Five Of The Best FA Cup Finals Ever!
With both Liverpool and Chelsea chasing potential cup doubles at this Saturday’s FA Cup Final, ZOO looks back at some of the competitions greatest games.
Whether it's giant killer or high-scoring thriller, we’ve found some of the best matches to grace what Sir Bobby Robson dubbed “the greatest single match outside the World Cup Final”.
Words: Joe Struggles
2006’s FA Cup Final was the last to be played at the Millennium Stadium, which harboured the tournament whilst the new Wembley Stadium was built. And what a final it was.
Having finished 3rd, Liverpool were firm favourites heading into the game against 9th placed West Ham. However, the red half of Merseyside couldn’t have wished for a worse start. Finding themselves 1-0 down after 20 minutes through a Jamie Carragher own goal, Dean Ashton doubled the lead for the Hammers after pouncing on a Reina fumble.
Liverpool pressed to get a goal back with Peter Crouch having an effort disallowed, before volleys from Djibril Cissé and Steven Gerrard equalised for the Reds either side of half time. Less than ten minutes later, Paul Konchesky put the London side back in front, swinging in a cross that sailed over the Liverpool keeper and into the top corner of the net.
With minutes to go and the likes of Cissé being treated with cramp, West Ham looked to have earned themselves their first FA Cup win since 1980. But Steven Gerrard had other ideas. The midfielder popped up again with a stunning 30-yard drive that flew past Shaka Hislop, taking the game to extra time. With both Benitez and Pardrew having used all three of their subs and the on-field players growing tired and cranky, neither side could break the deadlock and then came the inevitable penalties.
After not having the best of games, Reina silenced his critics by saving three penalties from four. And with only Hyypiä missing for Liverpool, the Spaniard’s save from Anton Ferdinand clinched the Reds’ 7th FA Cup trophy.
Fallon d'Floor Award '13!
Here is ZOO Magazine's alternative award for the Premier League's best dive.