Scott McTominay inspired an astonishing turnaround for Manchester United against Brentford on Saturday, but where does it rank among the club’s latest comeback wins in the Premier League?
Manchester United have cultivated a reputation for late winners and dramatic comebacks over the years; arguably the most famous win in the club’s history saw them score two at the death to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in the 1998-99 UEFA Champions League final.
But even by their own standards, Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brentford will take some beating in the comeback stakes; Erik ten Hag’s side looked down and out, practically devoid of hope, but substitute Scott McTominay – only introduced in the 87th minute – scored twice in stoppage time to flip the game on its head.
In doing so, the Scotland international became the first player to score two goals in the 90th minute or later of a Premier League game since Steven Bergwijn for Tottenham in January 2022, wiping out Mathias Jensen’s first-half opener that left more questions about André Onana.
Given United’s woes this season, there was undoubtedly a sense this win could be the lift they’d needed, but where does it rank among the club’s latest comeback wins?
90th Minute: Manchester United 2-1 Brentford, 7 October 2023
Yep, that’s right, Saturday’s dramatic win was United’s latest comeback victory in the Premier League – that’s how significant, and improbable, McTominay’s intervention was.
Ten Hag’s beleaguered men were staring down the barrel of a seventh defeat in 11 matches. Had Brentford held on to the 1-0 win, it would’ve consigned United to their worst start in Premier League history over the first eight games.
They were still trailing with 92:46 on the clock, and yet they still managed to turn it around; never before in the Premier League have they been behind so late in a match and still gone on to win.
McTominay levelled with an instinctive shot inside the box despite an awkward bounce, and then he then sent Old Trafford into raptures as he latched on to Harry Maguire’s header to nod home.
87th Minute: Southampton 2-3 Manchester United, 2 September 2012
Before Saturday, Man Utd’s latest comeback win in the Premier League era was over a decade ago in September 2012, with Robin van Persie the hero on that occasion.
Rickie Lambert and Morgan Schneiderlin scored headers either side of Van Persie’s brilliant chest-down and volley, with United then trailing until 86:54. Rio Ferdinand nodded against the post, but Van Persie was on hand to smash in the rebound to equalise again.
He then got United’s unlikely, dramatic winner with 91:11 on the clock, glancing home Nani’s corner to complete his first hat-trick for the club and a tremendous victory.
86th Minute: Manchester United 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday, 10 April 1993
United took a huge leap towards their first Premier League title – and first league championship since 1967 – in April 1993 when they stunned Sheffield Wednesday at Old Trafford.
Steve Bruce levelled the game in the 86th minute on this occasion with a fine header, setting up a grandstand finish, which led to a United winner six minutes into stoppage time.
Gary Pallister’s delivery was deflected kindly into the path of Bruce, who got his second of the game, sparking the now-iconic touchline celebrations of Sir Alex Ferguson and assistant Brian Kidd, with the latter dropping to his knees after bursting onto the pitch.
They duly went on to win the title.
85th Minute: Manchester United 2-1 Middlesbrough, 31 December 2016
This win may not have been as important as that comeback against Wednesday, but it was similarly dramatic.
Grant Leadbitter had drilled Middlesbrough in front with just over an hour played, and for a while that looked as though it’d be enough to at least earn the visitors a point.
Anthony Martial had other ideas, however. He poked home for José Mourinho’s men with 84:31 on the clock, and they didn’t have to wait much longer for a second goal.
Paul Pogba headed in Juan Mata’s delivery one minute and 26 seconds later, clinching a thrilling late turnaround with Ferguson – mastermind of many a comeback – fittingly watching on in the stands.