Dortmund 4-4 Schalke and sport’s greatest ever comebacks
Borussia Dortmund and Schalke played out a game for the ages on Saturday. BVB looked to be cruising to victory when they scored four goals in side 25 minutes, but Schalke had other ideas, capitalising on their man advantage in the second half to seal a barely fathomable 4-4 draw.
It was the first time a Bundesliga team had come back from four goals down to salvage points since 1976. After a barnstorming Revierderby, bundesliga.com takes a look at some other great comebacks in football, and beyond…
Watch: Schalke were put through the emotional wringer in Dortmund on Saturday!
AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool, (Liverpool win 3-2 on pens.) UEFA Champions League final, 2005
Milan came out of the blocks flying against Liverpool at Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic stadium in May 2005, with a Paolo Maldini strike and Hernan Crespo brace looking to have decided the game for the Italians inside a whirlwind first 45 minutes. Brazil right-back Cafu later confirmed that the Rossoneri were celebrating at half-time. What a mistake that proved to be: Liverpool re-emerged like men possessed, and goals from Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and recently-retired Bayern star Xabi Alonso forced penalties, before some Jerzy Dudek penalty heroics ensured a fifth European Cup would be going back to Merseyside after the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’.
Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich, UEFA Champions League final, 1999
German record champions Bayern Munich don’t lose often, and that familiar feeling of victory was theirs for 85 minutes of the European showpiece in Barcelona back in 1999 after Mario Basler’s early free-kick had eluded Peter Schmeichel. Injury-time goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solkjaer broke German hearts, though. Bayern won an unprecedented treble of Bundesliga, DFB Cup and Champions League in 2013, but it’s easy to forget that they were seconds away from so doing 14 years earlier.
Super Bowl LI: New England Patriots 34-28 Atlanta Falcons (2017)
New England, led by quarterback Tom Brady went into this one as favourites to lift a fifth Super Bowl title but found themselves 21-3 down at halftime and 28-3 down early on in the third quarter. Cue the greatest ever comeback in NFL history: New England scored 25 points without reply to tie the game at 28-28 and send the Super Bowl into overtime for the first time. The momentum was with the Patriots and James White scrambled over the line to seal a 34-28 win, the largest ever comeback in Super Bowl history.
Cleveland Cavaliers 4-3 Golden State Warriors, NBA finals 2016
A team from Cleveland had not won a major sporting event since 1964 before the 2016 NBA finals against the Warriors. Led by returning superstar LeBron James, expectations were high that the Cavaliers would end that long wait, but they quickly fell 2-0 down in the best of seven series. 2-0 became 2-1 before the Warriors triumphed in Game 4 to open up a 3-1 lead. James’ side responded magnificently, however, winning Games 5, 6 and 7 to seal a 4-3 win and exact revenge for their finals defeat in 2015, with James winning the NBA finals MVP award.
USA 13½ – Europe 14½, 2012 Ryder Cup
Going into the final day’s play at Medinah, Illinois, the US led Europe 10-6 and needed just 4½ points to take the Ryder Cup back after defeat in 2010. Europe, meanwhile, faced the daunting task of requiring 8 points to level proceedings and retain the trophy and 8½ to win it outright. The Europeans won eight of the 12 singles matches, with Martin Kaymer defeating Steve Stricker on the 18th hole to make it 14/13, before Tiger Woods could only halve the final hole against Francisco Molinari. The ‘Miracle of Medinah’, arguably the greatest spectacle in Ryder Cup history, went Europe’s way.
Chicago Cubs 4-3 Cleveland Indians, 2016 World Series
A few months after the Cavaliers put Cleveland on the sporting map once again, the Indians were attempting to bring more sporting glory back to the city. They started the seven-game series strongly and opened up a 3-1 lead, before the Cubs gradually forced their way back into proceedings. Level at 3-3, Game 7 went the full nine innings and beyond as the scores were still tied, with the Cubs scoring two runs in the tenth and decisively running out the Indians’ Michael Martinez. Victors by an 8-7 scoreline, it was the Cubs’ first World Series win since 1908 and ended the longest world championship drought of any professional US sports team.
Steffi Graf beats Jana Novotna, Wimbledon 1993
Having narrowly lost the first set of the final 7-6, eighth seed Jana Novotna appeared to playing top seed Steffi Graf off Centre Court at Wimbledon. She took the second set 6-1 to level things up and led 4-1, 40-30 in the third and deciding set. A double fault and a wayward volley let Graf back in to break at 4-2, whereupon the German found a second win and capitalised on every error and rattling off the next four games to win 6-4, barely 15 minutes after being 4-1, 40-30 down. Graf lifted her fifth Wimbledon title while the late Novotna was inconsolable, though she did get her hands on the trophy in 1998.
2005 Ashes: England 2-1 Australia
England had not beaten Australia in the famous five-test series since 1989, and things looked bleak for the hosts when Australia romped to an innings-victory in the first test at Lord’s. The side skippered by Michael Vaughan responded to win the second test by just two runs, the narrowest win in Ashes history, before Australia rescued a draw in the third test at Old Trafford. England’s confidence was up after the debacle at Lord’s and they won a tense fourth test by three wickets, holding out for a draw themselves in the final match at The Oval to win the series 2-1 and take back the famous urn.