Liverpool’s Best Comebacks Of The Premier League Era

stan collymore scores against newcastle 4-3

There is something about Liverpool Football Club that means that the Reds should never be written off. It can seem as though defeat is all but guaranteed, only for the team to dig deep and find a way to win, even against all odds. The most obvious example of this was the Champions League victory of Barcelona on the way to winning number six, with the Reds having lost the first-leg in Spain 3-0, only to win 4-0 at Anfield and progress at the expense of the Spanish side. We all know what happened next, with a win over Tottenham Hotspur in the final securing our sixth European Cup.

There have also been some brilliant late goals over the years, such as Divock Origi’s late winner against Everton when Jordan Pickford’s little arms ended up keeping the ball in when it looked for all the world like it was sailing over the bar. Neither of those wins will feature on this list, with the victory over Barcelona being during the Premier League era but not in the English top-flight, whilst Origi’s goal didn’t cement a comeback but shifted the score from 0-0 to 1-0. They are just two examples of how the Reds have managed to keep matches and ties alive right until the last moment.

Newcastle 1 – Liverpool 2 (2023)

Liverpool and Newcastle have enjoyed some ding-dong battles during the Premier League era, with another one of them featuring elsewhere on this list. In terms of comebacks, though, the context of the one that they managed in the 2023-2024 campaign might well help it to stand out above the rest. Newcastle had been bought by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund a couple of years before, with Eddie Howe’s side having more than £400 million poured into it in order to help it to compete at the top end of the table.

The season before, the Magpies finished in the top four, knocking the Reds out of it.  Still, no matter what sportsbook you looked at Liverpool were slight favourites going into the match.

Given the manner in which the majority of Liverpool fans feel about sports-washing, the fact that Newcastle supporters seem to have been delighted to have been bought by a country with an appalling human rights record didn’t sit right. The Geordie fans were up for the battle at St. James’ Park, getting behind their players and intimidating the referee. An early yellow card for Trent Alexander-Arnold after the defender had been followed but not awarded the free-kick could easily have been followed up with a second yellow, which might well have been in his head when he missed the ball and allowed former Everton player Anthony Gordon to open to scoring.

If things were looking bleak for the Merseysiders, worse was to follow when Virgil van Dijk then got sent off for a foul when he was the last man and denied a goal-scoring opportunity. Newcastle peppered the Liverpool goal, producing a world-class save from Alisson Becker, but couldn’t find the winner. Cue Darwin Núñez, who hadn’t enjoyed the best start to his Liverpool career, coming off the bench to score an equaliser and send the travelling Kop into raptures. Better was to come, though, when the striker then scored another to make it 2-1 and secure a brilliant comeback.

Manchester United 1 – Liverpool 4 (2009)

In some ways, it doesn’t really feel like a comeback when you end up winning 4-1, but the context of the match means that it very much was one. Liverpool’s record at Old Trafford has never been particularly good, which is what allows the big wins there to stand out so well. It is also why most Reds didn’t fancy our chances when Cristiano Ronaldo converted a penalty after 23 minutes and allowed the United faithful to revel in their likely success. The Reds, though, had other ideas, not least of all because we were trying to catch up with the Red Devils in the title fight.

An equaliser from Fernando Torres came just five minutes later, with Steven Gerrard scoring from the penalty sport just before half-time. It was a good battle in the second-half, with Torres tormenting the United defence to the point that Nemanja Vidic ended up being sent off. Aurelio scored from the resulting free-kick before Andrea Dossena scored a beautiful goal to cement one of our biggest wins at Old Trafford for years. Torres was named the player of the match, but the entire Liverpool team was in fine form under Rafa Benitez, finishing off the week with a win against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Manchester City 2 – Liverpool 3 (2008)

Whilst we’re in the city of Manchester, let’s combine that with sports-washing in order to take a look at Liverpool’s win over the Cityzens back in 2008. The club had been bought by Sheikh Mansour in August, meaning that the full-on sports-washing and march towards 115 charges of financial impropriety hadn’t yet been in full-flow, but it was clear that the club was a coming force and that the Reds weren’t likely to be in the same conversations financially in the years that followed. When Stephen Ireland and Javier Garrido gave the home team a 2-0 lead, things looked bleak.

Of course, Rafa Benitez was a manager in fine form at the time and he’d built a team capable of taking on anyone, even if the squad couldn’t manage it in the long-run. Ten minutes after half-time, Fernando Torres got one back for the Reds, which was the club’s 1,000th goal of the Premier League era, then nodded in a corner after 73 minutes to get us back on level pegging. Not long after, Pablo Zabaleta was given his marching orders and Liverpool, a side that has always been good at riding waves of momentum, got a winner thanks to Dirk Kuyt in the 90th minute.

Norwich City 4 – Liverpool 5 (2016)

If you were at Carrow Road or watched this match on TV, you might struggle to figure out whether this technically classes as a comeback or not. That’s because it was a topsy-turvy game the likes of which you rarely get to experience in football. Roberto Firmino had given Liverpool a 1-0 lead, only for Norwich to get ahead thanks to goals from Dieumerci’s Mbokani and Steven Naismith. A penalty from Wes Hoolahan made it 3-1 and it looked like Jürgen Klopp’s introduction to the madness of British football was complete. Premier League football rarely works out how you expect it to, though.

Jordan Henderson added a second for Liverpool, with Firmino completing his brace in order to make it honours even. At that point, James Milner gave the Reds the lead, only for Sebastien Bassong to make it 4-4 in injury time. It seemed as though the two teams were going to share the honours, only for Adam Lallana to smash a shot into the ground and past the Norwich City goalkeeper, giving Liverpool a 5-4 win in the craziest of circumstances. In the celebrations that followed, Klopp had his glasses knocked off by Cristian Benteke. A comeback? Who even knows anymore.

Stoke City 1 – Liverpool 2 (2017)

The 2016-2017 season was far from one of the most important in the history of Liverpool Football Club, but Jürgen Klopp had asked us all to turn from doubters to believers and the process was beginning to take shape by the time that we went to the Britannia. Future Red Xherdan Shaqiri put a ball in for Evertonian Jon Walters to get on the end of and give the hosts the lead on the stroke of half-time, meaning that the manager’s planned team talk was thrown out of the window. Whatever he said, though, had the desired effect, with Liverpool dominating the second-half.

That domination paid off when Philippe Coutinho levelled with a first-time effort, make it honours even after 70 minutes. It turned out that that was the first in a quick one-two, with fellow substitute Roberto Firmino smashed the bouncing ball from Georginio Wijnaldum past Lee Grant to give us the lead. Having struggled against teams in the bottom-half of the Premier League, the 2-1 win ended that particular hoodoo, but it also ensured the ‘doubters to believers’ moniker was well and truly underway. Liverpool finished in the top four for the first time since 2013-2014 that season, too.

Fulham 2 – Liverpool 3 (2014)

There is something about the 2013-2014 season that means that it will live long in the memory. Whilst the 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace didn’t settle the title charge, with the result against Chelsea doing that, it was a comeback that Liverpool would rather forget. This one, though, came at a time when we were full of hope about what might happen, thanks to the marriage of thrilling attacking with suspect defending and often atrocious goalkeeping making for a genuinely exciting campaign. That defending was on show early doors at Craven Cottage, with Fulham taking a 1-0 lead after just eight minutes.

Kieran Richardson put bottom-of-the-table Fulham 2-1 up to cancel out Daniel Sturridge’s 41st minute equaliser, meaning that we were really up against it in our search for a win to keep us in the title conversation. A Philippe Coutinho equaliser on 72 minutes meant that we had hope, which was cemented when Steven Gerrard scored from the spot to give us a 3-2 win. Anyone who watched the game will remember the image of the Liverpool captain whirling his shirt around his head as he celebrated the goal, believing that we really might finally win the Premier League title.

Liverpool 4 – Newcastle 3 (1996)

The fact that this game is considered to be the greatest ever match in the Premier League means that it had to be included on the list. Both Liverpool and Newcastle believed that they had a chance to win the title, in spite of the fact that they had both lost their preceding games. The Reds started brightly, taking the lead after just two minutes when Stan Collymore crossed for Robbie Fowler to convert. Eight minutes later and it was Newcastle’s turn to pressure, finding an equaliser through Les Ferdinand. Four minutes after that and the Magpies took the lead thanks to David Ginola.

Another goal from Fowler made it 2-2 ten minutes after the restart, only for Faustino Asprilla to restore Newcastle’s lead two minutes later. There was still a mountain to climb, but you should never write Liverpool off at the best of times, let alone at Anfield under the lights. Stan Collymore turned from provider to goal scorer in the 67th minute to find the Reds’ second equaliser of the match, with the striker then sealing the comeback two minutes into stoppage time. A ding-dong battle that Liverpool eventually won, with former Red Kevin Keegan slumping over the dugout in exhaustion.

Liverpool 3 – AC Milan 3 (2005)

Yep, we’ve absolutely broken our own rules by including this one, but given the fact that the comeback against Italian giants AC Milan is thought of as one of the greatest games of all time, we don’t care. It is during the Premier League era, after all. Liverpool’s journey to the Champions League final had been unlikely in and of itself, having had to overcome the likes of Chelsea and Juventus in order to get there. Rafa Benitez’s debut season hadn’t been the best, with even Everton finishing above us in the league. We made the final, though, and we fancied our chances.

Those thoughts of success soon evaporated when Paolo Maldini gave the Italian giants the lead after just one minute. Hernan Crespo added a brace in the 39th and 44th minutes, meaning we were 3-0 down heading into half-time. It was done and dusted; the match was over and everyone knew it. Liverpool fans sang You’ll Never Walk Alone, more forlornly than usual, but it was the inspiration that the players needed. Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Šmicer and Xabi Alonso got us back in the game, with an inspired save from Jerzy Dudek keeping us in it at the death. A penalty shootout win cemented the greatest comeback of all time.

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