We’ll start off with a game before the Premier League started which some would say was the catalyst for a seismic change in English football. The end of Liverpool’s reign and the beginning of Manchester United’s. In what can only be described as a pulsating game, the winning goal was scored by one Alan Pardew who also lead Palace to the 2016 Fa Cup final against Manchester United.
Despite the scoreline suggesting otherwise, this was a very close match between the two London rivals. Spurs were in the ascendency and looked likely to take the lead before Didier Drogba put Chelsea ahead before half time. Within five minutes of the second half starting was the major turning point when Chelsea scored a ‘ghost goal’ of their own as Martin Atkinson awarded Chelsea a goal that never crossed the line. Gareth Bale managed to pull one back for Spurs but with his team still clearly unsettled by the referring error, Chelsea stormed ahead to win the match 5-1.
Two sides not fancied to win the cup produced quite simply one of the most exciting Semi Final’s in the history of the competition. Hull, perhaps unfamiliar to the role as favourites for this match, went in at half time 2-1 down and facing the prospect of losing to the Championship side. What came next was a stunning comeback as they fired in four second half goals to get through to their first FA Cup final in their history. And what a final it was…
Arsenal were defending their FA Cup trophy from the previous year and when they were drawn against Championship side Reading, they were already dreaming of another Wembley final. This perhaps was the reason why Arsenal produced a lethargic performance. Despite taking the lead, Reading managed to draw level and send the tie into extra time. Reading made it nervous for Arsenal as the Gunners kept missing chances while allowing Reading the opportunity to steal the win. Ultimately, Royals keeper Adam Federici made a huge goalkeeping error to send Arsenal through to the final where they would win their second FA Cup in as many years.
This one was never going to be left out. The two top teams in the country at the time, the first match ended 0-0 and had to be decided in this replay that had it all. With the match delicately balanced at 1-1 Arsenal won a penalty in the 90th minute which also saw XXX recieve a red card. With one kick of the game, United’s treble season would have ended there but Peter Schmeichel stood up tall and saved from Dennis Bergkamp to send the match into extra time. What followed was one of the most memorable moments in FA Cup history as Ryan Giggs slalomed through multiple Arsenal players to rifle a shot past David Seaman and send every Manchester United fan into pandemonium.