From Liverpool’s Miracle of Istanbul to Barcelona’s remarkable Champions League victory against Paris Saint-Germain from four goals down, these are the top eleven comebacks in football history.
Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan, Champions League, 2005
Known as the Istanbul Miracle, Liverpool came back from a 3-0 deficit at halftime to beat AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final. The Reds scored three times in six minutes to finish the game off in penalties.
Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain, Champions League, 2017
After losing 4-0 in Paris in leg one of the Champion League Round of 16, the Catalan side faced a massive uphill battle in their next leg at Barcelona. But a quick three goals from Barcelona in the second game before half-time had the Blaugrana believing. After a Cavani goal put Paris up by points, Barcelona scored a remarkable two goals in stoppage to seal the win. No team has ever come back from a 4-0 deficit in the Champions League.
Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal, Premier League, 2011
With the Magpies down four nil at halftime, the game looked out of reach. But Arsenal’s Abu Diaby received a red card in the second half and gave Newcastle some hope. Scoring 4 goals in 19 minutes, including an unforgettable Cheik Tiote strike with 3 minutes remaining, Newcastle tied up the match.
Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich, Champions League, 1999
Down one nil for virtually the entire game, Manchester United scored in the 91st minute to tie it up against Bayern Munich. Two minutes later it was super sub Ole Gunnar Solskaer who scored to seal the deal for the Red Devils.
Germany 4-4 Sweden (2012)
Down 4-0 to the German in a World Cup qualifier, the Swedes were pretty much down and out. But a comeback left by Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s first strike led to three more goals in less than 28 minutes in the game.
Reading 5-7 Arsenal, League Cup, 2012
The first half stood at 4-1, with Theo Walcott scoring just before the 45-minute mark. Reading seemed tipped to pull off the upset. But then Arsenal turned it around in the 89th minute to make it 4-3, with another to tie it up in the 5th minute of stoppage time. The Gunners scored in extra time with Reading this time the responder. But in the last minute of extra time, Arsenal stepped it up to score two. A sore one for Reading but a breathtaking game nonetheless.
Juventus 2-3 Manchester United, Champions League, 1999
Down 2-0 in the second leg of the semifinals to Juventus in Turin, Manchester United needed a turnaround to come back and win. Roy Keane provided just that, scoring a header to make it 2-1. Dwight Yorke then equalized before halftime. Andy Cole then sealed the win for the Red Devils who went on to win the Champions League and complete the Treble.
Blackpool 4-3 Bolton Wanderers, 1953
Regarded as the best comeback in FA Cup history, the Bolton Wanderers were up 3-1 on Blackpool with 25 minutes remaining. But Stan Mortensen took it upon himself to complete his hat trick scoring two goals to tie it up. Within two minutes into injury time, Blackpool’s Bill Parry sealed the comeback and the win to make it 4-3 Blackpool.
Tottenham 3-4 Manchester City, 2004 FA Cup Final
In another FA Cup comeback thriller, Tottenham was leading 3-0 over Manchester City, playing a man down. But the Sky Blues regrouped at halftime and came back to tie it in the second half, just before Jon Macken netted in the 90th to win the game for City.
Deportivo La Coruña 4-0 AC Milan (Champions League 2004 quarterfinal)
Feeling defeated after their 4-1 loss in the first leg at the San Siro, Deportivo La Coruña would need to play their best game in leg two back home. Deportivo came out swinging, scoring three goals before the half, putting them up on aggregate. Deportivo Midfielder Fran González scored another to top off the incredible comeback.
Portugal 5-3 North Korea, 1966 World Cup Quarter-Final
Having beaten Italy and gone 3-0 up on Portugal at halftime, North Korea looked like the real deal. But Portugal’s legendary forward Eusebio would single-handedly urge the comeback by scoring four goals. The game ended 5-3, knocking North Korea out of the quarterfinals.