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FA Cup - Recent Giant Killings.

The FA Cup is back, and it is a competition like no other, as year on year it gives clubs from the lower football league and beyond the rare opportunity to play some huge clubs and potentially cause an upset. We all remember the giant killings from Wimbledon’s Crazy gang 1988 FA Cup triumph over Liverpool to Wigan’s memorable last-minute triumph against Mancini’s Manchester City, are just a few from the archives.



With the third round up and running this weekend we are going to look a collection of the more recent upsets that you may have forgotten about where Premier League clubs were sent packing from the competition, and to remind that the magic of the FA Cup is still very much alive.

 

Middlesborough 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur, 2021/22


Play-off pushing Middlesborough were drawn against Tottenham who were chasing the Champions League under Antonio Conte and were clear favourites to reach the Quarter-Final of the FA Cup. Middlesborough proved themselves to be a decent outfit throughout the match and took the match to extra-time.


The hero turned out to be 20-year-old substitute Josh Coburn, with two minutes played in the second half of extra-time he lashed a venomous effort past Hugo Lloris, which proved to be the all-important goal and send the Boro through to the Quarter-Final.






Middlesborough’s Wembley dream was dashed in the following round as they endured another Premier League tie at home to Chelsea but unfortunately came up short, losing 2-0.


Millwall 3-2 Everton, 2018/19


Millwall welcomed five-time winners Everton to the Den, in a wet night game perfect for a cup-tie. Everton silenced the home faithful early with a long-range effort from Richarlison, but just minutes later Lee Gregory looped a header over England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to put the Championship side level right on half-time.



Cenk Tosun stepped up for the Toffees to put the Premier League side 2-1 up with less than 20 minutes to go. But what followed was an extraordinary turn of events as a tale of two set pieces late on sent Millwall completed the comeback.


Jake Cooper scored with his arm controversially to go level and in stoppage time Murray Wallace swept home from close range to send the Lions through to the fifth round of the cup.





Millwall did get as close to Wembley as any lower league side could losing to Brighton on penalties in the Quarter-Final, despite being 2-0 up as well they fell short at the Quarter-Final stage.


Aston Villa 1-2 Stevenage, 2022/23


First of two from last season with a Premier League vs League Two clash, Aston Villa were flying under manager Unai Emery, as were Stevenage as they were looking for promotion from League Two, but matters turned to the FA Cup and a huge trip for them to Villa Park, the home of seven-time winners.


Morgan Sanson gave Villa the lead just after the half-hour mark, and for 80 plus minutes it seemed straightforward for the home side, but in the last couple minutes saw an incredible turn of events. Leander Dendoncker gave away a penalty two minutes before the end as was sent off for denying a goalscoring opportunity. Jamie Reid was up to the task to equalise for Stevenage.





Incredibly on the 90th minute mark, quick thinking from a corner found the feet of Dean Campbell on the edge of the 18-yard box and drove the ball through Robin Olsen and into the back of the net to complete an astonishing turnaround, being the first League Two side to defeat a Premier League side for four years.





Dean Campbell written himself forever into FA Cup and Stevenage folklore with that strike giving the travelling faithful a memory that will be cherished forever.


Newcastle United 0-1 Cambridge United, 2021/22


Newcastle was struggling in the Premier League at this time, placed in the Premier League’s bottom three but Cambridge were more than 20 places below the Magpies in League One and were looking for a positive which were hard to come by on Tyneside, but the FA Cup could have been one.


A game which saw Kieran Trippier make his debut, it turned out to be a nightmare start to his fantastic Newcastle career. Joe Ironside, a man who grew up idolising Newcastle’s record scorer Alan Shearer was the one who scored the scrappy goal just before the hour mark to give the away side an improbable lead in front of the Cambridge away fans, albeit quite high up.





A game that will be remembered by all Cambridge fans not just for the goal, but the performance by their goalkeeper Mitov who just could not be beaten, his late memorable save from Joelinton was the pick of the bunch.


The FA Cup magic was in all its magnificence with this game, a man who knocked out his hero’s team? Incredible



AFC Wimbledon 4-2 West Ham United, 2018/19


On the same day that saw Millwall knock out Premier League’s Everton, League One’s AFC Wimbledon managed to gain a shock of their own by beating Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United.





Incredibly the Dons had a 3-0 lead over the Irons, Kwesi Appiah and a Scott Wagstaff double had the League One side in complete control just after half-time. A response was inevitable from West Ham as Lucas Perez and Felipe Anderson made the gap only one goal with 20 minutes to go.


Toby Sibbick sealed the deal with a late header to send Plough Lane delirious and seal an incredible 4-2 win against the three-time winners.





It’s cliché but this game really does signify the magic of the FA Cup.


Chelsea 2-4 Bradford City, 2014/15


Chelsea was racing away to another Premier League title in their second spell under Jose Mourinho, whereas Bradford who were 49 places below the blues had their work cut out facing a side who were unbeaten at home.


It seemed like normal service for Chelsea when Gary Cahill and Ramires gave them a comfortable start with a 2-0 lead.





John Stead did manage to pull a goal back for the Bantams before half-time with the fans dreaming of a comeback. It was only two seasons after Bradford miraculously reached the League Cup Final despite being in League One and clearly, they instilled some of that hope and magic to inspire an incredible last 15 minutes.


Filipe Morais equalised from close range, then a beautiful strike from Andy Halliday with eight minutes to go had turned the game completely on its head. Chelsea piled on the pressure for an equaliser but late on Mark Yeates slotted a fourth past Petr Cech to seal the win and Chelsea’s elimination.





The Bantams condemned the Blues to their only home defeat that season.

 

Wigan Athletic 1-0 Manchester City, 2017/18


A repeat of the 2013 Final saw Pep Guardiola’s super team travel to Paul Cook’s Wigan. A game in which even the Wigan manager before the match said ‘there’s not much I can do here’ no one gave the Latics a sniff of a chance. A Man City side who was chasing a quadruple at the time, with a starting eleven that included the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Leroy Sane; a place in the Quarterfinal looked almost inevitable.


Manchester City inevitably dominated the entire first half, but like the 2013 Final were reduced to ten men as Fabian Delph received a red card which the home crowd celebrated like a goal and lead to Pep and Paul having an argument in the tunnel.





The Citizens threw the kitchen sink at Wigan, and it was the Latics who hit the ultimate sucker punch. With 11 minutes to go, following a Kyle Walker mistake Will Grigg ran through and slotted home to send the DW Stadium into raptures.





When the whistle blown for full-time it sparked incredible scenes with a pitch invasion and Wigan were through, improbably.




 

The Early Rounds of the FA Cup are what gets fans dreaming of a huge cup upset, will we get another on this weekend’s 3rd round games?

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