The Rundown

Was Sweden’s comeback football’s best ever?

The Rundown

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The latest round of World Cup qualifiers saw one of the most extraordinary matches of all-time as Sweden came from 4-0 down to draw 4-4 with the mighty Germany in Berlin

Miroslav Klose struck twice in the opening 15 minutes for Germany before defender Per Mertesacker made it 3-0 in a game watched by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt.

Midfielder Mesut Ozil added a fourth goal 11 minutes after the break but Sweden captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic then launched the fightback with a brilliant header from a long pass by Kim Kallstrom in the 62nd minute.

Mikael Lustig pulled another goal back before Johan Elmander cut Germany's lead to 4-3 in the 76th minute, hitting in a shot between defender Holger Badstuber's legs. Rasmus Elm then grabbed the equaliser just before the final whistle.

But was it the greatest football comeback ever? Here are nine more contenders?

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FA Cup fourth round replay 2004 - Tottenham 3-4 Manchester City

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It is hard to know what is a bigger indictment of Tottenham during this era; that they lost a three-goal lead against 10 men, or that it wasn't particularly surprising. This was classic Spurs.

They seized total control of the game thanks to sublime first-half finishes from Ledley King, Robbie Keane and Christian Ziege - the latter with a brilliant free-kick. Just as commentator Martin Tyler announced Tottenham had "almost rendered the second half academic", City had Joey Barton sent off for arguing with referee Rob Styles.

Yet somehow Kevin Keegan's side came back. Sylvain Distin headed three minutes after the break when Spurs decided not to bother defending a Michael Tarnat free-kick, before Ziege hit the bar with another free-kick and Gus Poyet somehow failed to convert the rebound. A deflected Paul Bosvelt shot made it 3-2, then a suspiciously offside Shaun Wright-Phillips scampered through and lifted the ball over Kasey Keller to equalise.

In the final minute, Jon Macken headed past Keller to complete possibly the greatest FA Cup comeback.

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Champions League quarter-final second-leg 2004 - Deportivo 4-0 Milan (Deportivo win 5-4 on agg)

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Milan appeared to be cruising into the semi-finals after an impressive 4-1 first leg win at the San Siro, but the defending champions were rocked by a stunning Deportivo performance.

The inconsistent Spaniards, who lost 8-3 to Monaco earlier in the competition, went in front through Walter Pandiani on five minutes after sluggish defending by Paolo Maldini. Juan Carlos Valeron headed a second when Dida completely missed a cross and Albert Luque put them in front on away goals before half-time following an Alessandro Nesta error.

Milan had no answer, and Fran completed the rout with 15 minutes to go after yet another mistake - this one by Gennaro Gattuso. Never before had the likes of Maldini, Nesta and Cafu been made to look so hopeless, but the following season they suffered a similar swoon in Istanbul against Liverpool.

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Division Two 1957 - Charlton Athletic 7-6 Huddersfield Town

To say thirteen-goal thrillers are a rarity is somewhat of an understatement, but anyone who was present at The Valley just before Christmas in 1957 was lucky enough to witness one. Having been reduced to 10 men early in the game, hosts Charlton found themselves 5-1 down with 27 minutes left on the clock and were starring down the barrel of a heavy defeat.

But a simply incredible turnaround saw the Addicks find the back of the net six times before the final whistle, while Huddersfield could only reply with one of their own. It ended 7-6 and Huddersfield remain the only team in Football League history to score six goals and end up the losing side.

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Second Division play-off 1999 - Gillingham 2-2 Manchester City (City win 3-1 on pens)

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It is hard to imagine City needing late dramatics to get out of England's third tier but that's what happened only 13 years ago.

A largely stale Wembley showpiece burst into life in the final 10 minutes when Carl Asaba fired into the top corner to give the Gills the lead. Asaba then turned provider as he set Bob Taylor free to bear down on goal and drill past Nicky Weaver and seemingly shatter City's dreams. Joe Royle's side were not downhearted, however, and threw everything they could at Gillingham.

Their efforts paid off when, after Kevin Horlock fired through a crowd of players to score on 89 minutes, Paul Dickov scored one of the most iconic goals in the club's history in injury time to force a further 30 minutes. With no goals added in extra time it went to penalties, and with City 3-1 up in the shootout Weaver saved Paul Smith's spot-kick to send City back into the second tier.

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Serie A 2005 - Internazionale 3-2 Sampdoria

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A late, great comeback from two goals down saw Internazionale score three times in six minutes to warm the hearts of those left in the Giuseppe Meazza on a cold January day in Milan. After Max Tonetto had opened the scoring for Samp, the hosts pressed hard for an equaliser but were frustrated by an inspired performance in between the sticks by Francesco Antoniolli. And when Vitali Kutuzov pounced in the 83rd minute, the game seemed over - certainly some Inter fans thought so and began to pack up their flags and leave.

Those tifosi were to regret their lack of faith though as Obafemi Martins got the comeback underway on 88 minutes with a lovely finish via the outside of his boot. Inter then had a huge handball shout turned down before Christian Vieri popped up in the second minute of time added on to send those left in the stadium wild and salvage a point for Roberto Mancini's side. But they were not finished there and Alvaro Recoba fired home from outside the box on 94 minutes to snatch all three points in the most unlikely of circumstances.

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Bundesliga 1976 -  VfL Bochum 5-6 Bayern Munich

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Quite simply one of the greatest comebacks of all time. How else can a game in which a side came back from four goals down be described? Bayern suffered a nightmare start to the German league game at the Ruhrstadion, finding themselves 3-0 down before half-time.

That soon became four as the hosts netted another after the break, and that should have been that. But Bochum were not counting on Bayern's not-so-secret weapons - Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Gerd Muller, two of the finest players to grace the planet.

The pair combined not only to wipe out the deficit, but even take a 5-4 lead - all in a mere 20 minutes. Bochum equalised with 10 minutes remaining but Bayern were not to be denied and they snatched a late winner through Uli Hoeness as time ran out.

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UEFA Cup 1989 - Antwerp 4-3 Levski Sofia

Comebacks do not get more dramatic - or matches more innocuous - than Levski's UEFA Cup second-round clash with Antwerp in 1989.

The Bulgarian champions were cruising at 3-1 up as the match entered injury time, Petar Mihtarski's goal looking to have dashed the Belgian side's European hopes; that was before a recovery which would make most Hollywood directors cringe with scepticism.

Those who remained in the 10,000-seater Bosuilstadion in Antwerp were rewarded for their perseverance tenfold as former Tottenham striker Nico Claesen grabbed what looked to be a 91st-minute consolation strike then swiftly doubled his tally with an incredible equaliser in the 94th minute. Just as the final whistle was about to sound, up stepped new signing Raphael Quaranta to clinch a 97th-minute winner - and complete a most staggering comeback.

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Ligue 1 1998 - Marseille 5-4 Montpellier

It was the third game of the French season and Marseille, coached by Rolland Courbis, had splashed the cash on Robert Pires, Florian Maurice and Christophe Dugarry.

Ibrahima Bakayoko, who flopped at Everton the season after, opened the scoring on 15 minutes, poking the ball past Stephane Porato as Marseille's defence failed to deal with the pace of Montpellier's forwards.

Laurent Robert made it 2-0 four minutes later, racing clear of the one-paced Laurent Blanc to latch on to a long ball and slide it into the bottom right.

It only took four more minutes for the visitors to be 3-0 up, soon-to-be Hibernian midfielder Franck Sauzee's free-kick from wide drifting past the hapless, ball-watching Porato into the bottom right.

On 34 minutes, it was 4-0 thanks to Bakayoko's powerful finish after he beat Marseille's offside trap to sprint away from a surprisingly wooden William Gallas.

The game-turning moment was the introduction of mercurial forward Dugarry early in the second half. Just after the hour mark, Blanc pumped a hopeful long ball down the right which Dugarry controlled and crossed perfectly on to the head of Maurice, who powered it into the bottom left. 1-4.

Three minutes later, Dugarry halved the deficit with a header of his own, from a Pires free-kick wide right, and on 71 minutes the France star scored another header, after Bruno Martini was stranded in no-man's land at a corner.

The game was level with six minutes left, when veteran midfielder Eric Roy smashed the ball past Martini after a wonderful knock-down from Fabrizio Ravanelli. There was a sense of inevitability about Marseille's winner, deep in injury time, after Pires was crudely brought down in the box by Sauzee. Blanc stepped up and rounded-off a freak match regarded by many in France as the best comeback in history.

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Champions League final 2005 - Liverpool 3-3 Milan (Liverpool win 3-2 on penalties)

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The match that will ever be remembered as 'the Miracle of Istanbul' The fact that Rafael Benitez's side had reached the final was almost a miracle in itself after the Reds sneaked past Juventus and Chelsea in the previous rounds, but the fairy-tale looked over after just a minute at the Ataturk Stadium when Paolo Maldini, chasing his fifth Champions League winner's medal, volleyed home from Andrea Pirlo's free-kick.

Liverpool were over-run in midfield and the Rossoneri were strolling, adding not one but two more goals before half-time.

On the face of it the introduction of Dietmar Hamman at half-time did not seem the best way to chase a three-goal deficit, but the German added stability to Liverpool's core and soon they were handed a lifeline when Steven Gerrard guided John Arne Riise's cross past Dida with a great header. In the blink of an eye they were suddenly filled with hope when Vladimir Smicer, a first-half substitute for the injured Harry Kewell, saw Dida fail to keep out his low drive from outside the area.

Liverpool fans did not have long to speculate over the possibility of a historic comeback as just before the hour-mark Gerrard charged into the box and - ahem - won a penalty off Gennaro Gattuso. Xabi Alonso had his spot-kick saved but lashed the rebound into the roof of the net to complete a remarkable 15-minute turnaround.

Liverpool rode their luck all the way to a penalty shootout as Djimi Traore blocked a shot on the line and Dudek made a stunning double-save from Shevchenko right at the end of extra time.

After all of Milan's earlier dominance, Pirlo and Serginho missed their first two penalties in the shootout. Hamman and Djibril Cisse converted theirs before Riise missed to hand Milan a life-line. However, after Kaka and Smicer both scored, Dudek's persistence with his impression of Bruce Grobelaar's infamous 'spaghetti legs' paid off and he saved Shevchenko's penalty to seal the Champions League for Benitez in his first season at the club.

What do you think was the greatest comeback ever? Leave your thoughts below.

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