Top Five: Liverpool comebacks

In the wake of Liverpool’s dramatic victory over Borussia Dortmund, we’ve looked back at some of the Reds’ best comebacks.

2004: Liverpool 3-1 Olympiakos (UEFA Champions League group stage)

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This may just have been a group stage game, but it was one of huge importance that proved to be as exciting as they come.

Liverpool needed to win by a margin of two goals or more, and when Rivaldo opened the scoring for the Greek outfit after 27 minutes the outlook was rather bleak.

The Reds certainly hadn’t thrown in the towel though, and Florent Sinama Pongolle brought Liverpool level on the night. Another unlikely hero in Neil Mellor put the Merseysiders up with six minutes left.

Need a goal and short of time? Steven Gerrard is your man. The Reds skipper fired home from 20 yards out two minutes later to give his side the two-goal cushion they needed.

1977: Liverpool 3-1 St Etienne (Liverpool won 3-2 on aggregate, European Cup third round second leg)

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Rolling back the years, the Reds side of 1977 weren’t given much hope when they returned to Anfield for the second leg of their European Cup tie against French outfit St-Etienne trailing 1-0 after the first leg.

Matters looked more promising when Kevin Keegan scored in just the second minute, but Dominique Bathenay’s equaliser, a precious away goal, meant that Liverpool needed to score twice and avoid conceding again.

They managed to do just that, but not without some nail-biting moments. Ray Kennedy’s effort just before the hour mark opened up the tie, but the Reds faithful had to wait until the 84th minute for David Fairclough to score the winner that sent them through.

2006: Liverpool 3-3 West Ham United (FA Cup final, Liverpool won 3-1 on penalties)

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The 125th edition of the world’s oldest football knockout competition would go on to be known as the ‘The Gerrard Final’.

Such a scenario seemed unlikely when West Ham went 2-0 up inside the first 30 minutes on the back of first a Jamie Carragher own goal and then a Dean Ashton effort. However, Djibril Cissé made it 2-1 in the 34th minutes before Gerrard grabbed an equaliser on 54 minutes.

There would be another twist in the tale though, with Paul Konchesky (who later went on to play for Liverpool), putting West Ham 3-2 up. With the clock winding down and only injury time left, it was a case of ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man’, and that man was Gerrard, with the Liverpool legend firing a half-volley from 35 yards out into the bottom corner.

There was no separating the teams in extra time, and penalties were required. The Hammers stumbled when it mattered most, missing three of their penalties as Liverpool triumphed in the shootout 3-1.

1996: Liverpool 4-3 Newcastle (Premier League)

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Poor Kevin Keegan. The image of the Newcastle boss slumped in the dugout following his side’s defeat is one for the ages, with Newcastle somehow losing this game and going on to blow their Premier League title chances too.

Dubbed ‘The Greatest Game Ever Played’, this one really was a classic.

Newcastle entered the match in second spot on the league standings, three points off the pace set by Manchester United, but with two games in hand. Liverpool sat in third, five points off the Magpies. Having lost their previous game to Arsenal, Newcastle really needed to come away with Anfield with a positive result. Unfortunately, the Reds had other ideas.

Robbie Fowler opened the scoring for the home side in just the second minute, but Les Ferdinand restored parity eight minutes later before David Ginola put Newcastle 2-1 up after 14 minutes. Fowler levelled matters not long after the interval, only for Faustino Asprilla to once again hand Newcastle the advantage in the 57th minute.

At this stage one imagines that Keegan must have thought he would at least leave Merseyside with a point. He was wrong. Stan Collymore made it 2-2 in the 68th minute, and just when it seemed like the two teams would be forced to settle for a draw, Collymore popped up to grab a 92nd-minute winner.

2005: Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan (Champions League final, Liverpool won 3-2 on penalties)

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There really wasn’t any doubt the ‘The Miracle of Istanbul’ would top the list. It doesn’t really get much better than this, coming from three goals down in a Champions League final to triumph.

Paolo Maldini put Milan ahead in just the second minute before a Hernan Crespo brace before the break appeared to have given the Italian outfit an unassailable lead, or so everyone thought.

In the space of seven second-half minutes, Liverpool drew level. Gerrard kicked off the great comeback before goals from Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso saw the Reds claw their way back to 3-3.

Extra time proved a fruitless period, and penalties were required. Goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek was the hero for Liverpool, the Pole saving first from Andrea Pirlo and then Andriy Shevchenko to seal European glory for the Reds.

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