The best matches played at the new Wembley Stadium - ranked

07 July 2021 03:30

Wembley Stadium has been the home of English football since the beginning of time, and it is widely considered to be one of the grandest cathedrals of the sport.

However, the old Wembley was unable to stand the test of time, and it was rebuilt to become a fitting, modern home for the game's most prestigious events.

Since its grand reopening in 2007, London's famous ground has borne witness to some of football's most important centre-piece matches, and has hosted many unforgettable moments over the past 14 years.

To celebrate Wembley being selected as the host of Euro 2020's big final this summer, 90min has picked the 15 best matches to have ever been played at the new stadium. And of course, they're ranked.


15. England 2-1 Brazil - International friendly (2013)

We start with one of the rarest sights in football: England beating Brazil. In 2013, the Three Lions played host to the most famous footballing nation on the planet, and they showed them how the game should be played.

Joe Hart produced a superb double-save from a penalty before Wayne Rooney opened the scoring from the edge of the box. Fred levelled from a Gary Cahill error, but England weren't finished, and Frank Lampard sealed the win with a curling effort from 20 yards.


14. Manchester United 3-2 Southampton - EFL Cup final (2017)

A bit of EFL Cup drama now, and this one had the lot. Manchester United appeared to be strolling to victory in the final, after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jesse Lingard gave them a commanding 2-0 lead.

But Manolo Gabbiadini dragged the Saints level, scoring twice to truly put the cat amongst the pigeons. Ibrahimovic made the difference though, and the Swede grabbed the winning goal with a powerful header.


13. Portsmouth 2-2 Sunderland - EFL Trophy final (2019)

85,000 supporters rocked up to watch the EFL Trophy final between Portsmouth and Sunderland in 2019, and it was a cracker. The Black Cats went ahead through Aiden McGeady, but Portsmouth struck late on, and then poked their noses in front in extra-time, thanks to a stunning Jamal Lowe lob.

McGeady made it 2-2 with one minute left to play, sending the game to penalties. Portsmouth triumphed in the spot-kicks, after Lee Cattermole missed the decisive effort. Heartbreak for Sunderland.


12. Manchester City 0-1 Wigan - FA Cup final (2013)

Wembley was also home to one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup history when Manchester City and Wigan Athletic went head-to-head in the 2013 final.

Wigan's Ben Watson was the surprise hero, heading home from a corner in the 91st minute to crush the Citizens, and record the most famous day in his club's history. Moments like that will never be forgotten.


11. Tottenham Hotspur 5-4 Leicester City - Premier League (2018)

Who doesn't love a goal-fest? The final day of the 2017/18 season produced a nine-goal thriller at Wembley, as Tottenham Hotspur ran out incredible 5-4 winners over Leicester City.

Spurs eventually left Wembley a few months later to settle into their brand new stadium, but they made plenty of memories at their temporary home.


10. Blackpool 3-2 Cardiff City - Championship playoff final (2010)

The Championship playoff final is known as the richest game in football, often causing some nervy affairs. 2010's meeting between Blackpool and Cardiff City was far from cagey.

The Tangerines came from behind twice to stun the Bluebirds, with all five goals in a 3-2 victory coming in a breathless first half. Brett Ormerod hit the winner, sending Blackpool into the Premier League for the first time in their history.


9. Chelsea 4-2 Tottenham Hotspur - FA Cup semi-final (2017)

More cup drama now, although we're switching to the 2017 FA Cup semi-final between London rivals Spurs and Chelsea. The Blues came out on top of this dizzying encounter, booking their place in the final with a 4-2 win.

Willian twice put Chelsea ahead, but Spurs fought back to level the scores. Eden Hazard reinstated the Blues' advantage in the second half, and a Nemanja Matic thunderbolt put the result beyond doubt.


8. Birmingham 2-1 Arsenal - EFL Cup final (2011)

Now this is a classic moment in English football history. Birmingham City and Arsenal were tied at one goal each, when Laurent Koscielny and Wojciech Szczesny ploughed into one another, leaving Obafemi Martins standing over the ball with the net gaping.

The forward did the rest, springing another major shock in English cup competition history.


7. Tottenham Hotspur 2-4 Barcelona - Champions League (2018)

Another entry for Spurs here, and another defeat. This time they were pulled apart by Spanish giants Barcelona, who waltzed to a 4-2 victory at Wembley.

Ivan Rakitic and Lionel Messi scored the pick of the goals, as Barça clinched the three points in style. Any occasion to watch Messi in full flow is a glorious one.


6. England 3-2 Scotland - International Friendly (2013)

Back to 2013, and it's an England-Scotland classic. Kenny Miller put Scotland 2-1 ahead in the second half, as the Tartan Army dreamt of a famous victory over their enemies.

Danny Welbeck restored parity for the Three Lions, and Rickie Lambert completed the turnaround with a brilliant header from an England corner. A close shave.


5. Watford 3-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers - FA Cup semi-final (2019)

FA Cup time again, and we're casting our mind back to 2019 when Watford pulled off one of the best comebacks the competition has seen. Wolverhampton Wanderers found themselves two goals to the good in the second half, and seemingly cruising into the final.

A brilliant Gerard Deulofeu chip brought the Hornets back into contention, and a last-gasp Troy Deeney penalty took the game to extra-time. Deulofeu won the semi-final for Watford in the additional 30 minutes, racing through to finish and set up a big final against Man City. I can't quite remember how that ended, actually.


4. Arsenal 3-2 Hull City - FA Cup final (2014)

Speaking of dramatic turnarounds, how about Arsenal's FA Cup final battle with Hull City? The plucky underdogs stunned the Gunners by racing into an early two-goal lead, and looked set for the most famous of FA Cup shocks.

But Arsenal showed their experience in this competition, forcing the final to extra-time, where Aaron Ramsey wrote his name further into the Gunners' folklore with the winning goal, ending their nine-year trophy drought.


3. Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Bayern Munich - Champions League final (2013)

Champions League finals are the pinnacle of club football, and Wembley hosted an all-German affair for the 2013 edition. Bayern Munich came out on top, securing a 2-1 victory with a last-minute strike.

Arjen Robben was the match-winner, charging through to roll the ball into the back of the net and send Bayern fans into a frenzy. Pure drama.


2. Italy 1-1 Spain - Euro 2020 semi-finals (2021)

Heroes on the night | Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

If Danny Murphy says he hasn't enjoyed a game of football for many years as much as he enjoyed this one, then it must be an instant classic! Italy reached the Euro 2020 final via penalties, holding out for a 1-1 draw with Spain after extra-time.

Federico Chiesa sent Gli Azzurri supporters wild with a goal against the run of play, but Alvaro Morata sent the game to extra-time. Spain couldn't force their way through for a second time, and they were made to pay, when Jorginho coolly tucked away the winning penalty in the shootout.


1. Barcelona 3-1 Manchester United - Champions League final (2011)

Arguably the greatest club side to have ever been built against Sir Alex Ferguson's Man Utd at Wembley Stadium? Football doesn't get bigger or better than this.

Barcelona put on a masterclass in London, with Lionel Messi, Pedro and David Villa handing Pep Guardiola's side the Champions League trophy. Sit back and admire it, everyone.

Source: 90min