Poll: Which FA Cup Final tops the lot in your mind?


Arsenal Wenger will tomorrow look to lead his Arsenal side to a record 12th FA Cup final win against Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium.

Over the years football fans have been treated to some unbelievable cup deciders on the hallowed turf, with upset, comebacks and demolitions aplenty, but which renewal sticks in your mind?

For today’s Ladbrokes poll, we are asking you which FA Cup was most memorable for you?

Blackpool 4-3 Bolton (1953)

Remembered and named after the exploits of one man, the “Matthews Final”, sticks in the mind for the awe-inspiring display of “The Wizard of the Dribble”.

Stanley Matthews’ performance, especially in the final half-hour of the game, in which his technical wonder set up the final three goals of the game as Blackpool came back from 3-1 down, took the plaudits despite Stan Mortensen scoring the only final hat-trick in history.

Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool (1971)

The opening 90 minutes of the 1971 final were largely uneventful, but things came to life in the early stages of extra-time when Steve Heighway put Liverpool ahead.

But minutes later a delightful over-head kick from John Radford caused havoc in the Liverpool penalty area, allowing Eddie Kelly to slot home.

The turnaround was completed early into the second period when Charlie George fired in from outside the box, as Arsenal marched to the double.

Wimbledon 1-0 Liverpool (1988)

Probably not the best game in terms of action, but everyone remembers the exploits of the Crazy Gang as they caused a major upset to defeat the super power of Liverpool.

The Reds were expected to become the first side to win a second league and cup double, but the tenatious Dons had other ideas.

Dave Beasant went on to make history when making the first penalty save in an FA Cup final, after Lawrie Sanchez had sent a looping header into the back of the net to record a famous win.

Crystal Palace 3-3 Manchester United (1990)

While this match was ultimately decided in a replay, it was the original tie that was the most memorable.

Steve Coppell’s decision to include Ian Wright on the bench, as he recovered from a broken leg proved to be an inspired one.

The subsequent Arsenal legend striking within three minutes of his introduction to take the game to extra time-before adding a second in the added period.

Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal (2001)

The Michael Owen that England fans remember from the World Cup of 1998 was rekindled at the Millennium Stadium in 2001.

After a lacklustre first-half display, Arsenal punished their opponents when Freddie Ljungberg put the Gunners ahead in the 72nd minute.

But as the game entered the final 10 minutes, Owen came to life. After pouncing on a rebound to level things up, the England man latched on to a Patrick Berger long ball, showed his electric pace and fired into the bottom corner to win the cup for the Reds.

Liverpool 3-3 West Ham

As the clock ticked down past 90 minutes, West Ham looked to be on their way to ending a 36-year wait for an FA Cup triumph.

Instead as the ball bounced out to Steven Gerrard half-way inside the Hammers half, the Liverpool skipper broke the Londoners hearts with a stunning volley.

Taking the game to extra-time and eventually penalties, Gerrard’s wonder strike was the catalyst for a Reds shoot-out victory after the most entertaining of contests.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.