10 of the greatest football matches ever played

09 March 2017 01:55

Barcelona's remarkable Champions League comeback against Paris St Germain on Wednesday, as they overturned a 4-0 first-leg deficit with a 6-1 win at the Nou Camp, was one of the game's great spectacles.

Here, we look at some of the greatest games in history.

BRAZIL 4 ITALY 1, WORLD CUP FINAL 1970

Two attack-minded sides produced a compelling attacking spectacle on the game's greatest stage with a brilliant, Pele-inspired Brazil ultimately proving too strong in Mexico City. Pele headed the opener before having a hand in two others after a Roberto Boninsegna equaliser. Gerson put Brazil back ahead, Jairzinho added another and captain Carlos Alberto crowned victory with a memorable fourth.

LIVERPOOL 3 AC MILAN 3 (3-2 ON PENS), CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL 2005

Liverpool's fifth European title came after a dramatic recovery from a 3-0 half-time deficit in Istanbul. Three quickfire goals in an exhilarating five-minute spell from Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso took the match to extra-time and the Reds prevailed in a penalty shoot-out as Jerzy Dudek made two saves.

BLACKPOOL 4 BOLTON 3, FA CUP FINAL 1953

Stanley Matthews inspired Blackpool's recovery from 3-1 down to claim the greatest prize of his career at Wembley. The great England winger brought the Tangerines back into the game by setting up a second for Stan Mortensen, who then completed a hat-trick by equalising from a free-kick. Bill Perry won the game in injury time after more fine work from Matthews.

ENGLAND 3 HUNGARY 6, INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY 1953

England were given a rude wake-up call as they were slayed by the Magnificent Magyars at Wembley, their first defeat on home soil to a side from continental Europe. They were on the back foot from the outset with Nandor Hidegkuti scoring the first of his hat-trick in the second minute. Ferenc Puskas, whose forward combination with Sandor Kocsis was devastating, added two and Jozsef Bozsik another in clinical display of attacking football not previously seen in England.

REAL MADRID 7 EINTRACHT FRANKFURT 3, EUROPEAN CUP FINAL 1960

Real Madrid, inspired by the great Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas, won a fifth successive European Cup final with a dazzling display of football at Hampden Park. Frankfurt took an early lead but that spurred Madrid into action with Di Stefano hitting a hat-trick and Puskas helping himself to four. Frankfurt's other two goals were mere consolations in the latter stages.

BENFICA 5 REAL MADRID 3, EUROPEAN CUP FINAL 1962

Portuguese giants Benfica ended Real Madrid's early monopoly of the European Cup in 1961 and then beat the Spanish side in the final the following year by twice coming from behind. Ferenc Puskas scored a first-half hat-trick for Madrid but Benfica kept in touch and were level early in the second half. Eusebio then took charge, scoring twice, the first from the penalty spot, to secure victory.

ITALY 4 WEST GERMANY 3, WORLD CUP SEMI-FINAL 1970

A seemingly run-of-the-mill semi-final suddenly exploded into life after Karl-Heinz Schnellinger struck an injury-time equaliser to send the game into extra-time. Gerd Muller then put the Germans ahead, forcing the hitherto cautious Italy to respond. Goals from Tarcisio Burgnich and Gigi Riva put them back in charge but they needed a late winner from Gianni Rivera after Muller made it 3-3.

WEST GERMANY 3 FRANCE 3 (5-4 ON PENS), WORLD CUP SEMI-FINAL 1982

In a match of controversy and drama, West Germany recovered from 3-1 down to prevail in a shoot-out after goalkeeper Harald Schumacher escaped punishment for a horrendous foul on Patrick Battiston. With the score 1-1, the outrushing Schumacher flung himself at Battiston, knocking him unconscious and dislodging two of his teeth. France recovered from the injustice to take a 3-1 lead in extra-time but Karl-Heinz Rummenigge replied and a spectacular overhead kick from Klaus Fischer took the game to penalties, when Schumacher made the decisive save from Maxime Bossis.

FRANCE 1 BRAZIL 1 (4-3 ON PENS), WORLD CUP QUARTER-FINAL 1986

European champions France ousted a highly-fancied Brazil side on penalties after an end-to-end encounter. Careca and Michel Platini traded goals in the first half but both sides spurned numerous chances. Muller hit the post for Brazil and Zico missed a penalty, while Dominique Rocheteau missed an open goal for France. Socrates and Platini both missed in the shoot-out but France went through after Julio Cesar hit the post.

MANCHESTER CITY 3 QPR 2, PREMIER LEAGUE 2012

City went into the final game of the season knowing victory over relegation-threatened QPR would secure the title but it took them until injury time to pull it out of the bag. As City surrendered a lead to fall 2-1 behind, rivals Manchester United won at Sunderland to put one hand on the trophy. Edin Dzeko equalised with the 90 minutes up before Sergio Aguero struck a dramatic winner to send the crown City's way deep into added-on time.

Source: PA


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