We're probably not going to have a section on the greatest 17th minute goals.
Football can be at its most emotional, glorious and cruel when the clock is ticking down
those final few seconds. There are so many to choose from - indeed Melchester Rovers
could have had all 10 spots if they existed - but these are our own personal favourites.
Read them and weep (if you support Bayern Munich, Scarborough or Celtic).
No.1 Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2 1989, Anfield Michael Thomas
"It's up for grabs now!" roared an understandably over-excited Brian Moore, and
indeed it was. So the greatest ending to a match, and indeed a Championship, came to pass. The circumstances of
this occasion revolved around the tragedy of Hillsborough. A short period of mourning followed and then it was
back to business for arguably the most dramatic climax to a season in history. The gods conspired to end it
with the two teams who had traded blows all season, coming face to face. A faltering Arsenal required a 2 goal
victory at Anfield against a Liverpool team riding a wave of emotion that had already snared the FA Cup. In the
last seconds Arsenal are leading one-nil and a thump towards the Anfield Road end is flicked on by Alan Smith
into the path of Michael Thomas. Thomas lobs the ball gently over an advancing Grobbelaar and the stunning
conclusion is complete. Anfield, apart from the corner of delirious Gooners, is stunned and bemused. Incredible
doesn't do it justice.
No.2 Manchester Utd 2 Bayern Munich 1 1999, Nou Camp Teddy Sheringham & Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Narrowly beaten by Michael Thomas, this was a finish of epic
proportions. A footballing Spartacus. Descriptions are unnecessary; this was an amazing conclusion to the greatest
trophy in club football, on a heady night in Barcelona. A largely forgettable 90 minutes had been controlled by
the Germans but with only one notch on the bedpost, they are still vulnerable. Then Beckham swings in a corner
and Sheringham scores. It's extra time think the Germans as they let out a collective shout of "Donner Unt Blitzen!".
Only its not. United win another corner. Bayern are still too busy ruing their rotten luck with bad clichés that
they don't notice Solskjaer has popped in a second. "Himmel!" lets rip Lothar Matthaus, whilst Sammy Kuffour
spots an imaginary mole that he immediately batters back into the Nou Camp turf with his fist. As Sir Alex so
eloquently put it "Football. Bloody hell!".
No.3 Carlisle Utd 2 Plymouth Argyle 1 1999, Brunton Park Jimmy Glass
It's the last minute and Carlisle are staring at banishment to the Conference. The
Conference, if it were a TV channel, would be Granada Men & Motors. It's a bad place to be for proud, established
league clubs like Carlisle. With nothing to lose and the fat lady about to depart the chippy, they get a corner.
The on loan keeper Glass piles into the opposition box. As the ball is swung in, there's a melee and Glass
blasts her home. The temporary keeper has kept the Cumbrians in the league and doomed Scarborough to the fiery
ovens. After 46 hard, grinding matches, that is what it can come down to. Glass was never able to build on his
15 seconds of fame, but what a 15 seconds.
No.4 Motherwell 2 Celtic 1 2005, Fir Park Scott MacDonald
Celtic are wobbling. A once comfortable lead in the SPL has been whittled away
during a nervy April. Still, going into the last game they only need to match whatever Rangers can muster at
Hibernian. With Hibs desperate for UEFA Cup qualification and Motherwell with nothing better to do than roll
over against the Hoops, what can go wrong? Well, until the 88th minute, nothing. Celtic (like Rangers) are
leading 1-0 and looking comfortable. Step forward, Aussie forward Scott McDonald. Two stunning lobbed efforts
in two stunning minutes and Rangers have the most unlikely Scottish title of the 3,447 they've won. McDonald
would never again need to buy a drink in Govan.
No.5 Barcelona 3 Valencia 2 2001, Nou Camp Rivaldo
This gets in by virtue of the stunning beauty of the goal. Barcelona are drawing 2-2 with seconds to go against the team who are currently keeping that fourth Champions League spot from them. Rivaldo has already scored the first two goals; surely a third is out of the question. Not with the Brazilian at the pinnacle of his game. A remarkable overhead kick finishes the game, and Valencia's hopes of playing in the Champions League the following season. They had already lost the European Cup Final to Bayern in a turgid final. Even more remarkably, the goal provoked a pitch invasion, not seen at the Nou Camp since Rangers fans decided to spice up the 1972 Cup Winners Cup final with their unique brand of Scottish celebrations.
No.6 Middlesborough 3 Chesterfield 3 1997, Old Trafford Jamie Hewitt
One of the greatest FA Cup semi finals of all time looks to be heading towards an anti climax. Middlesborough, the struggling nouveau riche of the Premiership are leading 3-2 against Chesterfield who were two up with 25 minutes to go. What's more, the Spireites, put together on a budget that included some conkers and a balloon, were denied a clear third by Harrow School's Employee of the Week (October 1991), David Elleray. This would have sent a team from the 3rd Division to the Cup Final for the first time. But one last attack is formed and Chris Beaumont (if you look up `Journeyman' in the dictionary it simply says `Chris Beaumont') lobs a ball into the Boro danger zone and local lad Jamie Hewitt pops up to head a last gasp equaliser. The dream lived on. Until the replay.
No.7 Manchester City 0 Luton 1 1983, Maine Road Raddy Antic
What's that coming over the hill? Is it a monster? No sirree, it's David Pleat in a beige suit romping across the Maine Road turf. And why not? His cracking team of the early 80s, Ricky Hill, Brian Stein et al have just escaped relegation thanks to a last minute shot from Yugoslav Raddy Antic. What's more it sent City, going through one of their regular vaudeville periods, into Division 2. Pleaty went onto manage Tottenham and Sheffield Wednesday while Raddy's antics included managing Real Madrid.
No.8 Brazil 1 Sweden 1 1978, Park Municipal, Mar del Plata Zico
It's the last minute of a crucial World Cup group match between Brazil and Sweden. Brazil are
being surprisingly held by the Swedes but have an injury time corner. The great Zico heads it into the net.
Not to be outdone, the Welsh whistler Clive Thomas blows for full time as the ball is arrowing to the net.
Everyone remembers Thomas' diabolical reffing, not the winning goal served up by Zico. This is exactly how
Thomas would've wanted it.
No.9 Arsenal 2 Sheffield Wednesday 1 1993, Wembley Stadium Andy Linighan
As the longest cup final in history came to a conclusion,
Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday had taken each other all the way. Penalties appeared inevitable. Then in the
last minute of extra time Paul Merson swung a corner over and journeyman centre half Andy Linighan powered a
header past a hapless, fumbling Chris Woods. The sadness for Wednesday was enhanced as Arsenal had already
beaten them by an equivalent 2-1 in the League Cup final a month before.
No.10England 4 West Germany 2 1966, Wembley Stadium Geoff Hurst
"There's someone on the pitch,
who thinks it's nearly over. THAT'S ALL FOLKS!" Those famous, never to be forgotten words of Kevin Wolstenholme
live long in the memory. And England triumph, kings of the world.
For a bit. We all remember Bobby Stiles' famous jig, the Romanian linesman and Sylvester Stallone in goal,
defying Fritz. Boys own stuff.
And lest we forget...
Man City 2 Gillingham 2 1999, Wembley Stadium
France 2 Italy 1 2000, Feijenoord Stadion, Rotterdam