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On This Day 45 Years Ago: Real Madrid’s Epic Comeback vs Derby County

Real Madrid turned around a 4-1 first leg deficit, on a magical night at the Bernabeu

In the 1975 - 1976 season, Real Madrid were drawn against Derby County in the European Cup round-of-16. They lost the first leg away 4 - 1, leaving an uphill battle to overcome at the Bernabeu.

But that uphill battle came with an opportunity to provide one of the most memorable nights in Real Madrid history.

Manager Miljan Miljanovic fielded a 3-5-2 in the second leg, with plenty of legends in the squad, including Camacho, del Bosque, Pirri, Netzer, Breitner, Amancio, and Santillana.

From Real Madrid’s official website:

The Santiago Bernabéu was hopeful as the team set out on what would become a legendary evening, and with just three minutes on the clock, the home side opened the scoring. Roberto Martínez turned home a ball that had been flicked on by Santillana to get the comeback underway. Real Madrid created lots of chances but had to wait until the beginning of the second half for the second goal. Again, Roberto Martinez got the goal, taking advantage of a clearance from the English goalkeeper.

A few minutes later, the comeback dream looked on when Santillana headed home from a Netzer free kick. But a goal from George, who finished from outside the area in the 62nd minute, once again put Real Madrid on the brink of going out of Europe. The moment came to prove that this club never gives up and the reward came in the last ten minutes of the match, with Pirri converting a penalty awarded for a foul on Amancio. At 4-1 the match went into extra time, where the Real Madrid players completed an historic night, thanks to a goal from Santillana who beat the defender and finished with his left foot to put the icing on the cake of one of the greatest European comebacks in the history of the club.


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