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Best football comebacks of 2021

Wed 13 April 2022 | 13:30

Football is an unpredictable game and there is always a chance to turn things around. Read on to learn more about the best football comebacks of 2021.

Football is a game full of emotions, and magical moments. One of the best feelings in the world for football fans is to see their favorite team comeback from a loss to reach victory at the end of the game.

Football matches can be unpredictable. In a matter of moments, a team with a multiple-goal lead can be trailing. It is these types of comebacks that make watching a match so exciting. Simply stated, nobody is truly out until the referee has blown the final whistle.

The memory of these games which can be referred to as miracles, or whatever heroic names they have been given by the fans, are carved on brain cells of the winner team's fans. Now, let's get to the list of the best football comebacks of 2021.

Best football comebacks of 2021:

In the following article, we are going, chronologically, through the best comebacks of 2021 in a game. From final games to Champions League nights, to domestic wins and surprising underdogs going for glory against teams filled with superstars, you’ll read about them here.

Bayern München vs Mainz 05

  • Date: January 3, 2021

  • Competition: Bundesliga - Round 14

  • Venue: Allianz Arena

One of the

best football comebacks of 2021

was the match between

Bayern München

and Mainz 05. It was the first game for both teams in 2021, and surely a game to remember for both sides. Bayern could return to the top of the table with victory over a Mainz side currently in the automatic relegation places and four points from safety.

Mainz's third manager of the season, interim boss Jan Siewert took charge for the first time. He made four changes to the side beaten by Bochum in the DFB-Pokal before Christmas, with Edimilson Fernandes among those recalled.

The game started and as usual Bayern started attacking in their home ground and had more possession. But, despite Bayern’s dominance, Mainz scored twice in the first half to leave everyone in the stadium in shock.

Jonathan Burkadt scored the opener in the 32nd minute of the game following a good spell of pressure. A shoulder barge on Boateng allows Burkardt to race onto Latza's long ball over the top of the defense.

He then shows tremendous composure to fire past Neuer and put his side in front. The visitors didn’t stop there, and scored another one just before the half-time whistle by Alexander Hack.

The defender arrives at the far post to firmly plant Brosinski's free-kick past Neuer. Bayern had work to do heading into the second half because the hosts' high defensive line had been regularly exploited by Mainz.

Making two substitutions at half-time, Hansi Flick made the decision to bring out two defenders and bring in a defender and a midfielder to show he was making changes. Bayern Munich started the second flaming hot, attacking left and right, and it took them 11 minutes to undo what Mainz did to them in 45 minutes.

Joshua Kimmich

and

Leroy Sané

tied the game with their goals. The turnaround was officially complete courtesy of an unlikely source. Niklas Süle scored Bayern’s 3rd as his volley takes a slight deflection before nestling in the far corner.

But that wasn’t the end and Bayern managed to score two more goals, both by Lewandowski. The games finished 5-2 in favor of Bayern as they showed, once again, they should not be messed within their home territory.

RB Leipzig vs Borussia Mönchengladbach

  • Date: February 17, 2021

  • Competition: Bundesliga - Round 23

  • Venue: Red Bull Arena

Among the

best football comebacks of 2021

is the RB Leipzig vs

Borussia Mönchengladbach

match. Leipzig had to win every game in that stage so they wouldn’t see their chance of going to the Champions League hurt.

Gladbach on the other hand, needed a victory even more so they can have the chance to experience any of the European competitions possible. Both teams entered the game with full squads and playing with their best line-ups.

Gladbach took the lead very early in the game as they we awarded a penalty only 6 minutes into the game. A penalty that Jonas Hofmann scored and gave the visitors the lead. The Colts didn’t stop there and kept on attacking.

Gladbach doubled their lead in 20th minutes as Marcus Thuram shot from the center of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Breel Embolo. The first half came to a close with these goals, 2-nil for the visitors.

Julian Nagelsmann

made a surprising substitute as he brought out arguably his best player, Marcel Sabitzer, and brought in Alexander Sørloth. But this change worked as Sørloth assisted the first goal for Leipzig in the 57th minutes.

The Red Bulls tied the game eventually in 66th, courtesy of Yussuf Poulsen. His right footed shot from outside the box also found the net in the bottom left corner. From then on, the game turned to a basketball-like gesture from both team as they were both on offense.

Dramatically, in the 93rd minutes of the extra time, the same doubted substitute Alexander Sørloth scored the game winner for Leipzig from a set piece and set the stadium on fire as they stole the three points.

France vs Switzerland

  • Date: June 28, 2021

  • Competition: Euro 2020 – Round of 16

  • Venue: Arena Națională Bucharest

Euro 2020 gave us some of the finest memories of football in 2021 and this game was surely one of them. The France vs Switzerland match was definitely one of the

best football comebacks of 2021

. World champions and the group of death leader, France with its all glory was set to face Switzerland, the third team from Group A.

France’s line-up in the game was worth €570 million, while Switzerland’s squad was worth €270 million. But we all know football is not a game of numbers, but rather a game of heart and courage.

Switzerland started the game very confident and even scored the opener in the 15th minute. Seferovic drifts into the box and rises to nod Zuber’s cross easily past Lloris. The first half ended with this single goal. In the second half, however, France came in clamorous.

They came back to the game, scoring three times past Sommer’s net.

Karim Benzema

, twice in 57th and 59th minute and Pual Pogba’s goal in the 75th minute to ensure a victory for the world champions.

But this wasn’t the end. Switzerland, with the leadership of their captain

Granit Xhaka

didn’t lose hope. They were looking to respond and respond they did. Seferovic made the game 3-2 minutes later but they still needed another goal to at least tie the game and go to the extra time.

A goal that came in the last seconds of the game as Gavranovic reaches Xhaka's splitting pass through the middle and smashes the ball past Lloris into the bottom left corner.

The game went to the extra times. France was furious, but rather too tired to respond and Switzerland saw their chances more in the penalty shoot-outs. Therefore, after 120 minutes the game ended with the same result in 3-3, leaving penalties to determine the winner.

The first four penalty takers for both sides did an excellent job, scoring 8 consecutive penalties. Admir Mehmedi, from Switzerland, was number 5 and he, too, scored his penalty with ease. Kylian Mbappé was next. A player that due to Transfermarket worth equals to the whole Switzerland lineup.

But this is a game of hearts. Sommer saved the decisive spot-kick from Mbappé and Switzerland reach the first EURO quarter-finals after the shoot-out win.

England vs Denmark

  • Date: July 7, 2021

  • Competition: Euro 2020 – Semi-finals

  • Venue: Wembley Stadium

Another European night in Wembley, and another night to remember for both teams.

Denmark

, fueled by the heartbreaking event that happened to Eriksen, was the tournament’s surprise in the semi-finals while England was determined to reach their first EURO Finals in their history in their home ground.

England knew that all hell may break loose if they wouldn’t be able to secure their spot in the finals against Denmark which is a fairly easier draw, compared to Spain or Italy. England started with a 4-2-3-1 formation in opposition to Denmark’s 3-4-3.

The game started evenly in possession as we could see a lot of nerves between the two sides while they lost the ball a bit more than usual. The tie-breaker, however, came in the 30th minute as Damsgaard fires Denmark ahead with a stunner.

Damsgaard puts the Danes with a brilliant strike from a free kick. This goal woke up England and not even 10 minutes later they tied the game. Saka delivers a perfect cross into the middle. Sterling would be on hand to score if Kjaer does not slide. Unfortunately for the AC Milan man, he sends it into the back of their own net.

Although this gave us hope for many goals, the first half ended with a tie at 1-1. The second half, however, was a hot bowl of popcorn. England started to look more and more dangerous as the game went on. Kasper Schmeichel was having a fantastic night, basically carrying his whole team behind his shoulders.

His 9 saves prove this claim of mine. But, regardless of the Englishmen attacks, Denmark stood still. The second half was goalless but still more interesting to watch than the first one. Extra times came next while both teams felt tired and we could see the fatigue in their legs.

Nevertheless, England was determined to win the game in open play with the support of their homeland fans and prevent it from going to the penalties, where everything is 50/50. Finally, in the 104th minute,

Harry Kane

stepped in and scored the game-winner for The Three Lions.

Kane takes a poor penalty as he strikes his effort tamely towards the bottom-right corner. Schmeichel gets down to save it and does. However, he palms it out into the middle of the goal and Kane pounces on the rebound to score. England won the game 2-1 and went on to face Italy in the finals.

Portugal vs Ireland

  • Date: September 1, 2021

  • Competition: World Cup Qualification UEFA 1st Round - Group. A - Round 4

  • Venue: Estádio Do Algarve

The race was on in the World Cup qualification in group A, mostly between Portugal and Serbia but Irland still had their chance mathematically. Portugal played in their home which was an advantage for them.

Their lineup consisted of some of the best talents in Europe such as

Ruben Dias

, Joao Cancelo, Palhinha, and Diego Jota, while still having starts like Patricio, Pepe, Bruno Silva, and Bruno Fernandez. Also, leading this team as a captain was no other than, arguably, the best player in the history of football,

Cristiano Ronaldo

.

On the other hand, the most known names to football fans might have been Premier League players such as Everton’s Seamus Coleman, Tottenham’s Matt Doherty, and Brighton’s Shane Duffy.

The game started with Portugal leading the attack, as expected and everything was going well for them. The first important moment of the game was in the 15th minute as the home team was given a penalty. The best penalty taker in the world stood behind it, and he missed.

Cristiano Ronaldo missed his first penalty in years whilst playing with The Seleção. Irland used this moment of frustration and balanced the game in their favor and they were able to use their opportunities better and just before the half-time whistle, they scored a goal. John Egan gave Ireland the lead with a brilliant header from a corner kick.

The Portuguese were furious, so they went all-in in the second half. They knew that losing the game not only puts a cloud of doubt into their chances of going to the World Cup, but also embarrass them in front of the nation.

Minutes went by but Portugal missed chances one after the other. Just as the substitutions ran out, and the hopes seemed to be lost, their heavenly savior went to work. In the 89th minute, the Portuguese found that it took them only one precise cross towards Ronaldo for him to do his magic.

Ronaldo leveled the game on the cross from Goncalo Guedes. Everyone in the stadium, including both teams seemed to be satisfied with a draw but Ronaldo had other plans. In the very last second of the game, another cross came into Irland’s penalty box, this time not that accurate, but it mattered not.

Cristiano Ronaldo somehow jumped backward, reached the ball and with an inch-perfect header, found the net for the second time in 5 minutes, winning the game all on his own, leaving a world in appreciation of his presence on the football field.

Manchester United vs Villareal

  • Date: September 29, 2021

  • Competition: Champions League Group. F - Round 2

  • Venue: Old Trafford

Finally, our first Champions League match of the article, and what better way to retell what happened in the theater of dreams. Both teams drew their last matches in the group and were ready to showcase their power.

Manchester United, being the host, was the favorite to win the game but their domestic performances worried their fans. Villareal, also, having a bad run in La Liga, had hoped to get back on track with an away win against one of Europe’s giants.

The game started and it was not looking as expected. Villareal was dominant in possession and showed really good composure in attacks while Manchester usually passed the ball in their half and failed to make any big changes.

It is safe to say that if it wasn’t for De Gea’s good saves, Manchester could have lost the first half, but unfortunately for Villareal, they happened and the game ended nil-nil at the 45 minutes.

In the second half, Villareal started to make chances AND score them. Paco Alcacer scored the opener for the submarines at Old Trafford in a well-orchestrated counterattack.

The victory, however, lasted only 7 minutes. Fernandes took a free-kick on the edge of the box on the right and pulls it back for Telles, who let it drop and hit it sweetly on the volley, curling it through the crowd and into the bottom corner. 1-1 and now we have a Champions League game!

After these goals, the game started to boil. Manchester United looked dangerous on the attack and playing high on the pitch and Villareal used each of their counter-attacks wisely to open De Gea’s goal.

It was an even battle and just as the game was about the end, Mr. Champions League himself took matters into his hand. It's a great cross-in from Fred on the left for Lingard. He does brilliantly to touch it back towards Ronaldo, and Cristiano Ronaldo hits it from a very tight angle on the right of the box.

Rulli gets a hand to it, but can't stop the ball from finding the top corner. Ronaldo made the crowd go bananas as another act in the theater of dreams came to an end.

Belgium vs France

  • Date: October 7, 2021

  • Competition: UEFA Nations League - Semi-Final

  • Venue: Allianz Stadium

After disappointing Euro 2020 campaigns, both teams looked to reach the final when they could battle at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Italy. The match was among the

best comebacks in history

.

Belgium reached this stage of the competition after finishing top of League Group 2, while Les Blues just did enough to finish ahead of Portugal, and they reached the summit in Group 3.

Belgium came into the contest as the world's best-ranked team, while France is World Cup champions. The winners had to play Luis Enrique's Spain in the final.

The game started and both teams looked serious and ready for business. France looked dangerous with their Mbappe and Benzema connections and Belgium’s attack was fluid and forward.

But at the end of the first half, it was Belgium that had used the best out of their opportunities as they went to the dressing room 2-0 in their favor, courtesy of two goals scored by Yannick Carrasco and

Romelo Lukaku

in the 37th and 40th minute of the game. Both goals were dished out to the scorers from the genius that is

Kevin De Bruyne

.

In the second half, France started to look more disciplined, they were able to defend and attack together and make fewer mistakes in their passing. This rhythm brought them their first goal of the match as Karim Benzema found the net in the 62nd minute.

Just like Belgium in the first half, France was able to score another one very fast. France was awarded the penalty and Kylian Mbappe who had already assisted the first goal, stood behind the penalty spot to score the second. We were witnessing beautiful football at its finest.

Drama was the only thing that we hoped this game’s ending would have. We were not disappointed. In the 87th minute, Belgium reclaimed the lead in Turin, but VAR replays had shown that Lukaku was offside before he tapped in Carrasco's cross.

Now, it was time for France to finish their comeback and they did it in style. A quick-fire counter-attack sees Theo Hernandez race into the box, and instead of passing to Benzema, he decides to go for goal.

It was the correct decision as his powerful shot flies past Courtois and Martinez and his team looked stunned. France 3, Belgium 2.

Spain vs France

  • Date: October 10, 2021

  • Competition: UEFA Nations League - Final

  • Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Spain is looking to win their first trophy since success at Euro 2012 as well as their first piece of silverware under

Luis Enrique

. They held on to beat 10-man Italy 2-1 last time out, ending the European champions' record 37-match unbeaten run across all competitions.

As for France, there was late drama in their game against Belgium as they came from 2-0 down at half-time to win 3-2 thanks to a brilliant comeback which Theo Hernandez rounded off with a 90th-minute winner. The World Champions are looking to bounce back from a disappointing summer at the Euros by lifting the trophy today.

The game started and we could feel the weight of the game very clearly. Being professional, both teams managed this pressure very well. France trying to hold as much as the ball possible in order to break Spain’s love to hold it.

On the other, Spain was trying to find a way to penetrate France’s defensive line as France was using a 5-3-2 with two wing-backs, while also retaining the ball and pressing as high as possible. The first half came to a close like this while both teams did make some threats to each other but the goalkeepers’ saves prevented any goals.

At the start of the second half, both teams picked up the pace, trying to score a goal and it was Spain that scored the opener in the 63rd minute. A great through-ball from Busquets to Oyarzabal, who times his run perfectly and slot a low shot across goal and into the far side of the net.

France quickly fired back as Benzema equalized the game, 1-1; Mbappe threads the ball into him, and he cuts into the box from the left, a quick glance at Simon, and curling a wonderful shot high over the keeper and into the far-top corner.

The game took a massive turn after these goals as both teams were afraid of losing a final. But in the end, it was France who completed their comeback once again in the same week as Mbappe wins it for France; Hernandez gets away from Azpilicueta to slide the ball through to Mbappe, and he's through on goal.

Simon rushes off his line to close down the angle on the left of the box, but he drills a low shot under the keeper and into the back of the net.

Spain ragingly started to attack both simply didn’t have the finisher to score another goal for them and go through France’s robust defense. France added another gold medal in their cabinet in the end.

Spartak Moscow vs Leicester City

  • Date: October 20, 2021

  • Competition: Europa League Group. C - Round 3

  • Venue: Otkrytiye Arena

The home side came into this game placed second in Group C after they followed a 1-0 home defeat to Legia Warsaw with a 3-2 victory away at

Napoli

. They sat seventh in their domestic league.

The visitors meanwhile sat bottom of the group after they threw away a two-goal lead at home to Napoli in their first game to draw 2-2 before losing 1-0 away at Legia Warsaw in their second match. They sat 11th in the Premier League but did beat Manchester United 4-2 in their game prior to this one.

Being the home side, Spartak opened the game aggressively attacking and within 10 minutes, they were up 1-0. The goal only made their enthusiastic supporters go wilder, and the neat Leicester boys more afraid.

As the game went on, Leicester found themselves and started to play with rhythm but just as they were to get something done, they conceded the second goal late in the first half. Leicester did respond accordingly, scoring a goal, but the referee’s whistle stopped them from going any further.

Both teams went to the dressing rooms together but with a huge difference in morale. When they both came out, however, a lot had seemed to change. Leicester started flaming hot as Patson Daka scored twice in the first ten minutes of the second half, combining with another he scored in the first half, and he bagged his first European hat-trick.

Leicester then made some changes to defend their lead and Spartak, accordingly, made changes to return their lead. In the 80th minute, due to Spartak’s all-out-attack strategy, Patson Daka found a space in the opposition’s defense and was able to score yet another goal, giving the foxes a two-goal lead.

Spartak did manage to score again late in the game, but it was nothing more of conciliation as the game ended 4-3 in favor of the visitors.

Manchester United vs Atalanta

  • Date: October 20, 2021

  • Competition: Champions League Group. F - Round 3

  • Venue: Old Trafford

Manchester United vs Atalanta match was one of the

best comebacks in football

. The pressure had continued to pile on

Ole Gunnar Solskjær

after a poor performance in a 4-2 defeat to Leicester City in the Premier League on that week.

United's last win came in this competition, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring very late to beat Villarreal 2-1 after a defeat to Young Boys in their first match.

As for Atalanta, were top of the group after a win and a draw in their first two outings. They come into this game unbeaten on the road across all competitions so far this season, but this was the theater of dreams and the opposition had Mr. Champions League.

The game started and the last thing you could see was Manchester United making more than 5 consecutive passes in the oppositions’ half. Atalanta was absolutely dominant in every aspect of the game and they got their reward in the 15th minute as Pasalic scored the opener.

This made no change to the home team as the visitors were still reluctantly attacking. Result? A second goal was scored by Merih Demiral in the 30th minute to give The Goddess a two-goal lead. That was it for the first half as the fans at Old Trafford looked devastated.

Coming into the second half, United starting to buzz. They were passing a lot better and picking up a rhythm to connect with one another. The result of this harmony came in the 53rd minute as Rashford found the net with a curling shot, thanks to an accurate pass from

Bruno Fernandez

.

This goal, plus the performance sparkled a bit of hope in the heart of United fans. 20 hard-fought minutes passed away until United got a corner. The initial corner was poor, but Sancho kept it alive on the right. He curls it back into the middle and Cavani flicks it on in the middle.

Lovato misses it and it runs through to Maguire who fires it into the near bottom corner. The stadium was as if you exploded a bomb in the crowds, the spirit was to the roof and the cameraman kept showing Sir Alex Fergusen in the stands.

But you can’t have a dramatic Champions League night, without having a dramatic ending from the man with the most goals scored in the Champions League. Only 5 minutes after Maguire’s goal, Fernandes' corner is cleared, but United keeps it alive and Shaw swings a brilliant cross in from the left and Cristiano Ronaldo was hovering in the middle and gets in front of Palomino to get on the end of it.

He thumps his header past Musso from close range to put United ahead. Proving to the world why you can never ever cross his name off your list when talking about the best player in the history of football.

Atalanta tried hard to at least leave with one point, but the atmosphere of Old Trafford was just too much to handle. The game ended 3-2 as United came back again in their second consecutive Champions League game with, of course, the help of their main man, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo has made many hat-tricks during his lucrative career, and he seems to be so good at making them that he even made it to our list of best comebacks of 2021, three times.

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source: SportMob

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