With the scores locked at 1-1 in the 2018 Champions League final against Liverpool, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane took off Isco for Gareth Bale, who proceeded to score twice as los Blancos won the tournament for the third year in a row.
Not all substitutions work so well, however. In this slideshow, we pick out 10 of the more shocking mid-game changes…
Mourinho makes triple espresso exit
Almost everything Jose Mourinho touched turned to gold in his first season at Chelsea, so it was almost startling when his triple change against Newcastle backfired.
The Blues were trailing 1-0 in the last 16 of the FA Cup when the Portuguese span the roulette wheel and made a trio of substitutions at half-time, introducing Damien Duff, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Frank Lampard. Wayne Bridge was stretchered off soon after, before Carlo Cudicini was sent off and Duff and William Gallas picked up knocks.
Stevie sees red after being caged by Brendan
Liverpool were in fine form ahead of a derby clash with Manchester United in March 2015, with Brendan Rodgers’ side attempting to chase down their rivals in the final Champions League spot. Rodgers left Steven Gerrard out of his starting XI but introduced him at half-time, by which point the Reds were 1-0 down to Juan Mata’s strike.
Rodgers probably told Gerrard to put himself about when he was introduced at the break, but the skipper took the instruction too literally: 38 seconds after entering the fray, he was sent off for stamping on Ander Herrera.
The Tranmere 10 becomes 11
Second-tier giant-killers Tranmere added Sunderland to their list of scalps in the fourth round of the FA Cup in 2000, having previously overcome West Ham, Middlesbrough and Coventry in domestic knockout football.
There was more than a hint of controversy to their victory over the Black Cats, though: defender Clint Hill was red-carded in injury time, only to be replaced by Stephen Frail seconds later. Sunderland boss Peter Reid wasn't happy, likening the episode to “Billy Smart’s circus”.
Psycho makes a mug out of Macken
This final-day encounter was essentially a play-off for the final UEFA Cup spot, with Manchester City needing to win and Middlesbrough able to draw to secure qualification. The scores were level at 1-1 when Stuart Pearce sent goalkeeper David James up front in the closing minutes, with midfielder Claudio Reyna taken off for substitute shot-stopper Nicky Weaver.
It was all quite embarrassing for striker Jon Macken (one goal in 30 league games), who was left on the bench as James bumbled around up top. City won a penalty in injury time, but Mark Schwarzer denied Robbie Fowler to send Boro into Europe.
LvG's keeper swap shop
The Netherlands had to rely on penalties to beat Costa Rica in the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup, with manager Louis van Gaal creating a major talking point by replacing goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen in the last minute of extra time.
Tim Krul entered the fray and saved two spot-kicks in the shoot-out as the Dutch reached the last four. Van Gaal wanted to repeat the trick in the semi-final against Argentina but was unable to do so having already made three changes; Cillessen didn't save any of Argentina's four penalties, whereas Sergio Remoero denied Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder.
Taylor ends Lineker's career crisp-ly
Gary Lineker was just two away from a half-century of international goals, and one behind the legendary Bobby Charlton, when Graham Taylor substituted him for Alan Smith with 30 minutes still remaining in this pivotal European Championship tie. Lineker never played for the Three Lions again.
"I took a lot of stick over that but I will maintain, until the day I die, that was a purely footballing decision," Taylor insisted. Lineker was apoplectic at the time but mellowed when he saw the fallout, conceding that his manager “probably did me a favour by making me a martyr.”
Reds Czech out of Champions League
Champions League football returned to Anfield in 2001-02 after the previous season’s Treble of FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup, and Gerard Houllier's side travelled to Bayer Leverkusen with one foot in the semi-finals of Europe’s premier competition.
The Reds took a 1-0 lead to Germany and, with 29 minutes remaining, held a 2-1 aggregate advantage. Houllier then took off holding midfielder Didi Hamann for Vladimir Smicer, a move which helped Leverkusen score twice and set up a last-four tie with Manchester United.
Matthaus removed and Munich pay
Bayern Munich were beating United 1-0 in the Champions League final when the ageing but effective Lothar Matthaus was withdrawn for Thorsten Fink 10 minutes from time. What happened next was scarcely believable, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer striking late to steal the Red Devils' second European Cup.
"If I was Matthaus, I would've played that game until the last drop of my blood," a dejected Sammy Kuffour said.
‘Arry makes West Ham fan happy as Larry
Fed up of receiving criticism from loudmouth West Ham fan Steve Davies during a pre-season friendly against Oxford City, Hammers boss Harry Redknapp decided to send the supporter - who claimed he could do a better job than his side's striker Lee Chapman - on as a substitute in the second half.
Davies took to the pitch just minutes after sucking on a cigarette and swigging from a bottle in the away end. His Roy of the Rovers moment duly arrived in the 71st minute, the courier from Milton Keynes belting the ball past the veteran Oxford keeper.
Delio Rossi packs a punch
In 2012, Fiorentina sacked manager Delio Rossi for throwing punches at Adem Ljajic - his own player - after the ex-Manchester United trialist sarcastically applauded the decision to rope him off against Novara.
"I've made a mistake and I will pay for it," Rossi, who was later banned for three months, said afterwards. "My gesture was ugly, disgraceful and I am very saddened. I have never allowed myself to hit anyone, not even my children."
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