The top 10 most legendary football matches

Matches you just needed to experience live!

There are a number of matches that are unforgettable. You remember exactly where you watched them and with whom. Of course, the most exciting football match is when something is actually at stake. We have listed the most exciting matches we can remember for you.  We even have the pictures, too!

1. FC Liverpool – FC Barcelona 2019

Match: Champions League semi-final
Result: 4-0

The second leg of the Champions League semi-final. Liverpool faced a hopeless task as they had lost the away game 3-0 at Camp Nou. Liverpool started the game brightly and were immediately threatening. Virgil van Dijk was excellent in the match. After 7 minutes, it was 1-0 because of a rebound from a Henderson shot. The atmosphere in the stadium was frenzied. Barça still had a chance through Messi, among others, but it wasn’t enough. Liverpool went in at half-time 1-0 up. Georginio Wijnaldum entered the pitch for the second half. A golden change! In the 54th minute, Anfield exploded when he shot for 2-0. The Liverpool fans were still out of their minds when two minutes later, Wijnaldum headed in for 3-0. What a game, with still more than half an hour on the clock. The pace was ferociously high, Messi played well but time and time again, it just wasn’t enough. The match seemed to be deadlocked until the 79th minute when Alexander-Arnold set up the decisive 4-0. Anfield went completely crazy. Without a doubt, one of the most memorable Champions League matches ever.

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2. Arsenal – Tottenham 2012

Match: Premier League
Result: 5-2

Before this match, Arsenal had just come from a disastrous Champions League game. They got hammered 4-0 by AC Milan. Then they were also dumped out of the FA Cup by Sunderland. Next was the visit of Tottenham for the North London derby. Van Persie’s team hoped that luck would now be on their side. However, Arsenal immediately started off all wrong and were already behind after four minutes, thanks to Saha after an assist from Adebayor. In the 34th minute, Bale went to ground easily in the penalty area. A penalty kick followed and Adebayor stuck it in for 2-0 to Tottenham. Spirit seemed to come back into Arsenal, thanks to van Persie, among others. After six minutes, it was 1-2 through Sagna. Shortly before the interval, van Persie’s hard work was finally rewarded and he unerringly struck the equaliser. With head held high and ready for more, Arsenal went in at halftime. In the second half, van der Vaart entered the field for Tottenham. Harry Redknapp’s team did not make the best impression after the break. With good play, Arsenal took the lead in the 51st minute. Tottenham were now down and out. Walcott scored two goals in five minutes, thanks to assistance from van Persie and Song.

3. Real Madrid – Atletico Madrid 2014

Match: Champions League final
Result: 4-1

In 2014, Real Madrid had not won the trophy known as “Big Ears” for 12 years. They were now playing the Champions League final against their own city rivals Atletico, as well. Cristiano Ronaldo’s team was eager for victory. 

Real Madrid was lagging in the first half. Ronaldo was trying in every possible way to force a breakthrough, but the Atletico defence was too strong. During the second half, Atletico seemed to rise up and take the cup. Then fate struck and Sergio Ramos headed in the equaliser deep into injury time. 

Half an hour of extra time. Real Madrid played aggressively and through a shot by Di Maria, Gareth Bale struck gold. The Real fans went crazy but knew that there were still ten minutes to play. Atletico couldn’t take anymore and in the last minutes of the game, two more goals were scored by Real through Marcelo and Ronaldo. Real Madrid’s absolutely brilliant game in 2014 will ultimately, and rightly so, be held in the highest regard in professional football.

4. Manchester City – Queens Park Rangers 2012

Match: Championship-deciding match
Result: 3 – 2

In 2012, Manchester City had the opportunity to win the national championship for the first time in 44 years. The stars at the time included Balotelli, Nasri, Tevez and Touré. On the last matchday, Queens Park Rangers would need to be beaten at home. During the first half, City had a lot of chances. Which they did not do much with. In the 39th minute, Zabaleta finally got lucky and scored with an assist by Touré. 

Relieved and with loud applause from the City supporters, they were happy enough at halftime. A few minutes into the second half, QPR came out of nowhere with an attack that ended up directly in the goal. The City players were shocked that this could happen. City, however, quickly recovered and fired a veritable barrage of shots at QPR’s goal, but miraculously nothing would go in. Then in the 65th minute, again completely against the run of play, another QPR attack. It was Traoré who lost Mackie who had been completely overlooked. Manchester City saw their hope for the title disappearing. They now needed two more goals to be scored. 

City continued to go through the gears believing in victory. QPR had their backs to the wall but were surviving. The last minutes of the match were ticking away and with it any hope in the stadium. The match seemed to be bleeding to death and faith was disappearing. In the 90th minute, the first people started to walk out of the stadium with five minutes of extra time still on the clock. Balotelli missed a great chance in the first minute of extra time. This resulted in a corner that was cleverly knocked in by Dzeko. The position was the same with only three minutes left. 

Manchester City sprinted back to the centre circle for a final offensive. It was then Balotelli who, with a lovely assist, played Aguero into position. With two goals in extra time, Man City miraculously won the national league.

5. Manchester United – FC Barcelona 1984

Match: Quarter-final European Cup I.
Result: 3 – 0

For the next match, we stay in Manchester but dive deeper into the history annals. The 1984 European Cup quarter-final between Barcelona and, of course, Manchester United. In the home game, Barcelona had played a solid match with a 2-0 score line. This was the Barcelona of Maradona, the lethal champions! Nobody expected Manchester United to be able to turn the tide at home. 

In a swirling Old Trafford, however, it was the evening of United captain, Bryan Robson. In an evening where everything went well, he scored twice.  In the first half, he scored a cracker. Then, in the second half, a falling ball dropped to him and he slid it in. Two minutes later, Stapleton scored the decisive goal and decided the match in United’s favour.

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6. AC Milan – FC Liverpool 2005

Match: Champions League final
Result: 3 – 3 (Liverpool win after penalties)

Stam and Seedorf’s AC Milan faced Liverpool in the 2005 Champions League final. Milan entered the final as favourites. After just two minutes, it was already 1-0 thanks to a goal from captain Paolo Maldini. Before half-time, Crespo scored twice more, and AC Milan went into half-time with a big lead. 

However, Liverpool fans continued to believe and drown out the AC Milan supporters. Then, in the second half came one of the most magical comebacks in the history of the Champions League. In a timeframe of six minutes, Liverpool managed to find the net no fewer than three times. It started with Steven Gerrard in the 54th minute. The captain encouraged his team and ran back to the centre spot. It only took two minutes and Smicer managed to score again. Suddenly, all hope was back with the Liverpool team. Steven Gerrard managed to win a penalty in the 60th minute. It was XabI Alonso who scored after the penalty was initially saved. 

In the last half hour, Milan had another great opportunity, but Dudek managed to stop the certain goal. We went to penalty kicks. The stadium was about to explode! After a nail-biting penalty shoot-out, with a number of wonderful saves, it was Liverpool that ultimately won the final. Dudek was the great hero for Liverpool, who managed to save the last Milan penalty. What an evening, from 3-0 behind to winning via a penalty shoot-out!

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8. Bayern München – Manchester United 1999

Match: Champions League final
Result: 1 – 2

Normally, the Germans are known for often nicking the win in extra time. In 1999, Manchester United and Bayern Munich faced each other in the final of the Champions League. In their own country, Man Utd had already won the cup and the national league. Manchester United had a legendary team including Beckham, Giggs, Neville and our own Jaap Stam. 

Bayern Munich had a dream start and took the lead after six minutes, thanks to a free kick from Basler. The game swung back and forth and both teams had some slim chances. With a 1-0 lead, Bayern Munich went into half-time.

In the second half, the teams were quite evenly matched again. There were chances for both teams, but nothing really substantial. Bayern came closest with a shot against the post and a bicycle kick that hit the crossbar. It looked like this final was going to Bayern. 

The 90th minute was approaching, and the referee indicated three more minutes. Schmeichel, United’s goalkeeper, came forward for a final offensive. Ryan Giggs landed the ball into the crazy penalty area and Teddy Sheringham scored the equaliser. Just one more minute to play before we would go into extra time, unexpectedly. A minute later, however, there was a corner from Beckham, which was knocked on and was tapped in by Solskjaer. Within three minutes, Manchester United had completely turned the game around and the treble was in the bag.

9. Bayern München – Inter Milan 2011

Match: Champions League Quarter-Final
Result: 2-3

In 2011, Wesley Sneijder’s Inter Milan faced Arjen Robben’s Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals. The first match in Milan was won 1-0 by the Germans. Bayern was looking forward to getting the job done at home. 

However, it was Inter who opened the scoring in the 4th minute, thanks to star player Samuel Eto’o. After this, Bayern came into the game better and were very dangerous, thanks to Robben and Ribery. In the 21st minute, it was Gomez who scored the equaliser. Inter occasionally had a few chances, but it was mainly Bayern that were on form. In the 31st minute, Muller made it 2-1. Just before half-time, it was still a big pinball game for a goal for the Italians. They should be happy that they went in at half-time only 2-1 down.

Inter had to do everything in their power to stay in the Champions League after the break. Inter were well on track in the first fifteen minutes after the break. When they looked about to collapse, it was Wesley Sneijder who scored in the 61st minute. The score was tied again and Inter needed one more goal to progress. 

Under the leadership of Thomas Muller, Bayern threatened Inter’s goal a number of times. On the other hand, it was Sneijder who occasionally got a chance, but it just didn’t go in. The match was slowly coming to a close. This was of course what the Germans wanted. Just before the end, in the 88th minute, a goal was scored for Inter by Pandev. 

Bayern Munich still has 5 minutes to score again and head for Inter’s goal. However, it was not enough and Inter won this match on pure fighting spirit.

10. FC Barcelona – Paris Saint Germain 2017

Match: Champions League Quarter-Final
Result: 6-1

Expectations for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 were very high. The club had spent an unprecedented amount on new players and that had to pay dividends. In the first match at home, PSG put Barcelona on the rack mercilessly. It was no less than 4-0 and Barcelona seemed completely out of it for the return match. 

PSG had to and would finally go far into the Champions League in 2017. That goal became a lot more difficult when it was suddenly linked to FC Barcelona in the quarter-finals. Yet FC Barcelona turned out to be easier prey in-house than expected. PSG won 4-0 and FC Barcelona appeared to be eliminated. Without a goal, Barcelona’s situation seemed all the more hopeless. 

Barça played well and took the lead after three minutes through Luis Suarez. The team from Spain went in at half-time with a 2-0 lead over PSG, thanks to an own goal from Kurzawa. After the break, Messi forced a penalty in the 50th minute. The FC Barcelona crowd went wild and the atmosphere was great. Then came a hard blow in the 62nd minute when Edinson Cavani scored the all-important away goal for PSG. Barcelona now needed 3 more goals. In the 85th minute all hope seemed to have been given up on the part of the Spaniards. Neymar then scored his second in the 88th minute and in the first minute of extra time from a penalty. With a few minutes left on the clock, Barcelona turned it on and it was Sergi Roberto who made the impossible come true for Barcelona. In the very last minute of extra time, he scored the winning goal and a miracle happened at Camp Nou. An absolutely legendary match.

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