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Six of the best Liverpool comebacks in Europe



Liverpool will be up against it in their Europa League quarter-final second leg away to Atalanta on Thursday.

The Reds fell to a shock 3-0 loss at Anfield and will now have to pull off an incredible turnaround to reach the semi-finals.

Luckily for Jurgen Klopp’s side, Liverpool have a sublime catalogue of European comebacks to take inspiration from.

We’ve compiled six of the best below.

Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona (Agg: 4-3) – 2019

Divock Origi completed a remarkable turnaround as Liverpool overcame a three-goal deficit to reach the 2018-19 Champions League final

After losing their 2019 semi-final first leg 3-0 in Barcelona, Liverpool staged one of the greatest turnarounds the Champions League has ever seen.

Divock Origi started the unlikely revival, tapping home from close range after seven minutes.

But it was only when substitute Georginio Wijnaldum scored twice in the space of 122 seconds after the break that the tie truly swung in Liverpool’s favour.

Barcelona were rattled and Origi struck again with the goal that would decide the tie on aggregate, after Trent Alexander-Arnold caught the visitors napping from a corner.

They made the final, where they beat Tottenham 2-0 to lift their sixth Champions League title.

Liverpool 4-3 Borussia Dortmund (Agg: 5-4) – 2016

Dejan Lovren celebrates his goal for Liverpool
Dejan Lovren won a spectacular tie for Liverpool on the same day Anfield commemorated the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster

Less than a year into his tenure as Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp witnessed his team produce one of Anfield’s greatest comebacks against his former club in the Europa League.

Liverpool had drawn 1-1 at Borussia Dortmund in their quarter-final first leg, but quickly went 2-0 down inside the first 10 minutes of the second leg – falling 3-1 behind on aggregate.

Because of the away goals rule Liverpool had to win the tie outright to avoid elimination. They pulled one back through Divock Origi just after the restart, but that strike was soon cancelled out by Marco Reus.

Liverpool halved the deficit through Philippe Coutinho in the 66th minute. Eleven minutes later Mamadou Sakho levelled things at 3-3.

And in the 91st minute Dejan Lovren completed a fantastic turnaround with a thumping header in front of a joyous Kop end.

Cue magical celebrations at Anfield – although Liverpool would ultimately fall in the final against Sevilla.

AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool (Liverpool win 3-2 on penalties) – 2005

Liverpool players celebrate with the Champions League title
Liverpool lifted the 2004-05 Champions League title after a spectacular comeback in the final

The Miracle of Istanbul. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest finals in the history of the European Cup and Champions League.

AC Milan were favourites and went ahead in the first minute through captain Paolo Maldini before Hernan Crespo scored twice to give the Serie A giants a 3-0 half-time lead.

But Liverpool pulled a goal back in the 54th minute when Gerrard headed in John Arne Riise’s cross, before Vladimir Smicer added a second from long range two minutes later.

On the hour mark Gerrard won his side a penalty after he was fouled by Gennaro Gattuso. Xabi Alonso’s spot-kick was saved but he buried the rebound to complete Liverpool’s improbable three-goal comeback.

The match went to extra time when, in the 117th minute, Liverpool keeper Jerzy Dudek denied Andriy Shevchenko with a fine double save.

And Liverpool would then win it on penalties. Milan’s Serginho blasted his effort over the bar before Dudek kept out Andre Pirlo. Then, with Shevchenko needing to score to keep Milan in it, Dudek produced another save to go down in Reds folklore.

Liverpool 3-1 Olympiakos (2004)

Steve Gerrard celebrates his goal
Liverpool captain Steve Gerrard kept his side’s 2004-05 Champions League hopes alive with a thunderous strike

Four-time winners Liverpool were hoping to lift their first Champions League title in 21 years.

But the 2004-05 campaign looked to be heading towards a limp early exit, with Liverpool needing to beat Olympiakos by two clear goals in their final group match to advance at the Greek side’s expense.

Things got off to a bad start at Anfield after Brazilian Rivaldo’s free-kick gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at half-time.

But Florent Sinama Pongolle pulled a goal back for the Reds after the break and Neil Mellor gave the home side hope, putting them 2-1 up in the 81st minute.

And it was club legend Steven Gerrard who netted Liverpool’s third with four minutes remaining, with a beauty of a strike that gave his side a crucial two-goal lead.

After the group stages, Rafa Benitez’s team beat Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus and Chelsea in the knockouts to set up a final with Italian giants AC Milan.

Liverpool 3-1 Saint-Etienne (Agg 3-2) – 1977

David Fairclough scores Liverpool's winner
David Fairclough’s winner sent Liverpool into just their second ever European Cup semi-final, and sent Anfield into raptures

Liverpool had a tricky tie in the European Cup quarters against French champions Saint-Etienne, who had reached the final the season before.

After losing the first leg in France 1-0, Kevin Keegan levelled the tie for the Reds in the second minute of a memorable night at Anfield.

But things quickly went downhill in the second half with Saint-Etienne retaking the lead.

That meant they led the tie 2-1 on aggregate and, because of the away goals rule, Liverpool would have to score twice more to go through.

They got one back in the 58th minute through Ray Kennedy and six minutes from time super sub David Fairclough held off two defenders to score at the Kop end and spectacularly send his side through.

The Reds would then cruise past Zurich 6-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals before beating Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1, to lift their first European Cup.

Liverpool 3-2 Club Bruges – 1976

Almost 48 years ago Liverpool produced a captivating comeback against Club Brugge in the Uefa Cup final to kick-off a tradition of spine-tingling European nights at Anfield.

Back in the 70s the Uefa Cup final was still played over two legs, and had an away goals rule if the scores were tied.

So when Liverpool went 2-0 down at home in the opening 15 minutes of the first leg, the writing seemed on the wall.

But manager Bob Paisley brought on Jimmy Case at half-time and he levelled the scoring in the 61st minute, after Ray Kennedy had pulled a goal back two minutes earlier.

And the turnaround was complete when Kevin Keegan then netted from the spot four minutes later, as Liverpool ultimately won the leg 3-2.

Three weeks later the Reds held Club Brugge to a 1-1 draw to win the Uefa Cup 4-3 on aggregate and lift their second ever European trophy, sparking a rich run of success.

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