Saturday evening’s second-half comeback by Paul Pogba-inspired Manchester United team at Etihad Stadium against Man City was memorable. But does it hold its own ground with this lot?
(1) Manchester United (vs Tottenham, September 2001)You know about the game, so let’s just enjoy the quotes in full:
“I thought I knew what the group might need, that we didn’t need a big team talk,” said Roy Keane, Manchester United’s captain when they were trailing 3-0 at White Hart Lane.
“It was Tottenham at home. I thought ’please don’t go on about Tottenham, we all know what Tottenham is about, they are nice and tidy but we’ll fucking do them’.
“He came in and said: ‘Lads, it’s Tottenham’, and that was it. Brilliant.”
(2) Fulham (vs Manchester City, April 2008)
Manchester City losing 3-2 at home in April having been 2-0 up at half-time, is it? Where Roy Hodgson leads, Jose Mourinho follows. I’ve always said that.
In late-April 2008, Fulham were several types of a bit buggered. With three games of the Premier League season remaining, Hodgson’s team were five points from safety, and their poor goal difference dictated that they probably needed to win all three remaining matches to survive.
At 2-0 down with 65 minutes played away at top-half Manchester City, they would be mathematically relegated if scores stayed the same. Birmingham were leading 2-0 against Liverpool too.
(3) Newcastle United (vs Arsenal, February 2011)
The greatest comeback in Premier League history, but one that is now tinged with sadness after the tragic passing of Cheick Tiote in 2017. The Ivorian scored the left-footed volley that completed the ludicrous scoring. I’ll turn to my Newcastle United-supporting mate to take it from here:
“I ended up about three rows in front, with a fan I vaguely recognise from previous celebrations screaming in my face. I didn’t even see the ball hit the net, so clear was it that it was going in. Some people were jumping, but others just stood still, looking up with their eyes closed.
(4) Crystal Palace (vs Liverpool, May 2014)
If Steven Gerrard’s slip became the defining image of Liverpool’s title collapse in 2013/14, the 3-3 draw against Crystal Palace was the extended version of a hundred thousand Scouse hearts breaking as one.
Liverpool knew that they had to score a hatful of goals, but it was not out of the question that they could still win the Premier League. Making up a nine-goal swing on Manchester City looked like far-fetched fancy, particularly having scored just once in the first half at Selhurst Park in their penultimate game. But when Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge both scored in three second-half minutes, Liverpool had made up a third of those nine goals and still had 35 minutes of the match remaining. Two or three more goals and this was on.
(5) Wolves (vs Leicester, October 2003)
Who would have thought that there might be seven goals in a Premier League game in which defenders Paul Butler, Lee Naylor, John Curtis, Alan Rogers, Riccardo Scimeca, a 33-year-old Gerry Taggart, a 34-year-old Matt Elliott and a 37-year-old Denis Irwin started and the goalkeepers were Michael Oakes and Ian Walker? The Premier League has got a lot better, folks.
Scimeca did at least score a goal of his own during a first half that saw Leicester race to a 3-0 lead. Les Ferdinand got the other two at the age of 36. Why was everyone so bloody old?