Back from the dead: Great second-half comebacks

After RSC Anderlecht's Lazarus act at Arsenal FC on matchday four, looks back at some of the best second-half comebacks in UEFA Champions League history.

Highlights: Second-half comebacks
Highlights: Second-half comebacks

Played off the park for the first 45 minutes? Do not give up just yet, as a rich history of second-half comebacks in the UEFA Champions League offers plenty of hope. Inspired by RSC Anderlecht's improbable point at Arsenal FC on matchday four, recalls five of the best.

Arsenal FC 3-3 RSC Anderlecht
2013/14 group stage
Sweet revenge for the Gunners' own improbable win in the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium a fortnight before, when Arsenal turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win in the final two minutes. Arsène Wenger's men dominated the first hour of the return in London and streaked into a three-goal lead via Mikel Arteta, Alexis Sánchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain goals.

However, Anthony Vanden Borre gave the visitors hope on 61 minutes and when he struck a penalty with 17 minutes remaining an unlikely result seemed distinctly possible. Anderlecht threw everything at the hosts and eventually got their reward as Aleksandar Mitrović's thumping header in 90th minute. "Hopefully this is a massive lesson learned," Oxlade-Chamberlain said.

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SV Werder Bremen 5-3 RSC Anderlecht
1993/94 group stage
The Belgian side may have shown Arsenal how to come back from the dead in this season's competition, but they were given an object lesson in 1993. A Philippe Albert strike and a Danny Boffin double in the first half hour looked like sending the German side to a second successive defeat, especially after it took them until the final 25 minutes to summon up a response.

However, Wynton Rufer's 66-minute effort put a crack in the dam and when Rune Bratseth added a second, it burst. Bernd Hobsch headed the equaliser before Marco Bode rifled Bremen into the lead, rattling a left-footed shot past a shellshocked Filip De Wilde, and Rufer's second capped what became another 'Wonder of the Weser'.

RC Deportivo La Coruña 4-3 Paris Saint-Germain
2000/2001 second group stage
The Spanish side were Lazarus-like in the early 2000s, this success preceding their miraculous 5-4 aggregate success against AC Milan by three years. Going into the dressing room 2-0 down at the break coach Javier Irureta gave his players the silent treatment, refusing to talk to them for most of the break.

The tactic did not work immediately, as Laurent Leroy added a third for the Parisians, but four goals in 27 minutes spelled a thrilling finish. Walter Pandiani got the response under way before a Diego Tristán header convinced the home fans the comeback was on. Pandiani nodded his second to bring the scores level before the Uruguayan completed his hat-trick of headers and the improbable response.

AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool FC (aet, Liverpool win 3-2 on penalties)
2004/05 final
Perhaps the most famous in the competition's history, the Reds were dead and buried at the interval as Paolo Maldini's fastest ever goal in a UEFA Champions League final and two from Hernán Crespo looked to have secured Milan's seventh European crown. However, Steven Gerrard's header eight minutes after the restart began Liverpool's ultimately unstoppable momentum and within seven minutes of the first Vladimír Šmicer and Xabi Alonso had wiped out the half-time deficit. It came down to penalties and Jerzy Dudek saved from Andrea Pirlo and Andriy Shevchenko to go down in Liverpool folklore.

"Milan outplayed us first half but ours was a terrific second-half performance," said Gerrard. "3-0 down at half-time and I thought I was going to be in tears at the final whistle but every one of us deserved this." Jamie Carragher added: "That must be one of the greatest cup finals of all time."

FC Porto 2-3 FC Artmedia Bratislava
2005/06 group stage
Against a side which had won the competition just two seasons earlier the Slovakian team were not given a chance as they headed to Portugal, and that prognosis seemed accurate as Lucho González and Diego helped the hosts cruise into a two-goal lead. However, in first-half added time Peter Petráš cut inside his marker to fire past Vítor Baía.

Even at that stage there were no signs of worry from the hosts but Artmedia coach Vladimír Weiss seized the moment, introducing striker Juraj Halenár for Peter Burák and the substitute set up Ján Kozák for a coolly taken equaliser before Balázs Borbély side-footed the winner. "On Monday I stepped in a dog's mess, and assistant coach Michal Hipp told me it brings luck," Halenár said afterwards. "He was right."