The Saturday debate: What is the greatest football match you have reported on?

The Saturday debate: What is the greatest football match you have reported on



21:42 GMT, 27 April 2012

Chelsea's display of grit and guile in the Nou Camp to knockout Barcelona will live long in their memory but how does it rank. Sportsmail's panel of experts give their view.

Brazil 2-3 Italy, World Cup '82

This World Cup second-round group game became a virtual quarter-final. A score draw would have sent Brazil through but this was the day when the favourites, one of their great teams, fell to a genius hat-trick from Paolo Rossi. Twice Rossi put Italy ahead. Twice Brazil equalised, through Socrates and Falcao. Then Rossi pounced in the 74th minute of this all-time classic to hallmark manager Enzo Bearzot's brilliant transformation of his side from negative drudges to positively brilliant World Cup winners.

Hat-trick hero: Italy's Paolo Rossi

Hat-trick hero: Italy's Paolo Rossi

England 4-2 W Germany, World Cup '66

Not only did we have the German equaliser late in normal time but then the decision of linesman Tofik Bakhramov in judging Geoff Hurst's shot had crossed the line. Then Hurst completed his hat-trick . . .

NEIL ASHTON Chelsea 1-1 Barcelona, Champions League semi-final 2009

Nothing will ever compare with the roar from a corner of Barca fans when Iniesta scored three minutes into injury time. Barca, down to 10 men, had survived a number of penalty appeals and were on their way out until Iniesta's strike arrowed past Petr Cech.

Juventus 2-3 Man Utd, CL semi-final 2nd leg 1999

Much like Chelsea's performance in Barcelona this week, United's comeback against a brilliant Juventus side was astonishing. Not least for the individual display of Roy Keane – one of the finest I have seen. Amazing night, amazing game.

Captain fantastic: Manchester United's Roy Keane

Captain fantastic: Manchester United's Roy Keane

Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea, CL semi-final, Tuesday

Not the purest exhibition of football by a long stretch but Chelsea's draw on Tuesday had the lot, from glory to heartache and the rest in between. Injuries, a red card, a brilliant goal (Ramires), a penalty missed by the world's best player, conflicting styles, great saves and a twisting plot. It was a game of high significance.

England 4-2 W Germany, World Cup '66

IN a previous incarnation, I covered Cardiff City and Wales for the South Wales Echo which gave me an entree to the big one, phoning a running report for that night's Football Echo in the days when Pink 'uns and Green 'uns were part of the Saturday night culture. My most indelible memory, apart from Geoff Hurst's hat-trick and that nice Russian linesman, is of a story on Page 1 of that morning's Daily Mail written by the incomparable Vincent Mulchrone along the lines of: 'If by chance Germany should beat us today at our national sport, we can always say we've beaten them twice at theirs… '

Golden goal: Carlisle goalkeeper Jimmy Glass celebrates his late winner

Golden goal: Carlisle goalkeeper Jimmy Glass celebrates his late winner

Carlisle 2-1 Plymouth, Div 3, 1999

The abiding memories of May 1999 at Brunton Park are not just the injury-time goal scored by on-loan Carlisle goalkeeper Jimmy Glass or the mayhem that followed. There was the extreme abuse chairman-owner Michael Knighton received and his subsequent comments about believing in aliens. Glass's goal meant Carlisle stayed up and Scarborough were relegated. Carlisle's caretaker boss Nigel Pearson held a big bottle of whisky in his office and just stared at Ceefax afterwards.

Man Utd 2-1 Bayern Munich, CL final, 1999

The Bayern ribbons were on the trophy, my match report was almost complete and the game was nearly over. Then United scored twice. Wonderful chaos! I remember my colleague, Rob Shepherd, coming from the back of the press box to say: 'Stop writing, look up and take this in. You will probably never see anything like this again in your life.' It was good advice, although the copy was late. Never a good thing.