Everyone loves a comeback right? Those massive reversals are what keep our sporting dreams alive when all hope seems gone. 5 – 0 down with only 20 minutes on the clock? Well Rocky beat Ivan Drago in Rocky IV didn’t he? Here’s a look at some of sports greatest ‘just maybe…’ moments.
New England Patriots
Superbowl LI, 5th February 2017
When Lady Gaga performed at the halftime show of Superbowl LI, the New England Patriots found themselves with an unexpected and (many said) insurmountable 19-point difference to Superbowl opponents Atlanta Falcons. But then, Tom Brady happened. The world watched in disbelief as the ‘Pats’ turned in 19 points to force the game into overtime, where James White touched down to complete one of the greatest sports comebacks in history.
Premier League, 29th September 2001
If one game was emblematic of Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson then it was this, Manchester United’s triumphant 5-3 comeback over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in 2001. It was first-half strikes from Dean Richards, Les Ferdinand and Christian Ziege that had United stunned. But, after halftime, the Red Devils rallied, scoring through Andy Cole, Laurent Blanc, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Juan Sebastian Veron and finally David Beckham to earn the victory.
The NBA Finals, 19th June 2016
Lebron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers were stunned to find themselves 3-1 down to Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA finals best of 7 series, as was the rest of the basketball world. However, in the end it was the Warriors who would end the series in total shock as the Cav’s came back to win the championship 3-4, winning by just four points (93-89) in the final game. Showing the world that ‘The King’ Lebron James still reigned in the NBA.
Champions League Final, 25th May 2005
You can’t talk about the greatest sports comebacks without talking about this comeback. Liverpool found themselves 3-0 down after the first half, with an A.C. Milan victory seemingly in the history books already. A Steven Gerrard goal in the 54th minute seemed a consolation prize, that was until Šmicer and Alonso levelled within 4 minutes to take the game into extra time and eventually penalties where Liverpool would complete their comeback, lifting club football’s most coveted prize.
If you’ve never heard the name Henri Cochet before then listen up, and listen good. This flying Frenchman did what many at the time thought was impossible in 1927’s Wimbledon tennis championships, coming from behind in three consecutive matches in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final to lift the famous old trophy. Jolly good show!
Ryder Cup, 30th September 2012
What many now refer to as ‘The Miracle of Medinah’, golf is not without its fair share of greatest sports comebacks but if we had to pick one, then this would be it. Beginning the final day of the 2012 Ryder Cup 10-6 down, Europe fought back and won 8 and tied 1 of the 12 singles matches to retain the cup before play had even stopped for good. Now that’s how you come back in style.
The Ashes, 1981
So unlikely was England’s comeback against Australia in the 1981 Ashes, a £1 stake at the bookies would’ve returned you £500. Even rival Aussies Rod Marsh and Dennis Lillee fancied a flutter on that, and it turned out that they were right to as Ian Botham struck 149 not out to begin a remarkable fight back, before Graham Dilley, Chris Old and Bob Willis contributed to make the impossible possible.