The best FA Cup games at 'new' Wembley - ranked

16 April 2021 09:00

Since it's reopening in 2007, Wembley Stadium has seen some real crackerjack games.

When the FA Cup rocks up to the home of English football, the stakes are always high. It's either the semi-final or final of the competition - a stage which has added an extra boost to some enthralling encounters over the years.

Let's take a trip down memory lane to look at some of the best FA Cup ties the new Wembley has ever seen.

10. Everton 1-2 Manchester United (23/04/16)

A real tale of two halves, Manchester United's victory over Everton in the 2016 semi-final was a rollercoaster.

Marouane Fellaini netted in the first half for a dominant United, who were so impressive that Everton fans booed their own players off at the break, and that emotion seemingly lit a fire under the Toffees.

Romelu Lukaku missed a penalty in the 57th minute, but Everton did claw their way back into the tie through a Chris Smalling own goal, only for an injury-time winner from Anthony Martial to leave Everton licking their wounds.

9. Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (27/05/17)

Antonio Conte's Chelsea were on the hunt for a league/cup double, but their dreams were ended by an excellent display from Arsene Wenger's Arsenal.

The Gunners took a controversial lead through Alexis Sanchez early on, with the referee and linesman disagreeing on an offside that was eventually dismissed, and things got even worse for Chelsea when Victor Moses was shown his second yellow card midway through the second half for a dive.

Diego Costa did fire home an equaliser shortly after, but Arsenal got the victory they deserved three minutes later through an Aaron Ramsey header.

8. Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool (05/05/12)

Wembley was Didier Drogba's playground, and he was the star of the show in the 2012 final against Liverpool.

Chelsea were the better team for the first hour and deservedly led through goals from Ramires and Drogba, but the introduction of Andy Carroll shook things up so drastically that Liverpool thought they were going to win the trophy themselves.

Carroll poked home after the hour mark and then had everyone in the stadium convinced he had headed a late equaliser, only for one of the all-time great Wembley saves from Petr Cech to deny him and hand Chelsea another FA Cup triumph.

7. Chelsea 1-2 Manchester City (14/04/13)

Chelsea were juggling a heavy schedule when they met Manchester City in the 2013 semi-final. Their depleted squad was no match for City, who were so good that even the Chelsea starters would have struggled.

Goals either side of half-time from Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero had City on track for a comfortable win, but the introduction of Fernando Torres of all people turned this tie on its head.

Demba Ba's worldie gave Chelsea a lifeline and Torres felt aggrieved not to win a penalty which could have changed things, but it was City bouncing their way into the final when all was said and done.

6. Chelsea 5-1 Tottenham (15/04/12)

While the scoreline might make this one look a little one-sided, the London derby between Chelsea and Spurs was actually far more exciting than it may appear.

Drogba put Chelsea 1-0 up at the break, shortly after which the referee allowed a Juan Mata goal that did not actually appear to have crossed the line.

Spurs were completely deflated by the decision and lost their heads (cue the it's the history of the Tottenham memes), allowing a late riot from Ramires, Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda to humiliate them even further.

5. Watford 3-2 Wolves (07/04/19)

Watford and Wolves were two sides who didn't expect to have the chance to seal a spot in the final, so when they butted heads in the semi, they left everything they had on the pitch.

In an end-to-end first half, Matt Doherty headed Wolves ahead, before Raul Jimenez doubled his side's advantage after the break, but that's when all hell broke loose.

Substitute Gerard Deulofeu used every drop of his Barcelona upbringing to curl Wolves back into the game with a gorgeous strike, before a 94th-minute penalty from Troy Deeney sent the game to extra-time.

With the game on the line, it was Deulofeu who stood up to be counted with a composed finish to give Watford a spot in the final for the first time since 1984.

They'd go on to get absolutely smacked by Man City in the final, but that's not the point. This match was fun.

4. Hull City 5-3 Sheffield United (13/04/14)

If Watford and Wolves were surprised to be in a semi-final, Hull and Sheffield United were completely lost for words. Knowing this could be their biggest match for a long time, the two teams threw the kitchen sink at each other to put on a real corker.

United were 2-1 up at the break, but (and I can't believe I'm saying this) a Steve Bruce masterclass turned things around after the break. The Tigers gained complete control, and goals from Matt Fryatt, Tom Huddlestone and Stephen Quinn had them 4-2 up in the 90th minute.

The fun wasn't over just yet, however. Jamie Murphy netted for the League One Blades to set up a tense finale, but a strike from David Meyler deep into injury time had Hull fans partying all night long.

3. Wigan 1-0 Manchester City (11/05/13)

They couldn't, could they?

That was the feeling of every viewer of the 2013 final, who had tuned in expecting to see Man City hand Wigan a real hiding. Roberto Mancini's side knocked and knocked and knocked on the door, but Wigan weren't budging.

Roberto Martinez's side weren't exactly passive either. They had their chances, albeit not as clear-cut as City, but they snatched the only goal of the game through Ben Watson's 88th-minute header.

It was probably the biggest FA Cup final upset of the decade, especially when you consider that Wigan were relegated from the Premier League in the same season.

2. Arsenal 3-2 Hull City (17/05/14)

The 2014 final was never supposed to be entertaining. Arsenal were overwhelming favourites and should have romped Hull by four or five goals, yet they found themselves 2-0 down within eight minutes.

What followed was 112 minutes of pure excitement.

With the Hull fans bouncing, the Tigers dug in and did all they could to fight off an Arsenal squad looking to end a 3,283-day wait for a trophy. Santi Cazorla pulled one back early on, and the Gunners had to wait until the 71st minute for Laurent Koscielny's equaliser.

Amid the waves of Arsenal pressure came some scary attacks from Hull, but neither could get in front before the end of regulation time and needed an extra 30 to sort things out.

By this point, Hull were visibly exhausted, allowing the quality of Aaron Ramsey to shine through and steer Arsenal to a victory that should have been so much easier.

1. Chelsea 4-2 Tottenham (22/04/17)

Chelsea and Tottenham were battling it out for the league title towards the end of the 2016/17 season, so it was always obvious that their semi-final bout in April was going to be a classic.

In an end-to-end, all-out war, it was Willian who made the breakthrough from a free-kick after just five minutes, and after Harry Kane headed an equaliser, the Brazilian restored Chelsea's lead from the penalty spot before half-time.

Dele Alli bagged a stunning equaliser, after which Antonio Conte decided to call on his big guns. On came Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, the latter of whom came to Chelsea's rescue for the umpteenth time.

The Belgian drove home a go-ahead goal in the 75th minute, before setting up an absolute piledriver from Nemanja Matic who ensured there would be no Spurs comeback this time.

The match was so good that it famously broke Jermaine Jenas, who could not wrap his head around the fact that Chelsea had just picked apart his beloved Spurs with ruthless efficiency.

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Source: 90min