“It’s not the small beast that will eat the big one”, that’s what your mother used to tell you when you were freaking out about a fly in your room. It may be true for insects, a little less so for football.
We have often seen incredible scores between big teams, Germany’s 7-1 against Brazil, Bayern’s 8-2 against Barça, but it also happens that “small” teams teach them a lesson. Do not take too much confidence guys, the danger can be everywhere.
1. Atalanta v Juventus (3-0)
In 2019, in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia, Atalanta met Juve. And there is the tragedy, against all odds Atalanta takes out Juve, with 3 goals against 0. What happened? Simply the Bergamo earthquake which crushed Juve, however defending champion since 2015.
2. England vs Iceland (1-2)
This meeting, on the occasion of Euro 2016, England will remember it, and Iceland too for that matter. You might think the 2-1 scoreline isn’t crazy, but when you consider that most of Iceland’s players are amateurs and trained by a dentist, you can definitely say it’s a little feat. And that’s how England left Europe twice (ouch).
3. Bournemouth v Chelsea FC (4-0)
During the Premier League in 2019, Bournemouth won 4-0 against Chelsea, yes that’s a lot. After King opened the scoring going into halftime, the goals didn’t stop. One at 63′ by Brooks, another from King at 74′ and finally the knockout at 95′ by Daniels. Not a great day for Chelsea, but a great achievement for the Premier League.
4. Lille v Paris (5-1)
In April 2019 in Ligue 1, Lille showed Paris who the bosses really were. Of course, we can’t really say that Lille is a “small team”, but winning 5-1 against PSG, which still largely dominates the French championship, is a bit humiliating for the capital.
The meeting was quite chaotic for PSG, after scoring a goal in the 11th minute, Bernat went out on a red card and left the Parisians at 10 against 11. This is when the goal festival begins, and Lille are doing well drive the point home until you score 4 extra goals, that’s a lot.
5. South Korea vs Germany (2-0)
Group stage of the 2018 World Cup. Korea meets Germany, the match seemed to be a foregone conclusion, but no, the Koreans will beat the Mannschaft, and 2 goals to 0 more. 2 goals at 92 and 96, it’s not pretty guys.
6. Turkey v France (2-0)
Turkey had met France during the knockout stages of the Euro, in 2019. France was obviously announced as the winner but we will quickly understand that this Euro was not for the Blues. Suddenly, Turkey had also captured it and beat France 2 goals to 0, by registering these two 2 goals in just 10 minutes.
7. Dortmund v Hoffenheim (0-4)
The “small” club of Hoffenheim met Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga in 2020, and 4 goals were scored during the meeting… by Hoffenheim (yes yes). From the 8th to the 50th minute, Hoffenheim pressed Borussia Dortmund, who never managed to come back to score. Another great football moment, and all thanks to a quadruple from Kramaric, thanks man.
8. Bayern v Monchengladbach (0-3)
Still in the Bundesliga (and I still agree that Mönchengladbach is not really a small club in Germany, but well it’s not Bayern what), and still in 2018, another turnaround when Bayern meet Monchengladbach. Multiple champion of the German championship, they were not at the base very worried. Bayern dominated the game (72% possession of the ball against 28% for Mönchengladbach), but as you know in football the most important thing is not to make passes, but to score. Bayern did not know how to do it and took 3 goals in the mouth, when they had attempted 14 shots. What a female dog of life anyway.
9. Real Madrid v Ajax (1-4)
Yes, Ajax has grown in strength in recent years, but from there to beat Real in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, it’s a bit humiliating. 4-1 more, and a red card for Inglesias in the 93rd, proof that the people of Madrid had clearly cracked.
10. France v Switzerland (3-3)
The Swiss are going to complain about being called a “small team”, but against the reigning world champions, you could think they wouldn’t make the cut.
Except that, as we well know, they will succeed in reversing the situation in the 90s by equalizing (3-3), to bring the Blues to penalties. And there is the tragedy, to everyone’s surprise Mbappé misses his penalty and France is eliminated. Quite difficult to live for those who were already announced as winners to be knocked out on penalties against Switzerland, but that’s life.
11. Benin during CAN 2019
The CAN 2019 was really a great competition (and that of 2022 too, for that matter), especially because small African teams like Benin, had managed to create the feat and beat the leaders of African football. This was the case of Benin who had taken out Morocco when they reached the quarter-finals of the competition. Talking about humiliation is perhaps a bit strong, but it was a nice turnaround for overconfident Moroccans.
12. And finally Madagascar which, like Benin, had eliminated the biggest in Africa
Another team during CAN 2019 had created the feat, it is Madagascar. Like Benin, the Malagasy had stopped in the quarter-finals, when it was their first participation. In their journey they had notably beaten Nigeria 2-0, and eliminated the DRC 2-2 on penalties. Yes it’s nothing.