Andres Iniesta vs Chelsea, 6/5/2009
Barcelona 08/09 were arguably one of the greatest club sides in the history of football, at the very least they were the best team of the last decade, but against Chelsea their legacy was in serious danger of collapsing.
Once Michael Essien gave them the lead inside the opening ten minutes of the second leg, Chelsea had comfortably kept Barcelona at bay. With Yaya Toure at centre-back, Barca struggled to contend with the physicality of Chelsea’s midfield and, had it not been for some truly awful refereeing, the West London club could have been several more goals up.
There was to be a twist in the tale of course – Andres Iniesta popped up in the 93rd minute to end Chelsea’s hopes of a rematch of the previous year’s final against Manchester United, setting Barcelona on their way to a Champions League crown of their own in style.
Robbie Keane vs Germany, 5/6/2002
With Roy Keane sent home by manager Mick McCarthy after the infamous Saipan incident, Ireland’s tournament was in danger of being derailed before it got a real opportunity to begin. They opened the 2002 World Cup with a decent 1-1 draw against Cameroon, but things looked rather bleak when Miroslav Klose put Germany ahead within 20 minutes.
Germany looked as if they were going to hold out and Ireland just punting the ball long into the box, until Niall Quinn flicked one into the path of Robbie Keane, impressively finishing past Oliver Kahn in the 92nd minute. This left Ireland only needing a win against the abysmal Saudi Arabia to get through, exiting in the last 16 after a shoot-out against Spain. Robbie went home a hero with three goals, while Roy divided opinion, but came away looking selfish.
David Fairclough vs Saint Etienne, 16/3/1977 (5:44)
One of Anfield’s greatest European nights had Liverpool requiring a win, with Saint Etienne leading 1-0 from the first leg in France.
Kevin Keegan puts Liverpool on equal terms inside two minutes, but Dominique Bathenay puts the French champions back in control. Ray Kennedy puts the tie at 2-2 on aggregate, although Saint Etienne crucially lead on away goals so bob Paisley introduces 20 year-old red-haired “Supersub” David Fairclough. 84 minutes in – just as ITV’s commentator Gerald Â mentions that Liverpool are hitting too many hopeful long balls – Fairclough controls a pass from Kennedy, holds off the Saint Etienne defenders and shoots past Ivan Curkovic.
With that goal, Fairclough wrote himself into Anfield folklore and became a large part of why Liverpool won their first European Cup.
Semih Senturk vs Croatia, 20/6/2008
In terms of raw entertainment, the Turkey side from Euro 2008 must go down as among the best of recent years. Against the odds, they managed to fight their way to the semi-finals, where a team severely weakened by suspensions and injuries almost managed a 2-2 draw against Germany, only for Philipp Lahm to get a goal in the 90th minute.
Assuming you read the sub-header, you know this isn’t about Lahm though – in the previous game Fenerbahce’s Semih Senturk scored an incredible goal against Croatia. The events of the last few minutes overshadowed what was actually a very dull game. 119 minutes went by with little to nothing happening, upon which substitute Ivan Klasnic scored, becoming the first player to appear at a major tournament after undergoing a kidney transplant. The desperate Turkish team had no time left and Rustu Recber hoofed the ball towards the forwards, the ball fell to Semih, who scored with the last kick of the game. The teams headed for the shoot-out, where the young Croatian team displayed a penalty-taking ability that would make England blush. Turkey were through to face Germany in the semi-final.
Jimmy Glass vs Plymouth Argyle, 8/5/1999
The video sets the scene enough on its own.