Editor’s note: For several years, sport has come to the aid of societies in difficulty, relieving them, even temporarily, of their pain and suffering. As a locked world struggles with the “new normal,” it’s only natural that we seek inspiration in sport. Where would it be impossible to be redefined and proverbial phoenixes rising in real time? The latest series from Firstpost, The Heist, deals specifically with this feeling. Over the next few days, we’ll be sharing stories of the shots and murders of giants that have stood the test of time. Here’s to hope.
Football, as we say, is one of the most beautiful games on the planet. State-of-the-art finishes, biting matches, thrillers at the edge of the seat. The game has produced great entertainment for fans over the years.
Here we describe some of the biggest football breakouts in recent years.
Wrexham vs Arsenal (2-1), FA Cup 3rd return match, 1992
As for the major upheavals in English football in the past, one of the most brutal matches dates back to 1992, when the then fourth division team, Wrexham, overthrew Arsenal in the first division 2-1 in an FA Cup third round match.
Arsenal, then led by former Scottish international George Graham, was a very experienced team with seven English players. The legendary Paul Merson and Kevin Campbell among a few. Unlike the Gunners, Wrexham was made up of young people, mostly around the age of 20, with the exception of three Welsh internationals – Gordon Davies, Joey Jones and Mickey Thomas.
After a lively start to the game when Gareth Owen of Wrexham nearly scored the first goal, the Gunners finally broke through in the 43rd minute as Paul Merson rushed to the penalty area to provide a center for Alan Smith, who produces a sliding effort to score. and set an example for the Gunners.
Arsenal still had that narrow 1-0 advantage with 10 minutes to go, but the tables turned when Wrexham gained momentum via a free kick from Michael Thomas. Thomas took the 25 yards free kick and made the game easier with an accurate shot as the ball went past the defenders and into the upper right corner after Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman. With the 82nd minute goal, the hosts were back in the game.
It then only took two minutes for Wrexham to take the lead, via a goal by Steve Watkin in the 84th minute, thanks to a poor clearance from Arsenal’s Winterburn.
The match was followed by an invasion of the field by Wrexham fans, and Arsenal boss George Graham described the loss as his “lowest point in football”.
Senegal vs France, World Cup 2002
Undoubtedly one of the biggest shocks in international football, Senegal gave France a nightmare start for its World Cup defense. France entered the match without Zinedine Zidane, withdrawn from injury.
Senegalese striker El Hadji Diouf continued to bother French defenders throughout the match, but the greatest moment for the African nation came when midfielder Pape Bouba Diop scored the game’s only goal in the 30th minute .
Diouf played as the team’s only striker, and he made a smart move by crossing the ball to Diop in the center, who scored a magnificent goal, thanks to a misunderstanding between Frenchman Emanuel Petit and Fabien Barthez.
As a result, France were eliminated in the group stage after scoring a single point in the two remaining matches, finishing last in the group. Senegal reached the quarterfinals, where they lost to Turkey.
Liverpool vs AC Milan, Champions League final 2004-05
On May 25, 2005, the world arguably attended the most spectacular Champions League final – Liverpool against AC Milan, also known as the Istanbul Miracle. Upon entering the match, Liverpool made a surprise inclusion of Harry Kewell. Milan scored in the first minute when Paolo Maldini stole a free kick from Andrea Pirlo. The goal made the then 36-year-old Maldini the best scorer in tournament history.
Just before the end of the first half, goals from Kaka and Crespo extended Milan’s lead to 3-0, making things comfortable for the Italian side.
Liverpool, in the second half, scripted the miraculous comeback, with Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso all scoring within six minutes to tie the scores at the 60-minute mark.
The match went into extra time, and further into the penalties when the scores were still level. Milan’s Serginho missed the golden opportunity to build his team after failing. For Liverpool, it was Dietmaar Hermann who put the Reds 1-0 in place despite a broken toe. Milan suffered a double blow when Dudek made a very important save to block the attempt by Andrea Pirlo, who was the next to take the penalty spot for Milan. Djibril Cisse stole the opportunity to put the Reds 2-0, only for Tomasson and Kaka to tie the scores for Milan while John Arne Riise failed to score.
This was followed by the goal of Vladimir Smicer, who gave the advantage to Liverpool with a score of 3-2.
The Istanbul Miracle in Liverpool was finally over when Andriy Shevchenko came in for the final kick, but he missed it, with the ball going straight to the middle of the goal.
Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain, knockout round of the Champions League, season 2016-17
In one of the biggest comebacks in the history of the Champions League, FC Barcelona broke the hearts of all Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) supporters in the knockout stages of the 2016-2017 season.
The first leg took place at the Parc des Princes in France. Angel Di Maria gave the hosts the lead with a free kick in the 18th minute, and Julian Draxler assured PSG would break at the break with a 2-0 lead with a low shot, assisted by Marco Veratti.
In the 55th minute of the second half, Di Maria scored again on a shot outside the penalty area to 3-0. Edinson Cavani then completed in the first period, with the team’s fourth goal in the 72nd minute. Barcelona, throughout the match, had only one shot on target.
Barcelona changed the game in the second leg, Luis Suarez scoring in the third minute. And in the 50th minute, a goal from Laywin Kurzawa and a goal from Lionel Messi brought Barcelona back in the match, with a score of 4-3 in total in favor of PSG. Cavani brought PSG back in the game in the 62nd minute, bringing the visitors’ score 5-3.
However, a Neymar double in the final stages of the usual 90-minute mark ensured that Barça was back at 5-5 level, the first being a free kick and the second a penalty.
In the 95th minute, Neymar handed over a center to Sergi Roberto inside the penalty area, who finished it off dramatically to end a famous comeback. The final cumulative score was 6-5 in favor of Barcelona, who qualified for the quarterfinals.
Manchester United vs Bayern Munich, 1999 Champions League final
For many Manchester United fans, this goal by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will always be the greatest moment in club history. Yes, this is the 1999 Champions League final between Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
United missed Roy Keane and Paul Scholes due to suspensions, and it was Peter Schmeichel’s last match at the club.
After six minutes of play, Bayern’s Mario Basler opened the score with a low free kick around the united defense.
However, United continued to keep the ball in hand and continued to create opportunities as David Beckham had a difficult day in the absence of Keane and Scholes.
The score was 1-0 in favor of Bayern for most of the match, and United manager Alex Ferguson decided to bring in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 10 minutes from the end.
With the game leading to three minutes of injury time in the 90th minute, Teddy Sheringham put United back in the game, using his right foot to sweep the shot and hit the ball in the bottom corner of the net.
Solskjaer then provided the most memorable United moment in club history, arguably, when he scored the winner in the 93rd minute. With this victory, United accomplished the treble by winning the FA Cup, the Premier League and the Champions League, becoming the first English team to achieve this achievement.
Argentina vs Cameroon, World Cup 1990
Another game in which the defending champions were shocked by the African minnows, Cameroon edged Argentina 1-0 in this World Cup group stage competition.
After a virgin first half, it was a magical header from Omam Biyick of Cameroon in the 67th minute that surprised Argentine fans at the San Siro stadium in Milan.
In the tournament, Argentina again reached the final, losing 0-1 to West Germany. For Cameroon, it was a quarterfinal outing for England in a game that went on with a score of 3-2.
Manchester United vs Blackburn Rovers, Premier League 2011
Blackburn Rovers, staggering at the bottom of the Premier League table in the 2011-12 season, produced a breathtaking display to beat Manchester United 3-2 in this league game at Old Trafford. It was indeed a shocking defeat for United, when then manager Alex Ferguson, who was celebrating his 70th birthday, left Wayne Rooney on the bench and started Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez at the front.
Yakubu opened the scoring for Rovers in the 16th minute after winning a penalty and doubled it later with a goal in the 51st minute.
Berbatov then removed the hosts in the match with a double in the second half, only for Grant Hanley to take advantage in the 80th minute and secure the third winning goal of the match for Rovers.
Manchester City vs Queens Park Rangers, Premier League 2011
In one of the Premier League’s most strenuous days, Manchester City made a dramatic comeback to score two timeout goals and win the league for the first time in 44 years. It was, in fact, the beginning of an era for City with likes of Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany ready to take the lead.
Pablo Zabaleta opened the scoring for City to give him a 1-0 halftime lead, but only for Queens Park Rangers thanks to second-half goals from Djibril Cisse and Jamie Mackie. It was then that the drama began to unfold. United, leading Sunderland in another game, was three points ahead of City in the standings when Mackie scored before which Joey Barton was sent off with a red card.
However, it was an Aguero double in overtime that gave Roberto Mancini’s team everything they needed to celebrate as they triumphed in the English elite for the first time in more than four decades.
West Germany vs. Hungary, 1954 World Cup Final
Considered one of the memorable World Cup upheavals, West Germany knocked down the golden team from Hungary 3-2 in the 1954 World Cup final to win their first World Cup trophy. .
Legendary Hungarian skipper Ferenc Puskas only led his team after six minutes when Bozsik intercepted a pass from Leibrich and found Kocsis with a through ball. This was followed by a second goal from Czibor just two minutes later, thanks to a major misunderstanding in the German defense.
However, West Germany quickly leveled the scores with goals from Max Morlock and Helmut Rahn, and the scores were 2-2 by the 20e minute. With six minutes to go, Rahn said the West Germans would end the Golden Team’s undefeated run with the third goal in the final. Thus began the German race for four world titles in the next few years.
China vs Sweden, 1995 FIFA Women’s World Cup
Probably the most upset of women’s football, China has kept its nerves to see Sweden in the quarterfinals of the 1995 Women’s World Cup.
Sun Qingmei gave China the lead in the 29th minute, only to get Maria Kalte to bring Sweden into the game in the 93rd minute with an equalizer. With the level of scores even after extra time, the match went on penalties.
China won the 4-3 shootout and reached the semi-finals, where it lost to Germany.
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