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Two of the best comebacks from 2022

Manchester United fans
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Fans of the Bundesliga will already know that on 20th August, the footballing world saw something truly special. Borussia Dortmund — led by imperious midfield maestro Jude Bellingham — looked to be cruising a comfortable 2-0 home victory.

Die Schwarzgelben have begun the new campaign in impressive fashion, defeating fellow top four contenders Bayer Leverkusen on the opening day before scoring three goals in the last 13 minutes to secure a hard fought 3-1 victory away at Freiburg. But on this occasion, it was BVB who were about to be stunned by the fighting spirit of four-time German champions Werder Bremen. 

As the match ticked into the latter stages at Signal Iduna Park, goals from Julian Brandt and Raphael Guerreiro seemed to have given the hosts an unassailable 2-0 lead. Even when English fullback Lee Buchanan pulled a goal back for the visitors in the 88th minute, that appeared to be a consolation at best, and Edin Terzić’s side looked set to extend their perfect start to the new term. Deep into injury time, however, Buchanan’s goal proved to be anything but a consolation. Niklas Schmidt nodded home a 93rd-minute equaliser on his Bundesliga debut nonetheless. And then two minutes later, new signing Oliver Burke found himself in on goal and thumped the ball passed Gregor Kobel to send the travelling support into raptures and seal a memorable three points. 

The performance and result sent shockwaves throughout Europe and Germany, and it got us thinking, that 2022 has been a truly incredible year of comebacks. And there are still four months left in the year! Here are two of the best comebacks from the first eight months of 2022. 

Leicester City 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur 

Leicester City are no strangers to shocking the footballing world, but on this cold night in January, they were on the receiving end of one of the Premier Leagues’ greatest comebacks. Antonio Conte had been in the Spurs hot seat for barely two months, taking over from Nuno Espirito Santo, whose four months in charge of the North London club had been an unmitigated disaster. 

The Italian hadn’t yet masterminded a transformation of his new club’s fortunes, but this night at the King Power Stadium would prove to be the catalyst. Deep into injury time, the visitors found themselves trailing 2-1, but Steven Bergwijn’s 95th-minute equaliser appeared to have stolen an important point. Then, straight from the resulting kick-off, the Foxes dallied on the ball in midfield allowing Harry Kane to steal possession and set Bergwijn on his way again. The Dutch forward rounded Kasper Schmeichel before slotting home and sparking absolute limbs in the away end. 

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Real Madrid 3-1 Manchester City (AET) 

Los Blancos’ run to last year’s Champions League final was seemingly fated. They managed to find three goals in 30 crazy second-half minutes in the second round against Paris Saint-Germain. Then, they looked dead and buried when they were 3-0 down against Chelsea in the quarter-finals, before Rodrygo sent the game to extra time, allowing Karim Benzema to win the tie. But the semifinal against Manchester City will go down in folklore. 

Pep Guardiola’s Blues were already 4-3 up from an enthralling first leg, and when Riyad Mahrez doubled that one-goal lead with barely 17 minutes to play in the Bernabeu, it seemed that Real Madrid’s luck had finally run out. 

The minutes ticked on and there was no sign of a comeback. Then, in the 90th minute, Rodrygo managed to sneak in at the front post to pull a goal back. Barely 90 seconds later, they were level, as the Brazilian super sub nodded home from Dani Carvajal’s cross to level things up on the night and take the tie into extra time. 

From there, who else but King Karim? He would keep his calm from the penalty spot to give the hosts the lead in the tie. The visitors missed a glut of chances in the 25 minutes that remained and it would be Carlo Ancelotti’s men who would star in the Paris showpiece, eventually lifting the big-eared trophy for the 14th time in their history. 

Eden Hazard, Real Madrid
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