The FA Cup has always been a wonderful competition and the beauty of the tournament is it seldom goes exactly the way you think and upsets are always likely to happen. This is my list of five of the most memorable semi-finals.
This should not necessarily be seen as a definitive list of the top five semi-finals of all time – but more an opinion piece on five of my personal favourites. I would also like to point out that I have chosen games from the modern era to try and broaden appeal.
I would also point to the fact that three of the games feature Manchester United. Sorry if this offends anyone, but that’s just the way it has come out, I am not a Manchester United fan!
5 Newcastle United vs. Manchester United 2005 (1-4)
The match in 2005 was certainly an entertaining game and featured 5 goals in a packed Millennium Stadium. However, it tendered to be a rather one sided affair in which Manchester United always had an element of control in. The Red Devils looked in complete control at half time due to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Van Nistelrooy and Scholes. When Van Nistelrooy scored his second goal of the game in the 58th minute the tie looked done and dusted – but Newcastle at least threatened a comeback when Shola Ameobi scored. However, Ronaldo made absolutely sure with the fourth united goal in the 76th minute and they were through to the final.
[bet_365 type='generic' size='468' af_code='365_050711']
4 Manchester United vs. Crystal Palace 1995 (2-2)
This proved to be a more difficult game than Manchester United were expecting. The Red Devils went into this game looking for easy progress to the final. However, Crystal Palace gave Manchester United a good fight. In the end the game played at Villa Park finished 2-2 with goals from Denis Irwin and Gary Pallister for United and responses from Palace duo Armstrong and Dowie. Manchester won the reply 2-0.
3 Middlesbrough vs. Chesterfield 1997 (3-3)
For me this is one of the most memorable FA Cup ties. Before the match Middlesbrough were expecting a comfortable win – but there were given one hell of a fright by lower league Chesterfield United. In the match Chesterfield stormed into a 2-0 lead with goals from Morris and Dyche, but Middlesbrough were able to find a way back into the game and level matters with quick fire goals from Ravanelli and Hignett. Middlesbrough were confident of finding a winner – but continued to be frustrated. So the game entered a period of extra time – where there were two further goals, one for each side and the game finished 3-3. In the reply Boro won 2-0.
2 Manchester United vs. Oldham 1990 (3-3)
Another fantastic example of what the FA cup brings; a classic game with both sides going all out looking for the win. It was a game that United really should have taken control of after having the lead on three separate occasions – but Oldham pegged them back again and forced the reply. Manchester United won the replay in extra time with Mark Robins hitting the winner.
1 Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool 1990 (4-3)
What a fantastic game of football this turned out to be with Crystal Palace surprising Liverpool. The Merseyside club had led twice in the game during normal time and looked certain to win. But it was Palace who had the last laugh with an extra time winner from Alan Pardew. It proved to be sweet revenge for the London club, because they were beaten by Liverpool 9-0 earlier in the League that same season.
Like this article? Follow me on Twitter
[bet_365 type='odds' size='300' af_code='365_050711']