Manchester United's 6 Most Dramatic Comebacks Ever

Terry CarrollContributor IIIDecember 19, 2012

Manchester United's 6 Most Dramatic Comebacks Ever

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    Everyone will have their own favourite Manchester United comeback ever, even Sir Alex Ferguson. But considering they are the "comeback kings" and specialise in last-minute winners, like the 93rd minute against City, it isn't easy to choose.

    So to respect your choice we don't propose to rank those mentioned here. However, please add your own choice in the comments section below, if we've missed it. That choice could be influenced by how old you are, whether you were actually there, where you were, who you were with, how it was achieved, etc.

    Sir Alex's view might be conditioned by the bearing it had on other things, like keeping his job, winning a particular title or achieving greatness.

    It would be no surprise if most people chose the 1999 Champions League Final. It's not possible to watch that three minutes without feeling pride bursting in the heart, or even a private tear. That was the stuff dreams are made of.

    For others it could be a special aspect—something simple such as Wayne Rooney's overhead kick to win the Manchester derby.

    So anyhow, here are our selected six, all of which have something special about them. Not surprisingly, perhaps, they all come from the Ferguson era...well, it is 26 years...

1999 Juventus 2 Manchester United 3

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    We've chosen this video for three reasons; it captures United's greatest season ever; it includes at least three stunning nail-biters; and it contains rare footage of one of United's greatest ever comebacks against Juventus in the Champions League.

    When people talk of 1999 they may mention Giggs' epic goal against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final replay; they will of course eulogise about the climax to the Champions League win over the great Bayern Munich; and they should recall the semi-final comeback in Turin.

    Let's be clear. After 11 minutes of this match United were out of the Champions League. Having only scraped a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Old Trafford, nobody gave them much chance of progressing in Turin. But that was to underestimate the leadership of Roy Keane.

    The great Zinedine Zidane tormented United that night and Filippo Inzaghi seemed to have shattered United's hopes with two goals in that first 11 minutes.

    With Ryan Giggs missing the tie completely through injury, few would have given United much chance, but their captain was having none of it.

    At great personal cost, Roy Keane drove his side forward, scoring the first goal. He also led a rearguard action for much of the match and unselfishly took a booking, as did Paul Scholes, which resulted in both missing the Final.

    There is little available footage but if you watch the video from about 5 minutes 40 seconds you can see the goals. Yorke added a second after 34 minutes and Cole scored the winner in the second half to set up the greatest Treble ever.

2001/2 Tottenham 3 Manchester United 5

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    If you only ever watch one half of a football match you could do worse than to watch this one.

    It was the first game for Dean Richards, the former Bradford City starlet, who opened the scoring for Spurs. Glen Hoddle was to live to regret that half time had arrived, as his side went in 3-0 to the good.

    It was David Beckham's first match as United captain and we may never know what was actually said in the dressing room but, as with the Spurs match this season and the City drubbing last year, United don't know the meaning of a lost cause.

    Andy Cole scored the first a minute after the break and, in the next sublime 40 minutes, the Red Devils tore Spurs apart. You had to see it live to appreciate the astonishing achievement.

    It's one thing to nick a result in the last minute but to come back from being dead and buried playing exquisite football is the stuff of dreams.

2006/7 Everton 2 Manchester United 4

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    This was yet another crucial match. Head to head with Chelsea for the title, having not won it for four years, and only a couple of games to go.

    After 50 minutes Sir Alex must have been worried United had blown their chance as Everton secured a 2-0 lead in this physical contest. With half an hour to go, he must have feared the worst. 

    A mere 18 minutes later, Evertonian Wayne Rooney, who had a torrid afternoon in front of his former fans, put United into the lead. Chris Eagles capped it off right at the death.

    The Red Devils went on to secure the Premier League title.

1992/3 Manchester United 2 Sheffield Wednesday 1

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    It has often been assumed that Mark Robbins saved Sir Alex Ferguson's job in the 1989/90 FA Cup Run. Or if that wasn't true, that Steve Bruce did it in this match in 1992/93.

    "Fergie's Fledglings" had made themselves known but United hadn't won a League title for 26 years.

    The previous season they had blown up despite leading the title race toward the end. This time history looked like repeating itself as they were still down to Wednesday with four minutes to go.

    That day in April 1993 may have been the birth date of "Fergie time." People will argue long and hard whether the referee was generous on United's account.

    The hard facts are that fearless Steve Bruce with two headers and his first goals for six months, won the match in injury time. 

    United went on to win the title by 10 points and the rest, as they say, is history.

2010/11 West Ham 2 Manchester United 4

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    It probably seems to some opposition supporters that United are never far from controversy or referees' decisions going in their favour.

    This match was again played at the height of the season, with United barely leading the table. So it's not just last-minute winners that they are famous for, as they often get stronger in the second half of the season.

    West Ham would be right to claim that two decisions went against them.

    Arguably Nemanja Vidic could have had a second yellow card for the second penalty, and United's penalty was harsh justice on the Hammers.

    Nevertheless, nobody could argue when Chicharito put away the fourth, capping a four-goal comeback in 19 minutes, with Rooney grabbing three.

    United were revived and went on to win a record breaking 19th title.

Manchester United 2 Bayern Munich 1

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    You could never tire of watching this three minutes, captured from the perspective of a supporter's-eye view.

    You had to be there to get such a special feeling but even those who didn't make it will have danced round their pub or living room in sheer delight.

    Dreamland. Fiction. You couldn't write something more dramatic.

    And now the dust has settled, it is still hard to understand how one of the greatest clubs in world football history and one of the best drilled, managed to lose a match they had won at 90 minutes.

    Why didn't Oliver Kahn keep hold of the ball? Why didn't a Bayern player run the ball into a corner and hold on? How could Bayern's collective spirit slump so badly when United equalised that they lost the plot completely over the next couple of minutes.

    Or maybe it was destiny? Thirty-one years after Sir Matt Busby had first brought home the European Cup, his protege capped it by winning a unique treble.

    So over to you. Which epic comebacks do you think we have missed? Maybe you were there, or it had some other special meaning?

    Whatever you choose will be entirely in keeping with United's history, especially under Sir Alex Ferguson. As City found 10 days ago, coming back from the dead or winning in injury time is in United's DNA.