The Liverpool Way

Liverpool FC’s Top Five FA Cup Finals

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ENOUGH of our latest disappointment, we still have plenty to be proud of. As has been proven, set-backs have been there to overcome, and more often than not, this great club bounces back even stronger!

In our history, Liverpool Football Club have made a grand total of 13 FA Cup final appearances, joint third highest with Newcastle United. Despite the Chelsea defeat on Saturday, out of our 13 previous finals the Reds have won 7 FA Cup trophies, a joint fourth highest total with Aston Villa.

Liverpool have been involved in some fascinating and exhilarating finals and despite Saturday’s defeat and poor opening 60 minutes, it still provided some nail-biting moments and drama – if only that linesman wasn’t so eagle-eyed! Anyway, here, we look back at some great memories and choose what I believe to be the top five Liverpool FC FA Cup finals of all time:


1965 FA Cup Final – Liverpool 2 – 1 Leeds United (AET)

The 1965 FA Cup Final brought us Liverpool FC’s first FA Cup Final victory with this coming at their third attempt. The game set out as attack vs defence as Liverpool’s impressive front line took on Leeds’ stalwart defence. The match went to extra time and after 90 minutes of profligacy; Liverpool took just three minutes to score – Roger Hunt stooping to nod home a Gerry Byrne cross. Billy Bremner lashed home a half volley to equalise seven minutes later to give Leeds the chance to go on and win the trophy, however, Ian St John headed home Ian Callaghan’s centre seven minutes from time to give Liverpool their first ever FA Cup trophy.


1986 FA Cup Final – Liverpool 3 – 1 Everton

The first of two Merseyside Derby FA Cup finals in three years, Liverpool took on Everton in front of a packed Wembley crowd of 98,000 scousers.

Gary Lineker put Everton ahead in the first half hour and the Blues dominated for the first sixty minutes of the game, looking comfortable and likely to lift the trophy. Suddenly the game changed, Ian Rush capitalising on a Gary Stevens mistake to equalise. Craig Johnston then turned the game on its head to put Liverpool ahead, slotting from a Jan Molby cross. Ronnie Whelan played in Ian Rush and the striker added his second late on to give Liverpool not only the bragging rights but another FA Cup victory, their third FA Cup win of their history.


2001 FA Cup Final – Liverpool 2 – 1 Arsenal

This FA Cup final was the first one to be played outside of England, with Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium hosting the cup final for the first time since the Old Wembley was closed down for renovation work in 2000.

Arsenal were much the better team throughout and Liverpool seemed content to catch Arsenal on the break; a tactic that paid off eventually. Thierry Henry, the Premier League’s top marksman at the time, was incensed when Liverpool defender Stephane Henchoz appeared to block Henry’s shot off the line with his hand. Referee Steve Dunn failed to spot the incident and did not give the penalty.

The match was filled with half-chances and it took until 72nd minute for the first goal to arrive. Robert Pires played in Fredrik Ljungberg and the Swede rounded Sander Westerveld in the Liverpool goal and put the ball into the empty net to give Arsenal the all-important lead. Liverpool, who had been quiet on the attacking front throughout, knew they had to react. And react they did.

After Arsenal failed to clear Gary McAllister’s free-kick, Michael Owen scored past David Seaman to equalise for the Reds. Then, only five minutes later, and after a superbly weighted long ball from Patrik Berger, Michael Owen outpaced Tony Adams and Lee Dixon to slot past David Seaman and give Liverpool an unlikely FA Cup victory.


1989 FA Cup Final – Liverpool 3 – 2 Everton (AET)

This FA Cup final was not only a Merseyside Derby, not just a match between two great English teams, but this game had a lot more meaning to it. The 1989 FA Cup final took place just five weeks after the Hillsborough disaster where 96 Liverpool fans tragically lost their lives. Both teams wore black armbands and an impeccably observed minute’s silence was held before kick-off to pay respect to those who sadly passed away at Hillsborough.

Liverpool fans were jubilant early on as John Aldridge atoned for his penalty miss in the FA Cup final the year previously by putting the Reds ahead after just four minutes. Kenny Dalglish’s men held on with an assured performance until the 89th minute when substitute Stuart McCall poked home an equaliser which was the catalyst for a pitch invasion of Everton fans. The game went to extra-time.

Ian Rush half-volleyed Liverpool back in front after just five minutes of the second half before that man Stuart McCall equalised again with a spectacular volley past Bruce Grobbelaar.

The game was in the balance, either side could have won. However, Ian Rush, similar to when he dispatched of Everton in 1986, headed in a John Barnes cross to give Liverpool their fourth FA Cup trophy.


2006 FA Cup Final – Liverpool 3-3 West Ham (AET – Liverpool won 3-1 on pens)

One of if not THE greatest FA Cup Final of all time; underdogs versus massive favourites but you wouldn’t have thought so. Before the Carling Cup success earlier this year, this FA Cup victory in 2006 was Liverpool’s last trophy. What a way to get it as well.

After 21 minutes, and without even a shot on goal, West Ham took an unexpected lead. Alonso gave away possession, Lionel Scaloni burst down the right and then his cross was bundled into his own net by an unfortunate Jamie Carragher. Liverpool needed to fight back, however just seven minutes later, and to the shock of everybody in the stadium, West Ham doubled their lead. Matthew Etherington hit a weak shot at Pepe Reina, who inexplicably spilled it and Dean Ashton counted his lucky stars as he put the ball into the empty net.

Liverpool responded well and just three minutes later they had pulled one back. A perfectly weighted ball into the box from Steven Gerrard was met on the volley by Djibril Cisse who made it 2-1. Just ten minutes into the second half, Liverpool were level. Peter Crouch knocked the ball down and Steven Gerrard volleyed home the equaliser. The momentum was with Liverpool, however, 64 minutes in, West Ham re-took the lead. Paul Konchesky’s cross went straight over the head of Pepe Reina and into the net to send the Hammers fans into raptures.
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The game went into injury-time, all the West Ham players and staff had lined the touchline ready to descend onto the pitch and celebrate a famous FA Cup victory. Steven Gerrard had something to say about that, though. This was to be his day. After a corner was cleared the ball fell to Liverpool’s captain 30 yards out and with one swing of his magical right foot he found the bottom corner and Liverpool were level again. The Reds fans went mental.

Extra-time couldn’t separate either team as fatigue kicked in and penalties were needed to settle this epic encounter. Didi Hamann, a picture of calm, slotted the first penalty before Reina saved Bobby Zamora’s spot kick. Sami Hyypia then missed to give West Ham a lifeline. The veteran Teddy Sheringham made it 1-1 when he scored his penalty. Steven Gerrard, after the game he had, could do nothing but score. That is exactly what he did. Reina, who turned out to be the hero of the penalty shootout, saved again from Konchesky. John Arne Riise scored to make it 3-1 to Liverpool and with Anton Ferdinand needing to score; Reina pulled off another save to hand Liverpool the FA Cup trophy.

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  • Bekim says:

    So here we go. Back to the past. We know and the whole world knows that we have a great history. So instead of going back can u write something about the future. Next season for instance. How do u think we’ll do next season if KD stays as mngr of our club. What do u think our chances of finishing in top four. It would have been more interesting to write something like that instead of something we know and we all watched b4. IMO WE HAVE NO CHANCE AT ALL FOR TOP FOUR IF KD STILL MNGR NEXT SEASON.

    • Jimmy Areabi says:

      Bekim – your negativity really is getting quite tiresome. Here’s an idea – try being proud of the team you claim to ‘support’ instead of trolling the comments section of nearly every article published, waiting to write your ‘KD out’, ‘KD supporters, not LFC supporters’ vitriol. There have been plenty of articles published that has discussed what you want to talk about, and similarly there will be plenty of articles over the coming days/weeks/months about those very topics. But we have a variety of content to publish, discuss and enjoy. Believe it or not, many people are proud of our history and no harm comes in trying to remember the good times and spread a little positivity in light of our recent set-backs, which everybody is well aware of – again, believe it or not but not all our supporters want to mope around and read a site full of negative stories/content. I, as Editor, decide which content gets published and that includes taking into account our every one of our readership, many of who are proud of what we have achieved and like to reminisce. This doesn’t mean that they are living in the past or happy about the present – the two are not mutually exclusive.

      • Bekim says:

        I love KD as much as everybody else for the LEGEND he is and what he’s done for the club. It just happens that I LOVE LIVERPOOL FC more than anybody involved in our club. I also LOVE the history of the club and IM VERY PROUD to b a Liverpool fan and it hurts to c our club in ninth position in the league 16 points behind a team like Newcastle. . For me the only man responsible for very poor season is KD cos it’s him who bought the players. Forget the money that was paid for them AC,CHA, SD and JH r average players and they r not good for LFC and I would love to b optimistic for next season but I’m not. If we don’t buy better players i can’t c the future being bright for the club me, you and millions around the world LOVE.

        • Jimmy Areabi says:

          The fact remains whether you do or don’t love Kenny/LFC is that there is no need for the constant negativity you bring in nearly every single article produced. Fine, you have your point of view and strong feelings (as do we all about the club we love) but to snipe at articles that are discussing/featuring other topics is getting tiresome – hence my comment to you. Please keep your thoughts for the topics in question – and if you desire to discuss something else, why not wait for a relevant, related topic or email me your thoughts…who knows Bekim, you may make a cracking columnist 😉

  • hunter says:

    lets be honest with ourselfs here, KD is no good a coach sack daglish if we dont want to end up been relegated plz i love him 4 what he represent and what he has done 4 d club but is time to show him the exit door plz 4 d sake of our beloved club. SACH KENNY DAGLISH NOW

  • In present we analyse the past and found solution for the future for the FAcup Chelsea was not better than Liverpool they have played for 1 hr scored 2 goals benefits of defending mistakes as for Liverpool could have equalise and win the FAcup next it’s Ref who decide why to blame Dalglish ? For Liverpool the ball must be in the net like the 1st goal then can be counted for Chelsea outside the line counted goal whom to be blame?

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