By News Team
20th April 2020
Watching sport can bring with it a huge range of emotions for spectators, but is there anything more exhilarating to witness as a fan than a comeback victory?
From down-and-out and written off to last-minute victors – we’ve taken a look at some of the most memorable sporting comebacks over the years.
One night in Istanbul
One word – Istanbul – brings back more memories to Liverpool fans than any other. Istanbul, of course, being the scene of Liverpool’s greatest ever comeback and one of their finest ever triumphs as they came from behind in dramatic style against AC Milan to lift the Champions League in the 2005 final.
Three goals down at half-time, thanks to goals from Paolo Maldini and a Hernan Crespo double, it looked as if Liverpool’s chances of European glory were dead and buried, with some Reds supporters even leaving the Ataturk Stadium at the break.
How they will regret that move, with Liverpool storming back in stunning style after the restart as Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso all struck in a seven-minute spell to level proceedings.
Penalties were eventually needed to separate the two sides, with Jerzy Dudek going on to save from Andriy Shevchenko in the deciding spot-kick, sparking jubilant scenes amongst the Liverpool players and supporters.
Miracle of Medinah
The Ryder Cup has produced some of golf’s greatest ever moments down the years, but few can rival the 2012 edition of the competition in Medinah for sheer drama and excitement.
The biennial, team-based tournament saw Europe fall 10-6 behind to the United States after the first two days of competition. With Europe’s rivals from across the pond believed to be the superior of the two sides in the singles play department, the format for the last two days of the tournament, few gave Jose Maria Olazabal’s men a chance.
Those at Medinah on the final day of competition, however, witnessed something remarkable as Europe earned an incredible eight wins from 12 matches. Martin Kaymer tied the scores at 14-14 after defeating Steve Stricker before Francesco Molinari edged past Tiger Woods with a half-point to land the Ryder Cup for Europe in unforgettable fashion.
Will a Premier League title ever be decided in such an electrifying manner again as Manchester City’s 2011/12 win? It had everything: two arch-rivals at the top of the table battling it out for the championship in City and Manchester United, City’s opponents themselves seeking to avoid relegation in Queens Park Rangers and, of course, the most dramatic of last-minute goals to settle things.
With City at home to QPR and United away to Sunderland on the last day of the season, everything was up in the air heading into kick-off. Nearly 90 minutes later, however, and the title looked to be heading to Old Trafford with United 1-0 up in their game and City 2-1 down in theirs.
Two minutes into stoppage time, though, and Edin Dzeko had equalised for the Citizens to give them a small glimmer of hope. By this point, it was full-time at the Stadium of Light and United were all set to begin their celebrations, only for Sergio Aguero to step up to the plate in the fifth minute of stoppage time to fire City into a remarkable 3-2 lead and seal a first ever Premier League title for the club. Incredible scenes.
Woods rolls back the years at Augusta
Our final golden comeback on this list goes to a man who was to climb to the summit of his sport, only to fall from grace in style, before turning things around majestically: Tiger Woods.
Woods’ rise to prominence in golf was electric, with the American sweeping away all that stood before him, racking up titles, landmarks and records left, right and centre. By the age of just 32, he had amassed an incredible 14 majors and was arguably the greatest golfer the planet had ever seen.
Things were about to change drastically for Woods, however, with personal problems and injury issues over the next few years brining him crashing back down to earth. Many had given up hope of Woods ever challenging for titles again, yet alone winning a 15th major.
Yet at the 2019 Masters at Augusta, he did just that, finishing with a brilliant two-under-par 70 to win on 13 under, one clear of fellow Americans Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and Brooks Koepka, to take the Green Jacket. Ten years, nine months and 29 days after his last major triumph at the 2008 US Open, Woods’ miraculous comeback was complete.