Some say that the F.A. Cup is losing its charm, but I disagree. I still get a buzz from going to games, longing for the hope of a trip to Wembley towards the end of the season. Unfortunately, my team (Leicester City) have never won this, despite getting to the final 4 times. This weekend sees Chelsea vs Arsenal in the final, in what promises to be a heated London derby!
There have been some special goals over the years. Hopefully this weekend's final will give us one or two more special moments. Here are some of my favourites:
1. Steven Gerrard vs. West Ham - 2006
It’s the last minute of the game. The announcer has just said there will be 4 minutes of stoppage time. Right on cue, this man hits the sweetest shot into the bottom corner from all of 30 yards to equalise for Liverpool. Liverpool then went on to win on penalties.
2. Trevor Sinclair vs. Barnsley - 1997
This goal needs no description. One of the greatest goals ever in English football. An incredible effort and an unbelievable goal; it’s still talked about today and will continue to be for many years to come.
3. Michael Owen vs. Arsenal - 2001
Arsenal had the lead on 72 minutes, only for Owen to score to make it 1-1 on 83 minutes. Arsenal pressed for a winner but was caught out by this man. In his prime, he was one of the best around. A great solo run and goal past David Seaman.
4. Thierry Henry vs Leeds United - 2014
He left a legend and returned a legend. He spent many wonderful years at Arsenal before leaving to go to Barcelona. He returned for a loan spell to his former club and made an instant impact with one of his first touches. Cue pandemonium around the stadium!
And here are a couple of my favourite F.A. Cup own goals (including one against my beloved Leicester City!)
5. Wayne Hatswell - 2000
This goal still makes me laugh. How on earth did he put the ball into his own net, under no pressure? This has to be the most famous F.A. Cup own goal to date.
6. Darren Bent - 2017
I had to include this, as I couldn’t believe it when I saw it! Even Bent didn’t know how he managed to score this one (and luckily Leicester managed to win over the two legs!).
The F.A. Cup has certainly had some special moments over the years. Who will you be supporting this weekend? My money’s on a Chelsea victory - they are flying high in the league and are incredibly difficult to break down and beat. It promises to be a fantastic encounter.
Maybe next year I’ll finally be able to make the trip there to watch the mighty foxes play in a final (but I’d settle for us missing out and getting into the Champions League again).
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