It's magic, you know: 5 iconic FA Cup final moments
From ill-advised dances to last-minute stonkers, the FA Cup final is never short of a classic moment - here are five of our favourites.
The Pardew Shuffle | Crystal Palace v Manchester United | 2016
What do you do when your team take the lead with 12 minutes remaining in an FA Cup final? Dance like no one is watching, according to Alan Pardew.
Unfortunately for him, millions were, and the Crystal Palace boss became a laughing stock on social media feeds across the country after his embarrassing, and obviously pre-empted, jive on the side line.
It took just three minutes for Manchester United to hit back after Jason Puncheon’s opener, with Juan Mata’s equaliser taking the game to extra time.
Jesse Lingard then completed the comeback with a howitzer worthy of winning any final. Unfortunately for him, however, this game is only remembered for one thing: the Pardew shuffle.
Gerrard's thunderbolt | Liverpool v West Ham | 2006
Steven Gerrard scored a ridiculous number of screamers during his career, but few will be remembered like his injury-time equaliser v West Ham in the 2006 FA Cup final.
For those who haven’t seen the goal (take a long, hard look at yourselves), the ex-England captain latched on to a defensive header about 30 yards from goal and unleashed a low half-volley into the bottom corner to take the match to extra time.
West Ham had been winning the game 2-0 and then 3-2 before Gerrard’s thunderous hit, with Liverpool then going on to win on penalties.
Gerrard single-handedly rescuing the Reds was a common sight over the course of his career, with the midfielder forced to play alongside an endless list of distinctly average players.
Those Liverpool sides are a far cry from the high-intensity, powerful team currently playing under Jurgen Klopp – how Gerrard must wish his legs had held out for a few more years.
Watson wins it for Wigan | Manchester City v Wigan | 2013
In November 2012, Wigan midfielder Ben Watson suffered a broken leg in a 3-0 Premier League loss to Liverpool.
Just six months later, with the FA Cup final against Manchester City entering injury time, the midfielder rose highest at the near post to head home the winner.
Watson’s effort handed Wigan their first-ever major honour, and condemned City boss Roberto Mancini to the sack just a year after winning the club’s first Premier League title.
It was a history-making victory for the Latics, although not for the right reasons. Just three days later they were relegated from the Premier League, becoming the first team to win the FA Cup and suffer relegation in the same season.
The Crazy Gang shock the Culture Club | Liverpool v Wimbledon | 1988
In 1977, Wimbledon were playing in the semi-professional Southern Football League alongside the likes of Minehead, Dover and Atherstone Town.
Eleven years later the club found themselves in the FA Cup final, facing a Liverpool side who had just secured their 17th top-flight title, which was their fifth in seven seasons. The Reds had also won two European Cups, one FA Cup and four League Cups in the previous eight years.
Wimbledon on the other hand were yet to win a major honour, but they had begun to develop a reputation for hard-hitting, no-nonsense football, being christened the Crazy Gang for their antics.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, it was the Crazy Gang who pulled off arguably the competition’s greatest upset with a 1-0 win, thanks to a looping header from Lawrie Sanchez.
While Sanchez’s header was obviously decisive, the match was also notable for a massive moment at the other end of the pitch.
Dave Beasant, leaping full-stretch to his left, became the first goalkeeper to save a penalty in an FA Cup final as he denied John Aldridge, and was also the first stopper to skipper his team to victory in the competition.
For comparison, such a giant-killing would be the equivalent of Anthony Joshua being knocked out by a bloke with his shirt ripped open and his tie wrapped around his head. Maybe that’s overstating it a bit, but it was massive.
Owen steals the show | Arsenal v Liverpool | 2001
Big matches often become synonymous with a single player, and that is certainly the case with the 2001 final as Michael Owen stole in like a thief in the night to deny Arsenal and secure a sixth FA Cup for Liverpool.
Freddie Ljungberg’s 72nd-minute opener had the Gunners cruising to the trophy – they were much the better side and had missed several clear chances – before Owen’s acrobatic strike drew the Reds level with seven minutes remaining.
While that goal relied on Owen’s instinct, the winner saw Liverpool revert to their favourite tactic during his time at the club: play the ball in behind, sit back, and watch him work his magic.
Owen ran onto a long ball from Patrik Berger, mugging off both Tony Adams and Lee Dixon with his pace before expertly steering his strike – taken ridiculously early with his weaker left foot – past David Seaman to write himself into FA Cup folklore.
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