After Arsenal's epic 7-5 win at Reading, Sportsmail looks at the maddest matches
Sportsmail's reporters recall the craziest games they have coveredAnd you should tell us about the maddest match you have seen
09:53 GMT, 31 October 2012
12:40 GMT, 31 October 2012
I have covered some classic see-saw games in recent times. The 'Michael Owen' Manchester derby of 2009 was a memorable way to spend my 40th birthday (yes, I know I don’t look that old, pictured right) while last season’s final day drama at the Etihad will be hard to beat.
However, the best comeback I ever saw was at St James' Park in January 1990 when Newcastle came from 4-1 down to beat Leicester 5-4 with a flurry of goals in what seemed like the last 10 minutes. Micky Quinn and Mark Mcghee played up front for Newcastle and scored two each while Kevin Campbell scored for Leicester.
You see, I really am older than I look…
Follow Ian Ladyman on Twitter @Ian_Ladyman_DM
TELL US THE MADDEST MATCH YOU HAVE SEEN BY LEAVING A COMMENT…
Owen: Celebrating that amazing derby winner
Aguero: Clinched the title with last-gasp goal
McGhee: Scored in Ian Ladyman's choice
Reading 5 Arsenal 7 last night. What a crazy night. With the Royals 4-0 up my match report was virtually written. At 4-4, the original report had to be torn up. Had to press the delete button again when Marouane Chamakh put Arsenal 5-4 up.
Again when Pavel Pogrebnyak made it five-all.
AGAIN when Walcott scored Arsenal's decisive sixth in the final minute of extra time.
A dream night for the football fan…a nightmare for the football journalist.
Follow Dominic King on Twitter @SamiMokbel81_DM
I would love to put forward a thrilling, entertaining game such as Liverpool’s Champions League final win over AC Milan, but I only have to go back two weeks for the match when I walked out a stadium thinking 'what just happened there'
Sadly, the events of Krusevac and England’s Under-21s tussle with Serbia takes this award. What made this game extraordinary was the fact I felt so on edge because of the atmosphere around the ground and inside. It wasn’t pleasant, almost unbearably tense.
It was obvious early on that a story was brewing but the way it unfolded was unlike anything I had experienced before. In the space of 30 seconds, you were trying to comprehend an England goal, a mass brawl, an assault on a respected coach and, most shocking of all, the appalling racial abuse of young player.
In a flash, what should have been a routine match report, one that celebrated a significant achievement, became a 1,000 words of analysis, followed by 500 words of news to be delivered within an hour.
Trying to write while worrying that the gangs of youths who had mischief in mind might turn their attention on the English journalists in the press box added a different dimension, too.
Adrenalin absolutely pumps in those situations and being where the significant stories unfold is the whole reason you become a journalist. That was undoubtedly a mad night but not for the glorious, memorable reasons some of my colleagues may share.
Follow Dominic King on Twitter @DominicKing_DM
Fulham 4 Juventus 1 – March 2010.
None of this seemed to make sense. A team of the European stature of Juventus turned up at little old Fulham and quickly went 4-1 ahead on aggregate when David Trezeguet scored.
Oh well that’s it, I thought; beginning to think about writing Fulham’s Europa League obituary. Think again.
Bobby Zamora equalised on the night, Fabio Cannavaro saw red and Zoltan Gera put Fulham 2-1 up before half-time, then scored a penalty in the second half. 4-4 on aggregate and it was going to extra-time before Clint Dempsey won it with that beautiful chip.
But even then it was agony as another Juventus away goal would have sent the Italians through. On came Alessandro Del Piero (obviously), but Jonathan Zebina became the second Juventus player to be sent off and it was Fulham who took the quarter-final spot.
Thank goodness it was a 6pm kick-off: at least it gave us journalists a little leeway to digest and try and make sense of it all. I seem to remember Roy Hodgson saying he felt like Rocky Marciano getting off the ropes time and time again after that match – and I knew just what he meant.
Follow Laura Williamson on Twitter @laura_mail
Fulham 4 Juventus 1 – watch the video by clicking here
September 20 2005: Wycombe 3 Aston Villa 8
Aston Villa fans walked out of the stadium at half-time, furious with their team after little Wycombe guided by John Gorman, went 3-1 up before half-time with goals from Nathan Tyson, Tommy Mooney and Roger Johnson.
They looked to be on the verge of a famous upset until Villa got going after the break with strikes from players like Milan Baros, James Milner and Gareth Barry.
David O’Leary talked about Villa being the most entertaining team their supporters had ever seen. They certainly weren’t saying anything of the sort at half-time.
Follow Neil Ashton on Twitter @neilashton_
You can still buy the video… Howay 5-Oh. Five ‘used’ on sale at Amazon for 4.50 (shouldn’t they be a fiver).
It was an October Sunday in the North East in a ground where it was usually a privilege to cover football. My first game there, Jim Smith was the manager and Watford drew 0-0 in the FA Cup. The gate was less than 20,000, but you could still smell the potential in the air. And if the football was no good, there was always the Bigg Market.
My ‘maddest’ game wasn’t a rollercoaster of goals. All the goals went in one end.
Manchester United, that brilliant, swaggering team, with Cantona and Schmeichel and Beckham, came to Newcastle and went back having been spanked.
The goals just kept coming and the final one was that sensational Philippe Albert chip that was a cocky finish Cantona would have been proud to include in his greatest hits.
I remember being chased back to the hotel on the Quayside too by Newcastle fans who, overjoyed with the result, wanted to share their delight with anyone who looked from out of town. At least, that’s what I think they were trying to do…
England’s penalty shoot-out victory against Spain in Euro 96 (the one with the Stuart Pearce eye-popping celebration) was another mad game. But it had no goals until the shoot-out, so it can’t be the maddest.
Follow Lee Clayton on Twitter @LeeClayton_
Swansea 4 Wolves 4, April 28, 2012
Swansea twice led by three goals
having first gone ahead after 24 seconds. They were 3-0 in front after
quarter of an hour and, in one of many of their keep-ball sessions, Leon
Britton appeared to start laughing. Then it got a bit strange.
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The maddest moment has to be the sight of Paolo di Canio shaping to volley a last-minute winner for West Ham at Everton, only to change his mind at the last second and catch the ball, instead.
Everton keeper Paul Gerrard was lying injured nearby, and taking advantage of an unguarded net didn’t sit easily with the West Ham striker’s sense of fair play. Oh to have been a fly on the dressing room wall as he explained his reasoning to West Ham manager Harry Redknapp afterwards.
I’m reasonably new to football
reporting, so the pool to choose from is smaller than most, but my first
match for this paper stands out. Watford 2 Preston 2 in February 2011
may not sound the craziest but it tested me straight away.
It was a
7.45pm kick off on a Tuesday night so tight deadlines meant I needed to
file on 70 minutes for first edition, then update if necessary.
had 200 words but I wanted them to be perfect. Phil Brown was looking
for his first win as Preston boss as the side battled to stay in the
Championship and they went 2-0 up before halftime. So far, so calm. But
then Watford impishly scored on 69 and 79 minutes. Bullish Brown became
Bottler Brown I had to slice and dice with Gordon Ramsey rapidity.
make matters more stressful my dongle was dodgy and I hadn’t bought
Vicarage Road’s pricey wi-fi. The words eventually got sent and then
re-written by a far more skilled sub. The night was less a baptism of
fire, more a baptism of wireless.
Follow Laurie Whitwell on Twitter @lauriewhitwell
The maddest game was Tranmere 4 Southampton 3 in an FA Cup fifth-round replay at Prenton Park on Tuesday, February 20, 2001.
Aldridge’s side were struggling near the foot of what is now the npower
Championship, but League form had no bearing on these occasions. Cup
nights on the Wirral, with Aldridge in charge, were special, none more
so than this one. No fewer than six top flight teams had already been
knocked out of cup competitions by Tranmere in the previous 18 months,
including Everton in round four.
Surely Southampton, going well in the Barclays Premier League under Glenn Hoddle, were not about to become the seventh
Not after going in at half-time three goals to the good, after dominating from first whistle to last and scoring through Hassan Kachloul, Jo Tessem and Dean Richards
You wouldn’t have thought so, on the face of it, but I do recall a slight sense of foreboding after filing the bulk of the first edition match report during the half-time interval and wondering whether a hasty rewrite might yet be required.
The unease was based on Aldridge’s remarkable ability to seize on the slightest spark of encouragement and whip the home crowd into a frenzy, and it was not misplaced.
The spark came in the 58th minute, when Paul Rideout turned in an Andy Parkinson shot, and you could almost feel the momentum start to build from then on.
Aldridge was suddenly out of his dug-out, acting as ball boy and cheerleader, rolled into one. If he wasn’t darting along the touchline to retrieve the ball, he was turning to the crowd and increasing the volume with the shake of a fist.
There was an energy and urgency about this most passionate of football folk that transmitted itself to Tranmere’s players and supporters.
It was still 3-1, but you knew what was coming. The whole place was rocking, and Southampton had no idea what had hit them, as Tranmere launched wave after wave of attacks, in the form of crosses and prodigious long throws from Dave Challinor, and gradually whittled away the lead. A Rideout header on 71 minutes and hat-trick goal on 80 levelled the scores, by which time making yourself heard above the din, as panic-stricken calls were placed to sports desks in London, was nigh-on impossible.
The inevitable arrived in the 83rd minute, as half-time substitute Stuart Barlow scrambled home a winner to earn Tranmere a quarter-final tie against Liverpool, whose manager Gerard Houllier was looking on, amid the mayhem. It probably wasn’t quite a match for Reading 5, Arsenal 7 on the comeback scale, but there were aspects of it that were not far away.
The gap in League placings was greater, for one thing, and, for another, Tranmere were on the floor, and seemingly out for the count, at half-time, rather than buoyed by a goal in the first half’s closing seconds, as Arsenal were.
Replicating their irresistible Cup form on a weekly basis was asking too much, and Aldridge left not long after.
For a while, though, he had all the giantkilling ingredients at his fingertips, in the form of players whose speed of thought and movement seemed to quicken at the first scent of blood and supporters whose vocal backing responded accordingly.
For 45 minutes against a bewildered Southampton, those ingredients came together to devastating effect.
Follow John Edwards on Twitter @JEAlty
Middlesbrough 4 Steaua 2, UEFA Cup semi-final second leg, April 2006.
Researching this game, and listening to BBC Radio Tees commentator Ali Brownlee screaming with delight at Massimo Maccarone’s last minute winner brought all the memories flooding back. What a night it was.
Boro had already put us all through the mill in the previous round with a dramatic late win over FC Basle but that was nothing compared to the night they reached the UEFA Cup Final.
They were 1-0 down from the first leg in Romania, and were quickly left needing four goals when Steaua scored two after 25 minutes. Coming just days after Boro’s heart-breaking FA Cup semi-final defeat to West Ham, Steve McClaren’s team looked dead and buried.
Italian misfit Maccarone replaced injured Gareth Southgate a minute later, and scored his first before half-time. Steaua were camped in their own half after the break and the chances piled up for the home side. It was relentless.
They had to wait until the 64th minute for the second when Mark Viduka headed home a Stewart Downing cross, and the equaliser followed just eight minutes later when Chris Riggott bundled the ball over the line in the mayhem, leaving Boro less than 20 to get the winner.
McClaren threw on Yakubu and his players, back by an actual packed and raucous Riverside Stadium threw everything at Steaua. Maccarone, hardly renowned for his goalscoring exploits, delivered with an 89th minute header at the back post via another centre from the brilliant Downing, and all hell broke loose.
It was one of Ali’s finest moments in more than 1,000 Boro commentaries. And he wasn’t the only one to lose it. I’m not embarrassed to admit it was one of the few occasions I was on my feet and punching the air in my pressbox seat, before concentrating on a manic re-write for the paper. And I looked around me to see the majority of my colleagues doing the same.
Follow Colin Young on Twitter @cyoungdailymail
As if flying to Ascuncion to referee one game isn’t crazy enough, the game I was appointed to appeared to be a dead rubber. The last qualifier in the South American Federation qualification for FIFA World Cup 2002 was between Paraguay, who had already qualified, and Columbia, who looked out unless they could win by five goals and secure a play-off place against Australia.
The opening five minutes was played ‘blind’ as the smoke flares engulfed the pitch and the TV director was demanding a pause in play as TV images were unwatchable.
Incredibly Colombia scored after 24 minutes, added another from a penalty ten minutes later and then made it 3-0 on 62 minutes as Aristizabal completed his hat-trick. Cue mayhem in the crowd as the police baton charged spectators.
Colombia added a fourth with 10 minutes to go and the impossible seemed possible. However, Paraguay held out and Colombia were eliminated – a crazy but fantastic experience 6,320 miles from home.
Follow Graham Poll on Twitter @MAIL_GPoll
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