wrap the 3 points up for the fledgling Premier League club in an impressive and striking display against the most successful team in Premier League history who hit the transfer market hard this summer to push for a Champions League place. A thrilling match, a thrilling comeback!

Manchester United v FC Bayern München (Wednesday 26th May 1999)

Half-time score 0-1 Score after 90mins 0-1 Full-time (after 93mins) 2-1

Some will argue this comeback was better, or at least on par with the A.C. Milan v Liverpool UEFA Champions League Final, which we highlighted earlier in the article. This was the pre-decessor, 6 years previous, but another dramatic, fantastic comeback and victory for an English side to lift the Champions League trophy against all odds. Mario Basler put Bayern München ahead from a free-kick after only 6 minutes, giving an early shock to Manchester United. A shock which for the whole game looked unlikely to be overcome. Both teams had chances to score in the game however, no-one else did for the rest of the 90 regulated minutes. Unbelievably, two players who did not even start the game would change history in the 3 minutes added on for injury time, Teddy Sheringham, who replaced Jesper Blomqvist in the 67th minute, and Ole Gunnar Solskjær, who replaced Andrew Cole in the 81st minute. When the clock struck 90 minutes, and the 3 minutes extra time were added, the Champions League trophy was already dressed in ribbons of Bayern München colours. The then UEFA President Lennart Johansson had made his way down to the tunnel, in preparation for the ceremony. On his way down, Teddy Sheringham scored an equalising goal in the 91st minute, and then in the 93rd, Ole Gunnar Solskjær amazingly finished a move that saw a cross hit Sheringham first before arriving right in front of body. That was it, dream comeback complete! Johansson could not believe his eyes at the final whistle, when he thought the losers(Man Utd) were dancing and the winners(Bayern München) were crying, having been unaware that a legendary football moment had occurred whilst he was walking down to pitch side with the Bayern colour-clad trophy. The way that Manchester United won that night, has defined them as a club ever since, and they simply do not give up until the final whistle is blown.

Tottenham v Manchester United (Saturday 29th September 2001)

Half-time score: 3-0 Full-time score 3-5

If any team could come out second half 3-0 down and end up winning 3-5, then Manchester United are that team. So maybe not the most surprising of comebacks, but extraordinary to say the least. We credit Sir Alex Ferguson with a change in tactics and most likely telling his players not so pleasantly to buck their ideas up. The infamous 'hair-dryer' treatment worked very well on this day, as within a twenty minute period in the second half, a three goal deficit was swiftly turned in to a two goal lead for Sir Alex's club.

This match, amongst others, has made Manchester United's never-say-die attitude synonymous within the game, making the last ten minutes of a match against United some of the most nerve-jangling of the entire season for any opposing players wishing to hold on for a win or draw.

Newcastle United v Arsenal (Saturday 5th February 2011)

Half-time score 0-4 Full-time score 4-4

This is probably now the most famous draw to have been competed in the Barclays Premier League. Arsenal were 3 goals to the good after only 10 minutes, and scoring once more in the 26th minute of the first period to leave Newcastle 4-0 down at half time, who had been run ragged by an emphatic Arsenal team who looked to had closed the game off, and with possibilities in some people's minds of a record scoreline (the Barclays Premier League record been a 9-0 of Ipswich at the hands of Man Utd on March 4th 1995.The moment of hope for Newcastle came in the 50th minute when midfielder Abou Diaby received a needless Red Card. Newcastle capitalised on this and began to run the game. The pressure they put on Arsenal started to tell, culminating in a penalty been awarded to Newcastle in the 67th minute, which Joey Barton duly converted. Another goal was scored before Barton converted another penalty and the great comeback was completed by Cheick Tiote in the dying seconds of the game. Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal, it ended, making it possibly the greatest draw in Premier League history thus far.

Reading v Arsenal (CapitalOne Cup) (Tuesday 30th October 2012)

Half-time score 4-1 Full-time score 4-4 (ET)Half-time 4-5 (ET)Full-time 5-7

After only 35 minutes, Arsenal found themselves 4-0 down. This scoreline wasn't flattering Reading, they were tearing Arsenal apart at every given attack. However, Arsenal managed to score what seemed to be a conciliation goal before the half time whistle. A few changes were made by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger which reinvigorated Arsenal, and enabled them to score three second half goals therefore equalising in the last seconds of the game. This equaliser brought the game in to Extra Time. By the mid-way point in Extra Time, Arsenal had took a 5-4 lead through Marouane Chamakh. With only 5 minutes remaining Reading;s Pavel Progrebnyak managed to score in order to put the game level once more, thus making it look like the match would go to Penalties. Arsenal had other ideas however, and scored twice in Extra-Time's Injury Time. First through Theo Walcott, and finally by Marouane Chamakh, finishing off possibly the finest game he has played for the Gunners since joining from Bordeaux. Arsenal advanced to the next round of the CapitalOne Cup, only to be knocked out on penalties by minnows and eventual Runners-Up of the tournament, League 2's Bradford City.

A veritable goal-fest I'm sure you will agree, and a match that will live on the memories of people, in one of the more impressive League Cup competitions in recent times.

A.C. Milan v Liverpool (Wednesday 25th May 2005)

Half-time score 3-0 Full-time score 3-3 Score(AET) 3-3 Penalties 2-3

For us, this outshines all other comebacks, the greatest! Liverpool went 3-0 down in the final minute of the first half. Milan were outclassing them in every aspect of the game. Let us remind you that this was the Champions League final. The second half was completely transformed by Liverpool. Just as he has in much of his career, Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and powered a shot home to reduce the deficit to only two goals. Now with hope, and a realistic target in their sights, Liverpool kept believing, kept attacking, and managed to score two more goals in the next 6 minutes. They could not get what would have been a fantastic fourth goal, however they did hold on and managed to take the tie to extra time. An epic save from Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek in extra time kept the game alive, it went to penalties. In homage to the 1984 European Cup Final, some 'Bruce Grobbelaar' type antics from 'keeper Dudek took place in the penalty shootout, which helped put his opposition off. Serginho, Andrea Pirlo and Andriy Shevchenko all missed their penalties, whereas Liverpool's John Arne Riise missed the only one for Liverpool, who only needed to take 4 penalties in order to win, including the first, scored by Dietmar Hamann, who had a broken toe, and the what proved to be the winning penalty, scored by Vladimir Šmicer, who had also scored Liverpool's second in the game. Jerzy Dudek was seen as the penalty shootout hero though, saving the final penalty taken by Ukrainian Shevchenko.

Germany v Sweden (Tuesday 16th October 2012)

Half-time score 3-0 Score after 57mins 4-0 Full-time score 4-4

A FIFA World Cup Qualifying game is not usually one where you would expect an epic game to take place. The way the groups are seeded so the 'bigger' nations don't face each other and eventually qualify for the competition proper pretty much see to that. However, sometimes nations who aren't too far apart get the chance to compete within a group. Although after 60 minutes, with only half an hour left to play, this would have not seemed the case. Germany's Mesut Özil scores his nations fourth goal in the 56th minute which looked likely to be followed by a few more. Germany are rated as one of the World's best national sides, so were expected to easily hold on to their 4 goal lead, or maybe even add to it. Little did they know, the few more goals that were to come were by Sweden. In the 62nd minute the enigmatic Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored to make the score still a depressing 4-1. After the 75th minute however, Sweden had managed to pulled it back to 4-3. An amazing comeback is now almost complete, the whole of Sweden on the edge of their seats, the German supporters hidden behind their couches. Then in the 93rd minute an unforgiving Sweden get what they deserve, a fourth goal, scored by Rasmus Elm, which equalised the tie and etched it in the minds of football fans for many years to come.

Which comeback was the greatest?

See results

Are there any greater footballing comebacks that you have witnessed?

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    • Antonio Martinez1 profile image

      Antonio Martinez 

      3 years ago from Kearny, New Jersey

      Great list, but I am just curious. Where would you rank West Germany's "Miracle at Bern" on this list?

    • worldsoccer profile image

      Kamrul Hasan 

      3 years ago from Dhaka

      I watched Germany vs Sweden and Newcastle United v Arsenal, that was two great games, thanks for sharing other games, loved it.

    • adambarker97 profile imageAUTHOR

      Adam Barker and Dean Barker 

      5 years ago

      it is the beautiful game......

    • LongTimeMother profile image


      5 years ago from Australia

      lol. I get just as excited when watching the local kids make a great comeback in their own soccer games. (Football is completely different here in oz.) I love the skill involved. It is one of very few sports I can be bothered watching.

      Voted up. :)


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