Best FA Cup semi-final moments: Giggs, Seaman, Gascoigne and Hughes
It’s the FA Cup semi-finals this weekend, and we should be treated to a couple of cup classics at Wembley.
Reigning champions Manchester City take on Arsenal on Saturday, before Manchester United play Chelsea on Sunday. City are 4/7 favourites to lift the trophy, followed by Man United at 4/1, Chelsea at 9/2, with Arsenal the 10/1 underdogs.
This stage of the famous competition has produced some magical moments, and we’ve picked out four of the best right here.
Have a read, and let us know which is your favourite on Twitter @Ladbrokes!
Ryan Giggs, Manchester United v Arsenal, 1999
Where else could we begin? Giggs’ legendary goal capped a true cup classic between the two titans of the era.
With both sides also battling for the Premier League title, the two played out a nervous 0-0 draw in the original semi-final clash at Villa Park.
The replay was nothing of the sort, however. David Beckham’s trademark curling shot put United ahead, only for Dennis Bergkamp to equalise in the second-half.
We all know what happened next. Phil Neville fouled Bergkamp in the final minute of the 90, but the Dutchman’s penalty was saved by Peter Schmeichel at full stretch.
And then in extra-time, with penalties looming, Giggs collected a stray pass from Patrick Vieira, danced through Arsenal defenders right and left, then rifled a shot above David Seaman on the angle to send United through, setting up their famous treble success.
David Seaman, Sheffield United v Arsenal, 2003
Arsenal’s safe hands was reaching the end of his career when the Gunners took on Sheffield United in the semi-finals in 2003.
Some had started to lose the love for the Gunners’ pony-tailed stopper too, after a number of errors for both club and country.
But Seaman silenced all the doubters with a scarcely believable save at Old Trafford.
With Arsenal 1-0 up with 10 minutes to go, Seaman somehow got across his goal to claw Paul Peschisolido’s header off the line and away from danger. It was arguably one of the England international’s finest ever saves – and all at the ripe old age of 39!
Paul Gascoigne, Tottenham v Arsenal, 1991
Seaman features in another classic semi-final moment, although this one isn’t about him, but a peak Paul Gascoigne.
Arsenal were eyeing up a league and cup double, but their hopes were shattered just five minutes into the cup semi-final at the Old Wembley.
Only five minutes were on the clock when Spurs won a free-kick a solid 30 yards out. Few people were expecting Gazza to shoot, but the Geordie produced an almighty thunderous hit into the top-right corner to leave Seaman beaten at full stretch.
Mark Hughes, Man United v Oldham – 1994
While there are honourable mentions for Man City’s 1-0 win over rivals Man United in 2011, Portsmouth’s fine 2-0 win over Tottenham in 2010 and the 4-3 epic between Crystal Palace and Liverpool in 1990, for our final FA Cup semi-final moment, it has to be Mark Hughes’ strike against Oldham.
Hughes’ Man United were racing away to their second Premier League title in succession in 1994, but they found themselves 1-0 down late into extra-time in their semi-final clash with Premier League strugglers Oldham.
But in the dying seconds, Hughes latched onto a hooked ball over the top, and despite being off-balance and at full-stretch, the veteran striker managed to produce a stunning volley to save United’s blushes.
Inspired by Hughes’ technically-sublime strike, the Red Devils comfortably won the replay 4-1, before trouncing Chelsea 4-0 in the final to complete their first ever league and cup double.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication.