5 Biggest FA Cup Shocks in History
As the dust settles on an extraordinary weekend of FA Cup football, in what was arguably the greatest and most explosive round in the cups long history - with exits of all top three Premier League sides, as well as Spurs and Swansea - we ask:
What are the five greatest FA Cup upsets in history?
5. Sutton United 2 - 1 Coventry City, 1989
Back in the late '80's, First Division Coventry City were still basking in the glory of an underdog win in the 1987 Cup final versus Spurs, winning 3-2 at Wembley. 19 months later, the Sky Blues were on the receiving end of an FA Cup defeat - a shock one at that - to non-league Sutton United. The visit to Surrey was expected to be nothing more than a mere exercise for Coventry. Schoolteacher Barrie William's men had other ideas. Williams masterminded the downfall of the midlands outfit and thanks to goals from Tony Rains and Matthew Hanlan, the U's became overnight celebrities.
4. Manchester City 1 - 2 Wigan Athletic, 2014
10 months on from a humbling defeat to Championship outfit Wigan Athletic in the previous season's final at Wembley, Manchester City had the opportunity to exact revenge on the Latics, in their quarter-final clash at the Etihad. Every man and his dog expected it. Wigan had not read the script. With Roberto Martinez having departed for Everton, Uwe Rosler took charge and went out to a two-goal lead courtesy of goals from James Perch and Jordi Gomez.
Such were the goalscoring exploits of The Citizens at the time, it was all the more remarkable for Wigan and chairman Dave Whelan and despite Samir Nasri's 68th minute goal Wigan held on for the win and arguably a more impressive one.
3. Chelsea 2 - 4 Bradford City, 2015
The biggest shock of this weekend's Fourth round was Bradford's stunning defeat of seven-time FA Cup winners Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Already the result is up there with the biggest shocks of all time. All the more staggering a result after The Blues assumed a 2-0 lead and seemingly had their foot in the fifth round. Jose Mourinho doesn't lose two nil leads; certainly not at home. But Chelsea had not banked on Phil Parkinson's plucky and and gutsy Bradford City.
The Bantams are not shy to a cup shock after eliminating both Aston Villa, Wigan and more impressively Arsenal on their way to the League cup final in 2013 and once again threw caution to the wind in West London. After former Chelsea academy member Filipe Morais had equalized for Bradford - despite the panic substitutions of Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard - the Yorkshiremen were spurred on. Chelsea lacked the guile of veterans Jon Stead and Andy Halliday and after the latter gave the visitors the lead, former Spurs man Mark Yeates summounded the magic of the cup and finished off Chelsea in stoppage time for a famous result.
There has been much talk of whether this is the greatest FA Cup shock in history. This Chelsea does not do 'losing' certainly underlined by Mourinho's rather controversial 'disgrace' comments pre-game. Whilst the jury is out on that particular debate, for League One Bradford City to knockout the best team in England, nay one of Europe's elite right now - away from home no less - is an astonishing feat.
2. Hereford United 2 - 1 Newcastle United, 1972
The same scoreline was had at Hereford United's Edgar St, where the name Ronnie Radford would echo through the annuls of FA Cup folklore, after his 30 yard strike versus the Magpies in their third-round replay in 1972.
With the game having gone to extra time after Radford's screamer, Ricky George scored the winner. This was the first time a non-league side had beaten a top-flight side since 1949.
1. Wrexham 2 - 1 Arsenal, 1992
As George Graham's Arsenal rolled up to the Racecourse Ground in Wales back in 1992, with four divisions separating the sides, few expected anything other than a stroll in the Welsh valleys for the Gunners. When Alan Smith coverted Paul Merson's lay-off pass to the give the North Londoners a lead, all seemed to be going to form. Cue the oft-cliched magic of the world's oldest football tournament.
With eight minutes remaining and with Arsenal heading for the fourth round, Wrexham's 37 year-old captain Mickey Thomas rifled an unstoppable 25 yard drive from a free-kick, leaving David Seaman helpless. The Dragons had seemingly earned a replay at HIghbury, but within two minutes joy had turned to ecstacy as Wrexham turned the tie on its' head when Steve Watkins scored to send the home fans into raptures. It still stands as one of the most stunning shocks in FA Cup history