The magic of the FA Cup is often talked about. Giant killings are often hoped for but seldom delivered
, here’s five games that bucked the trend and saw huge upsets.
Sutton United vs Coventry City (2-1) 1987
Back in 1987, Coventry City were in the equivalent of the Premier League. They had won the FA Cup two years previously and were overwhelming favourites against the non-league minnows.
Sutton United took a shock lead, Coventry clawed their way back and normal service had apparently resumed. However, Sutton United had other ideas and proceeded to dump the top tier team out of the competition.
Sutton’s fairy tale came to an end in the next round where they were promptly battered by Norwich 8-0.
Barnsley vs Chelsea (1-0) 2008
Barnsley were on the warpath. Having already dispatched Liverpool en route to their date with the blues, they were undoubtedly favourites to be roundly hammered by Chelsea, who were the holders. However, Barnsley went maverick and ignored the script. They took the lead, and never gave it up.
The holders were dumped out at the quarter final stage, as Barnsley made the semi-finals for the first time since 1912.
Manchester City vs Middlesboro (0-2) 2015
Manchester City were favourites for the tie at the Etihad. They had only arrived back into the country 24 hours prior to kick off, but started the game well. The first half they could have feasibly been 4-0 up but thanks to the heroics of the ‘Boro keeper they went in at 0-0.
The championship side came out with renewed vigour in the second half and played some delightful possession and counter attack based play and thoroughly deserved the lead when it came. A late second saw them dispatch the Premier League champions.
Chelsea vs Bradford City (2-4) 2015
Chelsea were leading this game with half an hour gone, 2-0. The current Premier League leaders were utterly humbled by the League One side, which saw former PL player John Stead provide a master class in the last 20 minutes.
They weren’t rubbish goals either, they were thunderous, intricate and in the end Bradford were totally worth their win, by scoring four goals without reply against Mourinho’s men. Truly a giant killing!
Manchester City vs Wigan (0-1) 2013
No one saw Wigan winning the FA Cup. They’d just been relegated. They had been undermined all season by a porous defence and a blunt attacking line. City were a team with the bit between their teeth. Tevez, Silva, Nasri et al looked set to add more silver wear to the Citizens increasingly full cabinet. Zabaleta saw red, and Ben Watson popped up with an injury time winner and Wigan Athletic won the FA Cup.
On their path to the final they beat Bournemouth, Macclesfield Town, Huddersfield Town, Everton and Millwall.
by John Brennan
Images courtesy of Google Images.