Emirates FA Cup: Our top 5 moments of the 2016-17 edition
After so many thrilling twists and turns throughout the season, it was only fitting that the Emirates FA Cup Final produced one last one at Wembley, as underdogs Arsenal grabbed a late winner against Chelsea to claim the trophy on Saturday.
So, after a truly vintage season of games in the world’s oldest cup competition, the Ladbrokes News team have finally agreed on the top five moments of the lot. Without further ado.
Saints stun Gills after two-part battle (First Round)
Few gave National League North side Brackley Town much hope as they took on a Gillingham side three divisions above at Priestfield. The visitors raced into a 2-0 lead, before the League One side drew level before the interval. A cupset wasn’t looking good.
But the Saints held on for a replay in Northamptonshire which proved to be unforgettable. Once again they surrendered a two-goal lead in normal time, but thundered to a 4-3 victory in extra-time, courtesy of a hat-trick from fan favourite James Armson.
Magic Morgan gets his name up in lights (Second Round)
Talking of hat-tricks, they don’t come any better than Adam Morgan’s trio of goals for Curzon Ashton against AFC Wimbledon. Ladbrokes News’ roving reporter was there to check out the then-Nash forward as part of our Vardy Verdict series on Non-League talents…and it’s fair to say he didn’t let us (or anyone else) down!
He opened the scoring with a long-range screamer after just 30 seconds, before adding a clinical header and a scrambled third either side of the interval. The League One outfit roared back in an incredible last 11 minutes, winning the game 4-3. Unbelievable, Jeff!
Incredible Imps down Prem outfit (Fifth Round)
Only one Non-League side had beaten a top-flight outfit in the FA Cup in the previous 28 years, so few held out hope of Lincoln City toppling Burnley at Turf Moor in the Fifth Round. Especially so with the Clarets boasting a hugely impressive home record.
However, Danny Cowley’s men held firm against a barrage of Burnley pressure, before Sean Raggett headed home an 89th-minute winner for the visitors. That was enough to claim victory and make the Imps the first Non-League side to reach the Quarter-Finals since Queens Park Rangers in 1914.
Magic Matic scores a Wembley worldie (Semi-Final)
Chelsea and Tottenham played out a six-goal thriller in their Semi-Final, producing one of the most enthralling counters the new Wembley has seen. And the game’s winning goal – as the Blues ran out 4-2 victors – was, fittingly, one of the best seen under the iconic arch.
Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas teamed up with a lovely one-two, before laying off Nemanja Matic. The Serbian timed his marauding run perfectly, before smashing a first-time thunderbolt into the net via a wallop off the underside of the bar. Hugo Lloris stood helpless, and Antonio Conte’s men strode into the Final.
Ramsey makes the difference again (Final)
What is it about Aaron Ramsey and crucial goals in the Emirates FA Cup Final?
Having netted in extra-time to clinch victory for Arsenal against Hull City in the 2014 showpiece, he put away the winner once again on Saturday, with a superb stooping header to beat Thibaut Courtois on 78 minutes, cutting short Chelsea’s buoyancy from their equaliser three minutes earlier.
After missing much of the first half of the season through injury, it’s likely to have been an especially joyous moment for the Welshman. And in a season of great underdog stories, he produced the final one in the Final of the competition.
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