• Drew Farmer


Founded in 1871, the FA Cup is one of the world’s oldest football competitions.

FA Cup

The difference between the FA Cup and some tournaments held in other countries is that amateur sides can rub shoulders with fully professional teams. It is not uncommon to see part-time footballers who work day jobs playing in an FA Cup match versus millionaire Premier League footballers.

With the diversity of teams competing in the competition, there are always shocks from year to year. Some of the shocks can be major giant-killings while others are a bit smaller, but no less impressive. The romance of the cup is alive and well each season. Here is a look at some of the biggest FA Cup shocks to occur over the years.

Wigan 1-0 Manchester City

When Wigan Athletic played Manchester City at Wembley in the 2013 FA Cup Final, few pundits gave the Premier League relegation-threatened team any chance of winning the match. However, for 90 minutes, they went toe-to-toe with Manchester City. The Latics got the winner from a corner in second-half stoppage-time courtesy of substitute Ben Watson. Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was sacked following the loss. Three days later, Wigan were relegated to the Championship.

Liverpool 0-1 Wimbledon

Now, over three decades old, the 1988 FA Cup Final remains one of the most talked about and well-remembered. Liverpool were at the end of their glory days in 1988, but still one of the strongest teams in the world. On the day, they played against Wimbledon, one of England’s roughest and toughest teams. The Dons played the game of a lifetime with forward Lawrie Sanchez scoring the only goal of the game. The loss stopped Liverpool from being the first team to win the double on two occasions.

Sunderland 1-0 Leeds United

Leeds United were one of English football’s top teams throughout the 1970s. In 1973, they were attempting to repeat as FA Cup winners and it looked likely that the trophy would go back to Yorkshire with the final versus Sunderland a formality. In front of 100,000 supporters, second-division Sunderland shocked Leeds United with a single goal to win 1-0. The 1973 win is still celebrated by Sunderland fans as it is their only trophy post-World War II.

Oldham 3-2 Liverpool

Although it wasn’t an FA Cup Final, Liverpool’s 3-2 loss to Oldham was nonetheless a shock in 2013. Then Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers fielded a team with Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard, and Luis Suarez in it. Rather than romp to a big win in the fourth-round match, Liverpool allowed Matt Smith to score twice and Reece Wabara to grab the winner in a recent shocker.

Wrexham 2-1 Arsenal

When Wrexham host Arsenal in the FA Cup third round on 4 January 1992, the two clubs were separate by some distance in the football pyramid. Arsenal were in the top flight while Wrexham were in the fourth tier. The Gunners were coming off of winning the First Division title. They would fail to retain it in 1991-92. Arsenal didn't take long to grab the lead against Wrexham through Alan Smith. In the 80th minute, 37-year-old Wrexham player, Mickey Thomas, unleashed a 25-yard free-kick that sailed past Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman to equalise. Wrexham found the winner through Steve Watkin, who sent the Welsh side into the fourth round.

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