Every football fan dreads that moment when their team is involved in a game which goes deep into extra time. It’s the precise second when brows start to sweat and nails are bitten right down to the cuticle.
Never mind about the drama as well as the tension that extra time involves. It can be full of surprises and tales of the unexpected as some teams have found out to their detriment. On the other hand, a moment of sheer genius can also turn the tide out of nowhere.
This includes the likes of this year’s 2014 FIFA World Cup. After a peerless run to the final, Germany faced the gritty Argentineans. Featuring Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero amongst others, the game drifted into extra time. Minutes from what was to become yet another penalty shoot-out, up popped Bayern Munich midfielder Mario Gotze. His volley snatched the trophy again from the grasp of the Argentines as it had done 24 years ago at Italia 90.
Yet this is not the only occurrence where a late goal has unleashed a frenzy of celebration. There are simply too many to mention from the outrageous 5-4 win for Marseille over Lille (they had trailed 3-1 with minutes to go) to the 2001 UEFA Cup final.
Liverpool came up against Deportivo Alaves in one of the highest scoring finals in history. With the scored tied at 4-4 the game was heading to a penalty shoot-out. However the script was written as in the 115th a free kick from Gary McAllister took a deflection and headed into the net. As a result of the golden goal rule, Liverpool were triumphant and took the trophy back to Merseyside.
But there are those extra time winners leave the supporter completely flabbergasted. Here is the countdown of the top 10 extra time goals of all time. This list will only feature European club matches. We’ll save the World Cup goals for another day.
10. Arsenal vs. Liverpool, 2011
This game back in the 2010-11 season seemed to have it all. Controversy, Arsene Wenger and a concussion sustained to Liverpool centre half Jamie Carragher. This painful incident was to become a lot more intense as extra time stretched to more than 10 minutes. Many people had already left the stadium and were well on the way to their cars when Arsenal scored on a penalty. This was slotted home by former Gunner Robin Van Persie. However the game wasn’t done just quite yet.
Deep into stoppage time, Liverpool had a free kick close to the edge of Arsenal’s penalty area. A melee ensued as Luis Suarez’s strike bobbled around and Lucas conceded a penalty to much furor. The game was now into its 12th minute of extra time. After several arguments and commotion on the touchline, Dutchman Dirk Kuyt stepped up to the penalty spot. His late goal turned out to be the latest goal anyone had scored since the inauguration of the Football League some 125 years ago.
9. Manchester City vs. Wigan Athletic, 2013
After moving back to its rightful home at Wembley, the finale to the football season is always another favourite for extra time winners. This time, the FA Cup Final was contested between the financial might of Manchester City and minnows Wigan Athletic. It seemed that the latter took their whole town with them to the showpiece final as they were ranked outsiders. The Blues on the other hand were flying high in the Premier League and were overwhelming favourites to pick up the trophy. The game dragged into extra time as Wigan had a corner kick. Ninety minutes had gone by in a flash and it was up to Ben Watson who rose like a salmon to head home. It led to a historic win for Wigan Athletic by one goal to nil and it was even sweeter for Watson. This was largely in part down to the fact that he had broken his leg some six months earlier. Watson’s header clinched Wigan their first ever FA Cup although it did not prevent the Latics from relegation from the Premier League.
8. Liverpool vs. West Ham United, 2006
Another May FA Cup Final saw Liverpool take on the pride of East London, West Ham United. The Hammers were under the helm of Alan Pardew at the time and were outsiders for the trophy. However they put up a spirited display which saw them take the lead and go on to lead 3-2 with seconds to spare. The game was heading West Ham’s way until Steven Gerrard popped up. The Liverpool captain struck an incredible 30-yard strike with his right foot to equalize. The rest as they say is history and Liverpool went on to win the game on penalties.
7. Arsenal vs. Sheffield Wednesday, 1993
The early 90s was full of optimism for Arsenal supporters. Back in the day when they were actually winning trophies under George Graham, they did love a final or two. This was none more so than the 1993 FA Cup Final. Taking place at the old Wembley stadium before it was bulldozed to the ground, Arsenal took on Sheffield Wednesday who were a force to be reckoned with in the league. After a 1-1 draw in the first game, a replay ensued where the exact score line prevailed. The game seemed to be heading for a dramatic shootout until Andy Linighan rose in the 119th minute. His bullet like header ensured Owls hearts were broken and Arsenal became the FA Cup winners. When it comes to breaks, the Arsenal winning defender had been playing the majority of the match with a busted nose. This was brought on after a collision with Wednesday’s striker Mark Bright.
6. Benfica vs Chelsea, 2013
Some 12 months ago, Portuguese team Benfica faced Chelsea in one of the most dramatic UEFA Europa League Finals of all time. The score was tied after a tense game and was deep into injury time. In the 92nd minute, the Blues had a corner which was taken by former player Juan Mata. The resulting kick landed perfectly on the head of Branislav Ivanović. His looping header was enough to give Chelsea the victory and deliver interim manager Rafa Benitez yet another trophy. This was in spite of the poor reception he constantly received due to his previous tenure at Liverpool.
5. Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid, 2014
The stage was set on the footballing calendar. The scene was the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon where two Spanish giants collided. This pitted the might of Los Blancos Real Madrid against the worthy underdogs of Atletico Madrid. In fact it was the first time in UEFA Champions League history that two teams from the same city had reached the final. The match was a cagey affair until the 36th minute when Uruguayan international Diego Godín headed Atlético into the lead.
Their pressing style influenced by fellow South American and manager Diego Simeone enabled them to win La Liga. They were on for a double until the 93rd minute when Real had a corner. Defensive icon Sergio Ramos rose higher than others to equalize. Cristiano Ronaldo was to score a penalty in the last minute of extra time to cap off a demolition job in overtime from Real by four goals to one. La Decima was achieved thanks to other goals including Welshman Gareth Bale.
4. Chelsea vs. Barcelona, 2009
Barcelona has had a number of different tremendous battles with the men from Stamford Bridge over the last few years. There was of course that unforgettable two legged affair when Torres ran through to score and put the Blues in the Champions League final. This came after a 3-2 aggregate win over the Catalan giants back in 2012. This was to signal Chelsea’s penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich in their own ground in the Bavarian capital.
A Didier Drogba late header was followed up by his winning penalty to send the Londoners and more importantly Roman Abramovich into raptures. Step back in time to 2008-09 when another semi-final saw another overtime winner. Chelsea went into the remaining minutes of the second tie leading by a goal. In spite of having four penalty appeals rejected, they were about to reach the Champions League final for the first time. This was until Spaniard Andrés Iniesta rifled a shot into the top corner in the third minute of overtime. That crucial away goal ensured it was Barcelona who progressed to the final in Rome where they beat Manchester United by a tally of 3-1.
3. Real Zaragoza vs. Arsenal, 1995
Arguably one of the best extra time winners in a final happened during the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final. This was played between Real Zaragoza and Arsenal at the Parc des Princes in Paris. The City of Enlightenment did not disappoint on all fronts. This was because it was the setting for probably the most outrageous goal scored in a final. The minutes ticked by and the game was in the 119th minute of play. A dreaded penalty shoot-out was certainly on the cards until ex Tottenham player Nayim took a speculative shot from more than 40 yards out. With more twist and turns than a roller coaster, Nayim’s ambitious lob went straight for goal and over the head of Arsenal shot stopper David Seaman. A goal befitting to win any trophy, Nayim celebrated in style as the Spanish side beat the Gunners in the most dramatic of fashion.
2. Manchester United vs Liverpool, 1999
Another late show from Manchester United ensured that they knocked out arch rivals Liverpool in the dying minutes. The scene was set at Old Trafford as both teams took took to the field in this noon showdown. Michael Owen had given the Merseysiders an early lead and were looking to hang on. However, Liverpool were denied a famous FA Cup win when Dwight Yorke and an injury time Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer strike sent United through to the next round. The baby faced assassin was to play an even more significant role in United’s march towards an historic treble in 1999.
1. Manchester United vs Bayern Munich, 1999
What has not already been said about this particular match? Some people have even gone as far as to say that was the most dramatic finale ever. The Camp Nou in Barcelona played host to two swashbuckling giants of European football in the shape of Manchester United and Bayern Munich. An early goal from a free kick by Mario Basler ensured the Germans were in the driving seat. They held the lead up until the last two minutes and hit the post and crossbar. Yet United’s never say die attitude came through on the night. With less than five minutes remaining, a strike from Teddy Sheringham and an overtime winner by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ensured both men went down in United folklore.
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