Was this Liverpool’s best ever comeback?

Liverpool’s remarkable 4-0 comeback win to overcome Spanish champions Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate to reach the Champions League final was the latest in a string of improbable turnaround victories. But was it better than the so-called Miracle of Instanbul? Or the FA Cup final against West Ham the following season? Here, we examine five other classic comebacks for the Anfield club.

Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates after scoring the third goal during the Champions league semi-final win over Barcelona. Picture: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images
Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates after scoring the third goal during the Champions league semi-final win over Barcelona. Picture: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

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

Liverpool beat Milan in a penalty shoot-out to win the Champions League after sensationally coming from three goals down at half-time in a match later dubbed The Miracle of Istanbul. Paolo Maldini gave Milan a first-minute lead, and two goals from Hernan Crespo put them in a seemingly unassailable position at the interval. Reds captain Steven Gerrard gave Liverpool hope, and Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso levelled in a seven-minute spell. Jerzy Dudek then saved from Andrea Pirlo and Andriy Shevchenko in the shoot-out to clinch a stunning

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victory.

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

Gerrard’s added-time screamer dragged this Millennium Stadium final into extra time, just when West Ham thought they had the match done and dusted. The Reds captain’s second goal salvaged a 3-3 draw at the last, after West Ham had thrown away a 2-0 first-half lead. Jamie Carragher’s own goal and Dean Ashton’s finish had the Hammers in control, before Djibril Cisse cut the deficit before the break. Gerrard levelled the tie at 2-2 before Paul Konchesky struck to edge the Londoners into that 3-2 lead that the Liverpool skipper cruelly snatched away at the death. Liverpool then prevailed 3-1 on penalties, only Teddy Sheringham finding the net from West Ham’s four efforts, with John Arne Riise firing the decisive spot-kick.

Liverpool 3 Olympiacos 1 (Champions League group stage, Anfield, December 2004)

Liverpool had to win by two goals to advance to the knockout stages, so Rivaldo’s 27th-minute goal left the hosts with an uphill struggle. Florent Sinama Pongolle put the Reds back on terms after the break, before Neil Mellor edged Liverpool into the 2-1 lead with nine minutes to play. And then up popped Gerrard, firing home from 20 yards to secure that two-goal victory margin, with just four minutes of normal time remaining.

Liverpool 4 Newcastle 3 (Premier League, Anfield, April 1996)

Branded the Premier League’s greatest ever game by many, and considered the defeat that ultimately came to define Newcastle’s title-race implosion. Robbie Fowler struck for Liverpool after just two minutes, before Les Ferdinand and David Ginola had Newcastle leading 2-1 inside the quarter-hour. Fowler equalised after the break, only for Faustino Asprilla to put Newcastle 3-2 ahead before the hour-mark. Collymore grabbed his second goal with little more than 20 minutes to play to tie the game at 3-3. And just when Newcastle thought they could escape Anfield with a point the former Nottingham Forest striker slotted home Liverpool’s winner. Footage of Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan slumped over in the dugout still encapsulate a breathless night.

Liverpool 4 Borussia Dortmund 3 (Europa League, Anfield, April 2016)

In Jurgen Klopp’s first season at Liverpool, and against his former club, his team found themselves 3-1 down in the second leg of their quarter-final tie and therefore losing 4-2 on aggregate and facing elimination. A finish from Divock Origi was all the hosts had to show for their efforts on an evening when Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus gave an impressively strong Dortmund team a convincing lead. With 25 minutes remaining they still required three goals, but Philippe Coutinho’s low shot and then Mamadou Sakho’s header put them on course for so unlikely a victory. Dejan Lovren’s injury-time header, from James Milner’s cross, secured exactly that. Dortmund’s respected manager Thomas Tuchel said post-match: “If I could explain it then something logical would have happened. You can’t explain it.”

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