View: Three of the greatest Aston Villa comebacks in the Premier League era
Aston Villa have had their fair share of brilliant comebacks in the Premier League, but here are three that may have flown beneath the radar amongst the club’s illustrious history.
Tottenham 2 – 4 Aston Villa (Saturday 15 April, 2000)
With Villa bidding for top-six football following back-to-back wins over Sheffield Wednesday and second-placed Leeds United, the crunch clash against Spurs was a pivotal match in the club’s season.
Prospects of a third straight win were quickly squashed when Steffen Iversen gave Spurs an early lead, and Chris Armstrong doubled their lead just before half-time at White Hart Lane.
A side brimming with the undoubted quality of Paul Merson, Dion Dublin, and Ian Taylor was never going to lie down and roll over, though, with the Villans came roaring out the blocks in the second half. Dublin began the revival with a 62nd-minute penalty and levelled proceedings with a jaw-dropping bicycle kick, which was made even more impressive considering the serious spinal injury he was nursing.
A minute after defying the laws of physics, Dublin nodded on David James’ goal kick for Benitot Carbone to thump home from 25 yards out – before repeating this feat from a similar range after 74 minutes.
From 2-0 down after 61 minutes to 4-2 up just 12 minutes later, this was one of the most incredible comebacks in Villa history.
Aston Villa 3 – 2 Coventry City (Saturday 2 May, 2001)
Coventry City’s most recent visit to Villa Park will still haunt them, as they let a 2-0 lead slip to end up getting relegated from the Premier League.
At half-time, the Sky Blues’ hopes of remaining in the top flight were all but secured after Moustapha Hadji fired a quickfire brace to set them on course.
However, the tide began to turn on the hour mark as Darius Vassell’s low bobbling shot made it through goalkeeper Chris Kirkland’s hands to level proceedings.
Juan Pablo Angel would score his first goal for the club after joining from River Plate in front of the Holte End just ten minutes later. The comeback was completed by Merson as his beautifully struck curling effort from 25 yards out found the top corner of the Coventry net.
Aston Villa 3 – 3 Everton (Sunday 12 April, 2009)
A Super Sunday blockbuster was in store for the Villa Park faithful as Martin O’Neill’s side twice fought back from two goals down to clinch a point against the Toffees.
David Moyes’ side raced into a 2-0 lead after 25 minutes through Marouane Fellaini and Australian striker Tim Cahill.
John Carew reduced the deficit after 32 minutes when he smashed the ball home from close range, but Steven Pienaar left Villa a mountain to climb when he netted from the edge of the box after 53 minutes.
Controlling the game at 3-1 just before the hour-mark, it took some James Milner magic from a set piece to drag Villa back into the game with his best James Ward-Prowse impression.
After his 25 minutes freekick flew beyond Tim Howard in the Everton net, the home side were awarded a penalty when Stiliyan Petrov was kicked in the head by Jolen Lescott.
Gareth Barry hammered home the subsequent penalty and helped Villa nick a point in the most unlikely of circumstances.