As we await the FA Cup fifth round draw tonight, only seven Premier League sides remain in with a chance of winning the world’s oldest knock-out competition.
During rounds three and four there have been giant killings a plenty, so we thought we’d look back at five of the biggest FA Cup upsets involving Premier League clubs.
Shrewsbury 2-1 Everton 2003
Gay Meadow in January 2003 was the venue for one of David Moyes’ lowest moments as manager of Everton. The Scot did great work in reversing the Toffees declining fortunes, but his side came well and truly unstuck against the plucky third tier outfit. A starting XI eleven boasting a pre-hair implant Wayne Rooney, was expected to breeze through to round four.
But their hopes were to go down the drain, when Nigel Jemson headed home at Richard Wright’s near post with only two minutes to go in the second-half. The veteran captain for The Shrews had put his side in front with a quality free kick as the home team took the game to their opponents. Everton were dumped out at the first hurdle by a side managed by Kevin Ratcliffe, a former Toffees hero during his playing days, oh the irony!
Oldham 3 -2 Liverpool 2013
A day to forget for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool fans everywhere, as the Ulsterman lead his side to an infamous defeat at Boundary Park during his first season in charge at Anfield. A strong enough Reds XI boasting the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling was left flat footed and dumbfounded by Oldham’s aggressive play and set piece bombardment.
The hapless Brad Jones and Sebastian Coates made for a woeful combination as they were out jumped and bullied by the towering Matt Smith all game. The former University of Manchester student, had almost quit football altogether but his brace against Liverpool turned a few heads and salvaged a career for the giant forward. Too bad some of Liverpool’s other fringe players couldn’t follow his lead as they limped out in the fourth round to the almost bankrupt third tier side.
Chelsea 2 -4 Bradford 2015
On their way to being crowned Premier League Champions in 2015, Chelsea were two goals to the good at home to League One Bradford and cruising. Then, to quote Jose Mourinho; football happened. Bradford nicked a goal back with former Blackburn Rovers striker John Stead smashing home a wonderful strike and making half-time a wee bit more interesting.
It looked like Chelsea had weathered the storm brought to The Bridge by the Yorkshire outfit, as they entered the last fifteen minutes in the lead and looking to hit their opponents on the break. However, in a dizzying quarter of an hour, Bradford scored three times to go 4-2 up and leave their hosts bemused and shaken. John Stead’s cheeky back heel to play in Mark Yates for Bradford’s fourth goal had the 6,000 travelling fans in raptures as they forged their own piece of FA Cup folklore. When you consider Chelsea only lost three times in the league all season that year, this really is up there with the best of them!
Burnley 0 -1 Lincoln City- 2017
As FA Cup ties go, let’s face it there are much sexier fixtures out there than Burnley versus Lincoln City in the Fifth Round. However, it’s a tie that Lincoln City fans will never forget. Then a non-league outfit, Lincoln had surpassed expectation to reach the fifth round where they faced a Burnley side which were fast forging a reputation as one of the toughest home sides in the top flight.
The National League side though were not daunted in the slightest as they went at Burnley looking for a win. The quality was far from top draw, but it was a mightily gripping cup tie which had the sweetest ending for Lincoln. Their winning goal had all the hallmarks of a Sean Dyche master class as a corner ball was nodded back across the face of goal and Sean Raggatt climbed above several bodies to make just enough contact to beat a scrambling Tom Heaton. The away end went into raptures as non-league Lincoln made the quarter finals of The Cup. Nice.
Manchester United 0 – 1 Leeds United 2010
As Leeds United staggered through administrative and financial issues, they were languishing in League One when their FA Cup prayers were answered in January 2010. A dream tie against their old foes beckoned as the fallen giants prepared for a trip to Old Trafford in the third round of the world’s oldest knockout competition.
Manchester United were defending champions of England and had reached the Champions League final just a few months before, however, it mattered for nothing as Leeds fans got one hell of a morale boosting victory over their bitter enemies. Much like Matt Smith against Liverpool, Jermaine Beckford made himself immortal with a Micheal Owen-esque finish after 20 minutes at the Stretford End to settle the tie. Alex Ferguson might have fielded a second string but was undoubtedly left wounded by a humiliating defeat to third tier Leeds.