Greatest Comeback Kings In European Football

Throughout the history of European football, there have been many great comebacks that have changed seasons, careers, and the fate of clubs in the process. From a multiple goal comeback to an equalizing strike in stoppage time, these moments are simply incredible for the fans and players alike. With this in mind, below is a list of the ten greatest comebacks in European football history; all of which were incredible wins and will be remembered by fans everywhere for years to come.

#10. Deportivo - AC Milan: 2004 Champions League Quarterfinal, 2nd Leg

After winning 4-1 at the San Siro during the first leg, Milan went to the Estadio Riazor in Spain looking to get into the semifinals of the Champions League over Deportivo. However, Deportivo did not give into the Italian giants and got an early goal in the fifth minute by Walter Pandiani to get them back into the match. After controlling the game with the early goal, Deportivo was able to get within one goal in the 35th minute off a header by Juan Carlos Valeron. They then took the lead in the match up in the 43rd minute on away goals when Albert Luque scored.

After taking a 3-0 lead into halftime, Deportivo was able to completely shut down the Milan attack and also got a goal in 75th minute by substitute Gonzalez Fran to take a 4-0 lead. This final goal ended up being the game winner. This win knocked out Milan, who won the Champions League the season before, and Deportivo just barely missed out going to the Champions League final by losing to the eventual winners, Porto.

#9. Partizan Belgrade - Queens Park Rangers: 1984 UEFA Cup 2nd Round, 2nd Leg

In the 1984 UEFA Cup, QPR faced off against Partizan with the first leg being on the artificial turf of Loftus Road. In that first leg, QPR dominated and went on to win by a 6-2 score and appeared that they would make it onto the next round of the UEFA Cup very easily.

However, the Yugoslav side was prepared. It became only the second ever team in UEFA history to come from behind by four goals to advance in any competition, as Mance, Kalicanin, Jesic and Zivkovic were on target for Partizan at Partizan Stadium and Partizan advanced onto the third round against Videoton.

#8. Werder Bremen - Anderlecht: 1999 Champions League, Group Stage

What is it with Otto Rehhagel and pulling off miracles? A few years before Kaiserslautern won the Bundesliga as a newly promoted club and Greece scooped the European Championships, Rehhagel was at the helm of Werder Bremen for another incredible result. A routine Champions League group game against Anderlecht was anything but as the Belgians stunned Werder by going three up with barely 30 minutes played. Philippe Albert got the opener and Danny Boffin scored two, including a beauty to make it 3-0.

The Belgians held on to 3-0 until the 66th minute and a win should have been a matter of routine, but the Germans never say die attitude kept them pushing forward. New Zealand star Wynton Rufersocred twice, Hobsch, Bratseth and Bode added one goal each in the span of 23 minutes to make it 5-3 for Werder Bremen.

#7. Bayer Leverkusen - Espanyol: 1988 UEFA Cup Final, 2nd Leg

After a 3-0 win in the first leg in the UEFA Cup at the Sarria Stadium, it appeared that Espanyol were on course to win the UEFA Cup. However in the second leg at the BayArena, there was no score nearly an hour into the match and it appeared that Espanyol had won the UEFA Cup. However in the 57th minute, that all changed when Tita scored and then Falko Götz and Cha Bum-Kun were able to score for Leverkusen. The game was now tied on aggregate and went onto penalties.

In the penalty shootout, Espanyol took a 2-0 on spot kicks, but Leverkusen keeper Rüdiger Vollborn stopped the next three penalties. Leverkusen scored on three consecutive attempts, giving Bayer Levekusen an improbable UEFA Cup title.

#6. Metz - FC Barcelona: 1984 European Winners Cup 1st Round, 2nd Leg

In the 1984 European Winners Cup, Metz was paired with Spanish giant FC Barcelona. After a 4-2 defeat at home during the first leg, Metz now had travel to the Camp Nou for the second leg, which many expected Barcelona to win easily.

Early on, it appeared so as Lobo Carrasco scored an early goal to put Barcelona up 5-2 on aggregate. However, the French started to come back, as they were able to get a hat trick from Zvonko Kurbos and were able to beat Barcelona by a 4-1 score, and eliminated Barcelona from the tournament on an aggregate score of 6-5.

#5. Manchester United - Juventus: 1999 Champions League Semifinal, 2nd Leg

In the 1999 Champions League semifinal, Manchester United faced off against Juventus in a battle of two of the biggest clubs in European football. In the first leg, Ryan Giggs' last-gasp equaliser at Old Trafford had ensured a 1-1 draw. In the second leg at Stadio Delle Alpi, Filippo Inzaghi scored twice within 11 minutes to give Juve a 3-1 lead on aggregate.

But Man United captain Roy Keane was able to change all of these with a goal off a corner kick. His hard work and determination were key for United, as they were able to get goals from Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole, which gave United a 4-3 lead on aggregate and progressed to their second ever Champions League final.

#4. Real Madrid - Borussia Mönchengladbach: 1985 UEFA Cup 3rd Round, 2nd Leg

Borussia Mönchengladbach had run riot in the first leg with a thumping 5-1 win. The mighty Real Madrid, the holders were nearly dead and many considered that the match already been over even before the second leg started.

But, as their hotheaded striker Juanito said, "90 minutes at Santiago Bernabeu last very long." Half the job was done by the interval, but the home crowd had to wait untill the final 10 minutes to see their team through. Jorge Valdano and Carlos Santillana took Real Madrid to a most unlikely win and overturned 4 goals deficit, which the fans consider the greatest comeback win in their proud European history.

#3. Manchester United - Bayern Munich: 1999 Champions League Final

In the 1999 UEFA Champions League final, Manchester United faced Bayern Munich in a battle between two European giants. United went into the final with the chance to complete an historic Treble. However, the Red Devils quickly fell behind to an early Mario Basler free-kick at the Nou Camp, and it was a lead the Germans never looked like losing throughout the remainder of the match.

But in an incredible late twist, substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer both netted as United wrestled the trophy from Bayern's grasp. It earned Alex Ferguson a knighthood and left him proclaiming after the final whistle: "Football. Bloody Hell!"

#2. Liverpool - AC Milan: 2005 Champions League Final

In the 2005 Champions League final, Liverpool faced off against AC Milan. In the first minute of the match, Milan captain Paolo Maldini scored off a free kick by Andrea Pirlo and Milan were able to get two more goals by Hernán Crespo to give the Italian giants a 3-0 lead going into halftime.

Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool appeared to be dead and buried in Istanbul. However, inspired by the their captain Steven Gerrard, the Reds produced an extraordinary fightback in the second period. Goals from Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso completed a dramatic comeback and sent the final into extra-time. A penalty shoot-out followed, which Liverpool eventually won 3-2 thanks largely to the heroics between the posts of goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek. The Miracle of Istanbul will always be rememenbered by Liverpool faithfuls as they clicnched their fifth Champions League title.

#1. Bayer Uerdingen - Dynamo Dresden: 1986 European Cup Quarterfinal, 2nd Leg

In the 1986 European Cup Quarterfinals, Dynamo Dresden were hot favourites ever since the draw paired them with lowly Bayer Uerdingen. A team of numerous East German stars (Hans-Jürgen Dorner, Ulf Kirsten, Mathias Sammer, Reinhard Hafner, Ralf Minge, Torsten Gütschow and others) built a 2-0 lead in the first leg at home and then ran away with a solid 3-1 lead at half time in the second leg. 5-1 ahead on aggregate, Dresden could afford to concede four goals and still progress to the semifinals.

It started in the 57th minute, as Wolfgang Funkel converted a controversial penalty, which killed Dresden's composure. Then, Bayer Uerdingen got two more goals within the next six minutes to tie the game at 3-3. After a deflected goal and another goal, Uerdingen and Dresden were tied at 5-5 on aggregate, but Dresden were still ahead based on away goals. However, they were completely out of sync and allowed two more goals before the end of the game, which ended in a 7-3 win for Bayer Uerdingen and a 7-5 win on aggregate in one of the biggest comebacks in European Cup history.

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