Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat of Arsenal on 28th November 2004 was one of their most memorable in Premier League history. Neil Mellor’s stoppage-time strike stunned Arsene Wenger’s hugely talented ‘Invincibles’ side, and gave Rafa Benitez his finest win at that point in his time at Anfield.
There have been many joyous late strikes down the years that have seen Liverpool snatch all three points, whether it be to keep their title hopes alive, complete a remarkable comeback or defeat a bitter rival. Here are Liverpool’s 10 Greatest Late Winners In Premier League History; does Mellor’s make the cut?
10. Dirk Kuyt vs Manchester City (2008/09)
Dirk Kuyt often came up with big goals in important matches, and his last-gasp winner at the Etihad in October 2008 was a perfect example.
The Reds had trailed 2-0 at half-time, but a second-half double by Fernando Torres, coupled with the sending off of Pablo Zabaleta, saw Benitez’s men the favourites to find a winner.
Kuyt pounced with seconds remaining, firing home from close-range to send the travelling fanatics wild.
9. Danny Murphy vs Manchester United (2001/02)
Any win over Manchester United at Old Trafford is a momentous occasion, but nothing beats a late victory there. Their tussle with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side in January 2002 was a tight affair, but it was Danny Murphy who proved to be the hero away to United for the second year running.
With just five minutes remaining Gerrard’s exquisite pass found the midfielder, and he lofted a terrific finish over Fabien Barthez to earn Gerard Houllier’s team a priceless three points.
8. Fernando Torres vs Portsmouth (2008/09)
The 2008/09 campaign was one of Liverpool’s finest of the last 20 years, and it was littered with late goals.
Having trailed 2-1 at Fratton Park with 12 minutes remaining, the Reds knew victory was paramount if they were to keep the pressure on United at the top of the table.
Kuyt made it 2-2 after 85 minutes, and in a frantic, desperate finale, Torres powered a header past David James to snatch an enormous victory.
7. Steven Gerrard vs Fulham (2013/14)
Last season was more about Liverpool blitzing teams in the opening 20 minutes of matches, rather than scoring late, but their last-gasp win at Fulham in February kept their title chances alive.
Deep into added-on time, Sturridge was fouled by Sascha Riether in the penalty area, and Gerrard nervelessly struck home the spot-kick. The celebrations were memorable, both on the pitch and in the away end.
6. Yossi Benayoun vs Fulham (2008/09)
Benitez’s men had battered the hosts all afternoon, hitting the woodwork several times, but they simply couldn’t find a winner. With almost the last kick of the game, however, the ball fell to Yossi Benayoun, and the Israeli fired home emphatically. It was debatably Liverpool’s most dramatic moment of the season.
5. Robbie Fowler vs Newcastle (1996/97)
A fantastic game of football had ebbed and flowed, with the Mapgies coming back from 3-0 down to make it 3-3 with two minutes remaining.
In stoppage-time, however, Stig Inge Bjornebye’s cross was headed home by Robbie Fowler, sending the Kop wild after one of its most memorable ever games.
4. Neil Mellor vs Arsenal (2004/05)
As mentioned earlier, it’s 10 years to the day since Mellor shocked the Gunners, and his strike has to be right up there in terms of Liverpool’s greatest late winners.
Xabi Alonso’s brilliant effort had been cancelled out by Patrick Vieira’s sublime goal, and as the game drifted into stoppage-time, both teams seemed to have settled for a draw.
Chris Kirkland’s kick wasn’t properly cleared by the Arsenal defence though, and Mellor ambitiously fired a 30-yard effort past Jens Lehmann and into the Kop net. The ‘Invincibles’ were left stunned as Anfield celebrated.
3. Dirk Kuyt vs Everton (2007/08)
One of the most dramatic, controversial Merseyside derbies of all time ended with Kuyt once again the hero in a big game.
Sami Hyypia’s own goal had put Liverpool behind, but Kuyt’s second-half penalty had levelled matters, following Tony Hibbert’s sending off for hauling down Gerrard in the box.
In the dying seconds, Phil Neville’s handball on the line gave the Dutchman a chance to win it for the Reds, and he duly obliged. He could easily have been dismissed for a reckless lunge earlier in the game, but the Liverpool fans weren’t complaining.
2. Stan Collymore vs Newcastle (1995/96)
Kevin Keegan’s title hopefuls led 2-1 at half-time, but Robbie Fowler made it 2-2 after the break. Faustino Asprilla and Stan Collymore then exchanged goals, in what was becoming an epic contest, and the scene was set for an amazing ending.
Reds legends John Barnes and Ian Rush exchanged a couple of one-twos, and Barnes eventually found Collymore on the left-hand side of the box. The enigmatic striker rifled an effort into the back of the net, rounding off a truly remarkable evening with almost the last kick of the game.
1. Gary McAllister vs Everton (2000/01)
This had to be number one, didn’t it? Liverpool’s unforgettable late victory at Goodison Park in April 2001 was huge in terms of their Champions League qualification hopes, and it made Gary McAllister a legend in the process.
Goals from Emile Heskey and Duncan Ferguson saw the scores level at the interval, and when Markus Babbel it 2-1 in the second-half, things looked good for Houllier’s men. Fowler missed a penalty, Igor Biscan was sent-off and David Unsworth thundered home a penalty, however, as Liverpool’s night took a turn for the worse.
Just as it looked as though two crucial points had been dropped, McAllister curled home a stunning free-kick from 40 yards in stoppage-time, when everyone was expecting the Scot to loft the ball into the penalty area.
It was a monumental victory, and was surely Liverpool’s greatest late winner in Premier League history.
Did we miss your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.