Goals that Changed Football History

Goals. That’s what football matches are remembered for. Nobody remembers a dull 0-0 draw a year after the final whistle. But everyone remembers the match in which a late goal, a great solo goal, an amazing team goal, or a controversial goal is scored.

It takes just one moment of brilliance to score a goal, and that could be the end of the game. At other times, that moment of brilliance sees a fantastic comeback from the underdog. While all goals are crucial to winning a football match, some goals change not just a game, but the course of history.

From Sergio Aguero’s last minute goal to win the league in 2012, to Diego Maradona’s ‘hand-of-god’ goal against England at the 1986 World Cup, here are some of the goals that changed the history of football: 


Steven Gerrard v AC Milan – 2005 Champions League Final

Steven Gerrard 2005 Champions League FinalImage source: Goal.com

No matter how big of a football fan you are, you know about the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul. Rafa Benitez lead a determined Liverpool side to the final to face off against arguably the best side AC Milan has ever had.

Fast-forward to halftime, and Liverpool are 3-0 down, and in danger of experiencing an embarrassing defeat. That was until Captain Fantastic, Steven Gerrard, opened Liverpool’s account just six minutes into the second half. What followed was a massacre of AC Milan’s defense, which saw Liverpool net another two goals in the space of six minutes to level the scores.

Liverpool went on to win on penalties. But there can be no doubt that Steven Gerrard’s goal in the 51st minute completely changed the game.

Michael Thomas - last minute winner against Liverpool in 1988/89

Michael Thomas' last minute winner against LiverpoolImage source: The42.ie

Arsenal went into their final league match against Liverpool needing to win by two or more goals in order to win the 1988/89 league title. Going into the match, Arsenal were three points behind league leaders, Liverpool, and needed to win by two clear goals to clinch the title.

Anfield had been a fortress for the Merseyside giants and many expected the Reds to seal the deal and take home the title. The Gunners, and Michael Thomas in particular, had other ideas.

After taking a 1-0 lead in the 52nd minute thanks to a strike from Alan Smith, one more goal would see Arsenal taking home the title. But Liverpool had other ideas. They shut-up shop and defended, and defended, and defended.

They defended deep into added time, until Michael Thomas broke through a scored Arsenal’s second goal. Less than a minute later, the match was over and Arsenal were league champions. Despite both teams ending the season on 76 points, Arsenal had scored more goals throughout the campaign, handing them the title.

Sergio Aguero breaks United hearts

Sergio Aguero wins the League for Manchester CityImage source: Sbisoccer.com

History has a way of repeating itself. Only this time, it was Manchester City who needed to win on the final day of the season. They were facing off against QPR at home and simply needed to win the match in order to be crowned champions.

Many thought that after their incredible season, and playing against a lowly QPR, City would wrap the match up before halftime. But it wasn’t to be. City were staring down the barrel and were 2-1 down after 90 minutes.

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Two minutes into added time, Edin Dzeko levelled the scores, but it seemed like that was the last goal that would be scored. That was until a break from the back, and a little bit of luck, put the ball in Sergio Aguero’s path - in the box.

Aguero laced the ball into the back of the net with just 90 seconds remaining in the game. The noise in the stadium, and from around the light-blue side of Manchester was indescribable.

Sergio Ramos heads Real Madrid into extra time

Sergio Ramos equalises in the 2014 Champions League FinalImage source: Sportskeeda.com

The Madrid Derby between Real and Atletico is always a massive occasion. Throw in a Champions League final, and the pressure, intensity, and excitement increases ten-fold.

With Atletico Madrid leading 1-0 heading into the 93rd minute of the final, it looked as though Atletico would walk away with the Champions League trophy and all the bragging rights.

That was until Real won a corner. Luka Modric whipped in the perfect ball; Sergio Ramos lost his defender and leaped high into the air, catching the ball perfectly and sending it into the bottom corner of the goal, narrowly beating a desperately stretching Thibaut Courtois.

Ramos’ goal forced the sides into extra time, where a reinvigorated Real Madrid demolished their opponents winning 4-1 thanks to further goals from Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Diego Maradona’s ‘hand of god’ goal against England

Diego Maradona hand of godImage source: en.as.com

Arguably the most famous goal of all time from possibly the most controversial figure in the history of the game. We are, of course, talking about Diego Maradona and the hand of god.

The 1986 World Cup clash between England and Argentina held special significance as it was the first time the two countries had faced each other since the Falklands War. Argentina, and Diego Maradona in particular, made sure that it would be a game that would go down in history.

Maradona put Argentina ahead in the 51st minute in dramatic fashion, when he went up for a header and used his hand to guide the ball into the English goal. As blatant as it was, it wasn’t picked up by the officials, and left a bitter taste in the mouth of English supporters and players alike.

There is no doubt that these goals not only changed the course of a game, but re-routed football history. You can make your own history by placing a bet on football with Betway. Whether it be the Champions League, the Premier League, or La LigaBetway offers the best odds on all the best football action from around the world.

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Published: 02/07/2019