After Barcelona’s historic win, here’s a look at football’s most memorable comebacks

Barcelona achieved the impossible with its victory over PSG on Wednesday; here are some of football’s best comeback moments


Trailing 4-0 after the first leg, Barcelona scored a half dozen goals on Wednesday to beat Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 6-1 and advance to the Champions League quarterfinals 6-5 on aggregate. Photo: AP
Trailing 4-0 after the first leg, Barcelona scored a half dozen goals on Wednesday to beat Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 6-1 and advance to the Champions League quarterfinals 6-5 on aggregate. Photo: AP

London: Barcelona became the latest football team to pull off the impossible.

Trailing 4-0 after the first leg, Barcelona scored a half dozen goals on Wednesday to beat Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) 6-1 and advance to the Champions League quarterfinals 6-5 on aggregate.

The last three goals, two scored by Neymar and the other set up by the Brazil striker, came in the final seven minutes of play.

Here are some other memorable comebacks, with accompanying photos from The Associated Press.

West Germany-Hungary

It was a foregone conclusion that Hungary would win the 1954 World Cup. After all, Hungary was the Olympic champion, unbeaten in four years, and had the most feared player in the world in Ferenc Puskas. And Hungary had also defeated West Germany 8-3 earlier in the tournament. Instead, the West Germans came back from two goals down in the final to beat the “Magical Magyars” with a goal from Helmut Rahn six minutes from time in a match that was dubbed The Miracle of Bern.

In this 4 July 1954 file photo, West Germany’s Helmut Rahn, center with arms raised, celebrates after equalizing in the World Cup soccer final match against Hungary, at Wankdorf Stadium, in Bern, Switzerland. West Germany came back from 2-0 down to beat Hungary 3-2 and win its first World Cup. Photo: AP
In this 4 July 1954 file photo, West Germany’s Helmut Rahn, center with arms raised, celebrates after equalizing in the World Cup soccer final match against Hungary, at Wankdorf Stadium, in Bern, Switzerland. West Germany came back from 2-0 down to beat Hungary 3-2 and win its first World Cup. Photo: AP

Portugal-North Korea

North Korea wasn’t even supposed to reach the World Cup quarterfinals in 1966. But its shock victory over two-time world champion Italy in the group stage set up a match against Portugal. With Eusebio leading the way, Portugal was the overwhelming favourite to advance to the semi-finals. North Korea got off to 3-0 lead within the first 25 minutes, but Portugal pulled itself together to eventually win 5-3 with Eusebio scoring four.

The 23 July 1966 file photo shows Portugal’s Eusebio, left, scores a goal for his team during the Football World Cup quarter final match against North Korea at Goodison Park, Liverpool. North Korean defenders Lim Zoong Sun, second left, and Im Seung Hwi, on ground, watch goalkeeper Li Chan Myong attempt to save the shot. Portugal defeated North Korea 5-3. With their World Cup ambitions on the line, Portugal and North Korea are looking to recapture the Spirit of ‘66 when they meet in their next Group G game. Portugal drew 0-0 with Ivory Coast in its opener, and North Korea lost to Brazil 2-1, making Monday’s game in Cape Town a crucial match. Photo: AP
The 23 July 1966 file photo shows Portugal’s Eusebio, left, scores a goal for his team during the Football World Cup quarter final match against North Korea at Goodison Park, Liverpool. North Korean defenders Lim Zoong Sun, second left, and Im Seung Hwi, on ground, watch goalkeeper Li Chan Myong attempt to save the shot. Portugal defeated North Korea 5-3. With their World Cup ambitions on the line, Portugal and North Korea are looking to recapture the Spirit of ‘66 when they meet in their next Group G game. Portugal drew 0-0 with Ivory Coast in its opener, and North Korea lost to Brazil 2-1, making Monday’s game in Cape Town a crucial match. Photo: AP

West Germany-France

The 1982 World Cup semi-final match between West Germany and France is considered one of the greatest ever. A French team led by Michel Platini was emerging as a potential champion. West Germany, by contrast, had barely got into its stride, and when France led 3-1 halfway through the first period of extra time, the match looked over. But as other teams have learned, matches against West Germany are never over until the final whistle. Goals from Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Klaus Fischer meant a World Cup match would be decided by a penalty shoot-out for the first time. West Germany won that, with Horst Hrubesch scoring the winning penalty.

In this 8 July 1982 file photo, West Germany’s Klaus Fischer scores the third goal and equalizes, in the World Cup semi-final soccer match against France, in Seville, Spain. West Germany won in a penalty shoot-out after coming back from 3-1 down in extra time to draw 3-3. Photo: AP
In this 8 July 1982 file photo, West Germany’s Klaus Fischer scores the third goal and equalizes, in the World Cup semi-final soccer match against France, in Seville, Spain. West Germany won in a penalty shoot-out after coming back from 3-1 down in extra time to draw 3-3. Photo: AP

Manchester United-Bayern Munich

The 90 minutes had passed and with just injury time to play, Bayern Munich was set to win its first European Cup in 23 years. But despite being behind 1-0 in the Champions League final in Barcelona and having played far from its best, Manchester United had other ideas. Injury-time goals from second-half substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer secured a 2-1 win for United and meant the European Cup was going back to Old Trafford for the first time since 1968.

In this 26 May 1999 file photo, Bayern Munich’s Carsten Jancker is consoled by non-playing teammate Bixente Lizarazu after Bayern were beaten 2-1 by Manchester United in the UEFA Champions Cup final at the Nou Camp Stadium in Barcelona. Bayern had been leading 1-0 before two injury time goals gave United a comeback victory. Photo: AP
In this 26 May 1999 file photo, Bayern Munich’s Carsten Jancker is consoled by non-playing teammate Bixente Lizarazu after Bayern were beaten 2-1 by Manchester United in the UEFA Champions Cup final at the Nou Camp Stadium in Barcelona. Bayern had been leading 1-0 before two injury time goals gave United a comeback victory. Photo: AP

Liverpool-AC Milan

Liverpool accomplished its own memorable comeback win in 2005 when it defeated AC Milan on penalties despite being down 3-0 at half-time in the Champions League final in Istanbul. Goals from Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso in only six minutes of play early in the second half saw Liverpool draw level. Both sides had chances to win it in normal time and then in extra time. Liverpool won the shoot-out 3-2 to secure its fifth European Cup.

In this 25 May 2005 file photo, Liverpool’s Luis Garcia, right, celebrates after his teammate Xabi Alonso, behind him at right, scored his team’s 3rd goal, during the Champions League Final between AC Milan and Liverpool at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. 3-0 down at half-time, Liverpool came back to force a penalty shoot-out that it won. Photo: AP
In this 25 May 2005 file photo, Liverpool’s Luis Garcia, right, celebrates after his teammate Xabi Alonso, behind him at right, scored his team’s 3rd goal, during the Champions League Final between AC Milan and Liverpool at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. 3-0 down at half-time, Liverpool came back to force a penalty shoot-out that it won. Photo: AP

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