COMEBACK IN FOOTBALL

On March 8th, 2017, Barcelona becomes the first team to overturn a 4-0 first leg defeat and winning in the return leg in Nou Camp 6-1 against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to progress to the quarter-final. Similarly, in 2004 Deportivo La Coruna become the first team to overturn a 4-1 first leg defeat by winning in Riazor Stadium 4-0 to knocked out the shocked defending champion at that time AC Milan. AC Milan will be in for another shocker and this time in the final of 2005 Champion League when Liverpool had overturned first half 3-0 score line to level the score 3-3 in the second half and winning the 5th European Title via a penalty shootout. In the 1954 World Cup final, West Germany had defied the odds and defeated the Magical Magyar of Hungary who was the favorites to win the World Cup as they were undefeated in 31 games 3-2 after trailing 2-0 in the first 10 minute of the game. Both the 2005 and 1954 final had been dubbed as Miracle of Istanbul and Miracle of Bern respectively. Manchester United had become the first English team to win the treble when they had defeated Bayern Munich in the final by scoring 2 quick goals in 3-minute injury time to broke the heart of Bayern Munich who defended their 1-0 lead for a long time until collapsed dramatically in the injury time. The comeback that had led some game been dubbed for miracle happen for several reasons.

For a dramatic comeback to happen the team captain or any player from the team make a majestic contribution and gave a never say die attitude performance that changed the game dramatically. In the 1999 semi-final against Juventus Manchester United is trailing 2-0 with a two quick goal from Filippo Inzaghi and things looks doomed for United but their captain Roy Keane puts a magnificent performance by scoring the crucial goal and spurred the team on to win the tie and progress to their first ever European final since 1968 even though he will miss the final for suspension after received a yellow card for a foul on Zidane. A performance that had been praised by Sir Alex Ferguson as Roy Keane fighting for every ball and cover the whole pitch against formidable midfielder like Edgar Davis, Zinedine Zidane, and Didier Deschamp. Similarly, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher put up a mammoth performance that had led Liverpool to score 3 quick goals to leveled the score line and winning the game on penalties in 2005 final. Gerrard had scored the crucial 1st goal that had led to the comeback and Carragher putting a defensive performance of his life to contain AC Milan attacking trio of Kaka, Shevchenko, and Hernan Crespo.

 

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Liverpool Miracle Of Istanbul in 2005 final

A tactical change and approach also lead for a team to make a comeback. Deportiva La Coruna had taken an early lead in the first leg in San Siro but decided to hold down on their lead that had lead AC Milan to score 3 goals to win the first leg but in the return leg in Riazor Stadium, Spain Deportivo keeps on attacking AC Milan continuously until they had scored 4 goals that had led to won the tie and knock out AC Milan. Barcelona pressurized PSG and winning every ball to make the score line 3-0 and crucially make them win the tie. In 1954 World Cup, West Germany decided to rest his key player and was trashed by Hungary 8-3 in the group stage and was criticized by the media but he made them eat their words when his team had won the final in 1954 and he was praised as on the best German manager ever. His strategy to rest the key player in the group stage is to study Hungary team strength and at the same times hides his team strength.

Managerial substitution also can lead to a team to make a miraculous comeback. In 2005 final, Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez had decided to replace Harry Kewell with a defensive midfielder Dietmar Hamann to contain Kaka who had terrorized them in the first half and after Liverpool had leveled the score line Kaka unable to impose his game on Liverpool due to Hamman. In 1999, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson decided to introduced Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and the results both had scored the 2-famous injury-time goals that enabled United to win the European trophy and complete the treble.

 

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Solksjaer famous last minute goals in the 1999 final that had lead United to complete the Treble

 

For a comeback to happen a team must score in a quick succession or score in the crucial time. Deportivo and United had done this in their respective game. Deportivo had made the score line 3-0 in the first half that will enable them to progress on an away goal and similarly United too had done the same thing when they had leveled the score line at 2-2 in the first half against Juventus in the 1999 semi-final and this also will enable United to progress on away goal rule. In the second both AC Milan and Juventus need to score another goal to avoid been knocked out via the away goal rule and open themselves to counter attack and in the end, both had lost the respective game and tie. Liverpool had scored 3 goals in 6 minutes to in 2005 final to win the trophy and Barcelona too had scored 3 goals in 8 minute to win their second-round game respectively. To score in quick succession or scoring at a crucial time will change the game and this can change the opposition approach that can lead to a comeback.

Another crucial thing had led for a team to make a comeback is when an opposition wasted a glorious chance or when the goalkeeper performs some heroics. In the Barcelona vs PSG, after Edinson Cavani had scored the crucial away goal that looks sealed the game they had 2 great chances to bury the come via Cavani and Di Maria but ended up squandering their chance. In the 1999 final Bayern Munich, had hit the goalpost 3 times and if that had gone in then Manchester United amazing comeback will not happen and Bayern will end up winning the game comfortably. In 2005 final, in the dying second of the second half extra time, Jerzy Dudek had made a miraculous save to deny Andrei Shevchenko and perform another heroic in a penalty shootout to make Liverpool the champion.

Jerzy Dudek miracle save from Shevchenko

If all the 5 reason had mixed perfectly then a comeback can happen in a football game. Games like Barcelona vs PSG, Liverpool vs AC Milan, Manchester United vs Bayern Munich, Manchester United vs Juventus, Deportivo La Coruna vs AC Milan and many more will be forever remembered for the comeback that been performed by the team that looks dead and buried but coming back to win the game and ended up giving a horror for the opposition. Sami Kuffour punching the grass in agony and AC Milan players looks shell shocked in the penalty shootout in 2005 final is due to a comeback that had been performed by the opposition. The comeback is truly being one the things that make football as the most popular and watched the game in the world.

A dejected Samy Kuffour after losing in the 1999 final

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