Five best stunning comebacks in the history of the FA Cup
The Football Association Challenge Cup, officially known as the FA Cup, is an annual football tournament in English football. Founded in 1871, the knock-out competition has seen many an exciting match in its rich history spanning 148 long years. With the FA Cup 4th Round matches currently under way, we saw a thrilling match unfolding yesterday, with Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s Manchester United outclassing Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium. We take a look at the five best stunning comebacks in the history of the FA Cup.
5. Tottenham Hotspur 3 - 4 Manchester City (4th Round, 2004)
At the half-time interval, Spurs were 3 goals to the good against the Cityzens. Two minutes later City's night got even worse when Joey Barton found himself on the referee’s bad books as he picked up a second booking for dissent while walking off the pitch. However, goals from Sylvan Distin, Paul Bosvelt and Shaun Wright-Phillips sparked delirious celebrations from the City fans and the evening took an even more dramatic turn when Jon Macken's last-minute looping header put the icing on the cake for the ultimate comeback.
4. Newcastle United 4 - 3 Nottingham Forest (Quarter final, 1974)
With the Magpies down to ten men, Nottingham Forest going 3-1 up was too hard to digest for those in the Leaze End after which a bevy of Geordies invaded the pitch. After a ten-minute delay, the match resumed with Forest in disarray. Toon hero Terry McDermott found the net twice and singlehandedly won the game with a last-minute diving header. Forest appealed the result, citing the well-orchestrated pitch invasion, and the FA ordered a re-match. Newcastle United cemented the comeback after a replay.
3. Manchester United 3 - 3 Crystal Palace (Final, 1990)
With just ten minutes remaining at the end of extra-time (this was before Fergie time came into prominence), Steve Coppell's Palace led Manchester United 3-2 and many believed Sir Alex Ferguson was 600 seconds from being given the sack as United finished another season empty-handed. That was not to be as Danny Wallace sent Mark Hughes clear to score past Nigel Martyn and force a replay. United won that 1-0 to pick up the first of 31 trophies won under the legendary Scottish gaffer.
2. Liverpool 3 - 3 West Ham United (Final, 2006)
12 months after doing the unthinkable by turning European football on its head against AC Milan in Istanbul, Steven Gerrard dragged Liverpool back from the dead once again. 2-0 and then 3-2 down after their first fight-back was repelled and with players suffering from cramps, Stevie G fired home a stunning stoppage-time long range effort, which turned out to be the equaliser. The comeback was complete when the Reds won their seventh FA Cup 3-1 on penalties.
1. Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton Wanderers (Final, 1953)
At the age of 38, Stanley Matthews helped seal one of the most outstanding Cup Final victories. Blackpool had trailed 3-1 but, with barely a minute remaining on the clock, they drew level when Stan Mortensen completed his hat-trick with a sensational shot. The Seasiders' fans heaved a huge sigh of relief as they had at least won the chance of extra time but Matthews had other ideas, and with a final lung-busting run, he set up Bill Perry to score a remarkable winner.