Top Five Greatest Football Comebacks – Where does Sheffield Wednesday vs Peterborough rank?

Football has always been a game where things are not truly over until the final whistle. Just when complacency sets in, certain games come out of the blue to show that teams can come back against all the odds. These unlikely comebacks have been able to put fans into a frenzy over the years. A handful of these comebacks, though, are always likely to stand in the memory. Below is a list of the top five comebacks in the game. The sheer difficulty of the comeback, the magnitude of the occasion, and the nature of the comeback are some of the factors which have put these games on this list.

Sheffield Wednesday 5-1 Peterborough United (5-5 on aggregate, 5-3 win on penalties) 2023 League One promotion play-off

Sheffield Wednesday looked down and out after the 4-0 defeat in the first leg of the play-off semi-final against Peterborough United. Throughout the campaign, Sheffield Wednesday had been on top form and Darren Moore's team started slipping down the table only towards the end of the campaign. The 4-0 loss felt demoralising for Wednesday, who had appeared to be the odds-on favourite for automatic promotion not too long ago. However, an incredible comeback in the second leg has put the game in the history books as the ‘greatest play-off match ever’.

The comeback started with the early goal but Wednesday had to wait until the eighth minute of injury time to force the game into extra time. From there, there was always going to be one winner and the psychological advantage helped Wednesday to pick up a win on penalties.

AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool (2-3 win on penalties) 2005 Champions League final

Top Five Greatest Football Comebacks – Where does Sheffield Wednesday vs Peterborough rank?
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard kisses the winner's trophy at the presentation after his side beat AC Milan on penalties at the Champions League Final in the Ataturk Stadium on May 25th 2005 in Istanbul, Turkey (Photo by Tom Jenkins/Getty Images). An image from the book “In The Moment” published June 2012

This game will go down as one of the greatest finals in the sport. AC Milan appeared to be cruising to a then-seventh title and the second in two seasons. The brilliance of Andriy Shevchenko had propelled Milan to a comfortable 3-0 lead at halftime. However, a Steven Gerrard-inspired comeback from Liverpool produced a shock to Milan, who went on to lose 3-2 on penalties. The gutsy display from Liverpool in one of the biggest finals is still remembered as the greatest achievement of former manager Rafa Benitez.

Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona (4-3 on aggregate) 2019 Champions League semi-final

Liverpool did not produce a staggering come back once in the history of the Champions League but they were able to repeat the feat in 2019. After a 4-0 thrashing in the first leg at the Camp Nou, Liverpool appeared to have very little hope of going to be a second consecutive Champions League final. Yet, the Anfield faithful remained in hope as the second leg kicked off. Few were able to believe the magic unfolding in front of their eyes, as Liverpool staged a remarkable comeback. An early goal from Divock Origi proved to be the catalyst for a spectacular comeback that was completed with 10 minutes to spare. Barcelona had few answers for a comeback which was the biggest in Champions League semi-final history since 1986.

Barcelona 6-1 PSG (6-5 on aggregate) 2017 Champions League round of 16

Top Five Greatest Football Comebacks – Where does Sheffield Wednesday vs Peterborough rank?

The incredible comeback put together by Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16 might have served as a catalyst for Paris St Germain to go for Neymar in the summer, but it ranks as one of the biggest comebacks ever. Faced with a daunting 4-0 loss from the first leg, Barcelona appeared to be completely out of the picture – even at 3-1 – going into the last 10 minutes of the match. However, an incredible six minutes deep into injury time sent Barcelona fans into ecstasy. Neymar had grabbed a brace and set up a goal for Roberto to produce one of the most sensational comebacks ever. Remarkably, Barcelona did not even require extra time to complete this comeback, as PSG licked more wounds in the Champions League.

Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal – 2010-11 Premier League

The English Premier League has witnessed its own set of comeback matches over the last three decades of action. Yet, Arsenal’s extraordinary collapse against Newcastle at St James’ Park stands out from the crowd. In an era when Arsene Wenger witnessed more doubters to his policy of going with youngsters, this match increased the displeasure even further. Arsenal appeared to be cruising comfortably with a 4-0 lead within just 26 minutes thanks to goals from Theo Walcott, Djourou, and Robin Van Persie (2). Even 15 minutes into the second-half, Arsenal appeared to be in a comfortable zone. Yet, a 19-minute spell witnessed Newcastle coming back against all the odds with the Joey Barton grabbing a brace while Best and Tiote help achieve the point. Unsurprisingly, the result went on to bring down curtains to Arsenal’s hopes of winning the title.