arsenal fa cup
in ,

The six most successful sides in FA Cup history

The FA Cup takes centre stage this week as Chelsea host Liverpool in a hugely anticipated cup clash tonight, the two sides hoping to seal their progress to the quarter-finals in the pick of the fifth round ties at Stamford Bridge.

The Premier League giants are amongst the favourites to lift the trophy ahead of May’s final at Wembley, but where do they rank amongst the clubs to have lifted the FA Cup on the most occasions?

Here are the six most successful sides in FA Cup history:

Aston Villa – 7 

Aston Villa have lifted world football’s oldest national competition on seven occasions, their first coming way back in 1887 with a 2-0 victory over Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion.

Villa would add a further two titles before the turn of the 21st century, before taking their tally to six FA Cup successes prior to the Second World War, lifting the cup in 1905, 1913 and 1920.

Since then, however, their success has been minimal with just one further FA Cup added to their collection, winning the trophy in 1957 courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Wembley.

The club have reached two finals since then but have lost on both occasions, suffering defeat to Chelsea in the last final at the old Wembley in 2000 before their most recent defeat, a 4-0 thrashing by Arsenal in 2015.

Embed from Getty Images

Liverpool – 7

Seven-time winners Liverpool will be a seeking a first FA Cup success in over a decade ahead of their fifth round meeting with Chelsea tonight, their last success coming in 2006 courtesy of Steven Gerrard’s virtuoso display against West Ham in Cardiff.

Despite their record as one of English football’s most successful clubs, it would take Liverpool 73 years to win their first FA Cup, lifting the trophy for the first time in 1965 before adding further successes in 1974 and 1986, the latter success securing a domestic double after beating Merseyside rivals Everton at Wembley.

Everton would be beaten again in another final three years later, an emotional occasion coming just weeks after the Hillsborough disaster, before lifting the trophy again in 1992 and 2001 – the latter final seeing Michael Owen score twice late on to beat Arsenal at the Millennium Stadium.

Embed from Getty Images

Tottenham – 8

Tottenham are amongst the most successful FA Cup teams in history with the north London side having once held a reputation as cup specialists, lifting the trophy on eight occasions including as part of a domestic double in 1961.

Only two sides can better Spurs’ tally of FA Cup wins, whilst their record in the final is unrivalled amongst modern clubs. Their eight successes have come from just nine final appearances, with the club’s sole showpiece defeat coming in an upset to unfancied Coventry City in 1987.

Spurs host Norwich in the fifth round this season and will be hoping to reach a first final in almost three decades, their last appearance coming in 1991 as Nottingham Forest were beaten at Wembley.

Embed from Getty Images

Chelsea – 8

Level with Tottenham in joint-third are London rivals Chelsea, the Blues having lifted the FA Cup on eight occasions including six times since the turn of the millennium.

The west London outfit would win their first FA Cup with a replay victory over Leeds United in 1970, before a 27-year drought would be broken by two successes in four seasons, beating Middlesbrough and Aston Villa in 1997 and 2000 respectively.

Roman Abramovich’s billionaire takeover just three years later would propel the side to the summit of English football, Chelsea adding a further five cup wins following the Russian’s investment including back-to-back successes in 2009 and 2010, the latter as part of a domestic double under Carlo Ancelotti.

Iconic forward Didier Drogba also holds the record for most individual finals scored in, the Ivorian scoring in four separate finals during a trophy-laden career at Stamford Bridge.

Embed from Getty Images

Manchester United – 12

Manchester United share the joint-record for most FA Cup final appearances with 20, with the club emerging triumphant on 12 occasions throughout their long and illustrious history.

The Red Devils first success would come in 1909 before adding cup wins in 1948, 1963 and 1977.

Two FA Cup successes in the eighties would follow in 1983 and 1985 to take the club’s tally to six, Norman Whiteside becoming the youngest ever FA Cup final goalscorer during the former of those wins, finding the net against Brighton in their replay victory aged just 18 years and 19 days.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s record-breaking tenure as the most successful manager in English football history would follow, the Scot guiding the Old Trafford side to five FA Cup wins before the club’s most recent success under Louis van Gaal – Jesse Lingard scoring a late winner against Crystal Palace in 2016.

Embed from Getty Images

Arsenal – 13

The most successful club in FA Cup history is Arsenal, the north London side having lifted the trophy 13 times and reaching the final on a further seven occasions.

The Gunners would win the trophy six times between their formation in 1886 and 1993, but it would be under the guidance of legendary manager Arsene Wenger where they would truly thrive in the famous competition.

Embed from Getty Images

No manager has ever won the trophy on more occasions than the Frenchman, Wenger lifting the FA Cup seven times during his 22-year stay at the club, including as part of domestic doubles in both 1998 and 2002.

Arsenal would also twice defend the trophy under Wenger’s management, winning back-to-back titles in 2002 and 2003 as well as 2014 and 2015. Their most recent triumph would be Wenger’s last major trophy as Arsenal manager, beating Chelsea 2-1 in the 2017 final.

Read – A player from each ‘big six’ club that deserves to go into the Premier League’s new Hall of Fame

Read Also – Ranking the Premier League players to score the most goals during the 90’s