2006 FA Cup Final

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2006 FA Cup Final
Event 2005–06 FA Cup
Liverpool won 3–1 on penalties
Date 13 May 2006
Venue Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Man of the Match Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)[1]
Referee Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)
Attendance 71,140

The 2006 FA Cup Final was the final of the 2005-06 FA Cup. It took place on 13 May 2006 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, the last FA Cup Final to be held there, as the new Wembley Stadium neared completion. The match saw the 2001 cup winners Liverpool beat London club West Ham United after a penalty shootout.[2] West Ham were ahead 2–0 and then 3–2 but Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard scored a goal in the last minute from over 30 yards to take the game to extra-time and they eventually triumphed on penalties. The match has been called The Gerrard Final and is widely regarded as one of the greatest cup finals in the history of the tournament.[3][4]

Liverpool had won the FA Cup on six previous occasions (1965, 1974, 1986, 1989, 1992 and 2001) – four of those coming since West Ham last won the trophy. As well as 1980, West Ham also won the Cup in 1964 and 1975. The Hammers took part in the first FA Cup final to be played at the newly built Wembley Stadium in 1923. Coincidentally, Liverpool played in the first FA Cup final in Cardiff, which was in 2001. The newly rebuilt Wembley Stadium was expected to be ready for this final, but delays in building meant that the final would take place in Cardiff, as it had done since Wembley's closure.

In the Premier League in 2005–06, Liverpool finished third and West Ham came ninth. Liverpool had won both league meetings; 2–0 at home on 29 October 2005 and 2–1 away on 26 April 2006.

It was Liverpool's seventh FA Cup triumph to date, placing them joint fourth on the list of the most successful sides in the competition with Aston Villa. It was their first domestic trophy under the management of Rafael Benítez, who had been appointed two years earlier and won the UEFA Champions League in his first season at the helm.

It was West Ham United's first appearance in the final for 26 years, since they won the trophy in 1980, and their fifth appearance so far.


The game was originally planned to be played on 20 May. However, England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson wanted a four-week break before the 2006 FIFA World Cup so that if any England players were involved (Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Peter Crouch all later made his squad) could get a decent rest before the tournament.[5]

Staffordshire referee Alan Wiley officiated the match. Mike Dean from the Wirral had originally been appointed, but questions as to his impartiality were raised due to his residential proximity to Liverpool.

Ticketing problems[edit]

In the week before the Final, there was a major crisis when a block of 1,600 tickets in the Liverpool supporters' seating area was stolen in the postal system.[6] The stadium authorities refused to reissue the tickets on crowd safety grounds, and threatened to eject anyone found sitting in the block from the stadium and possibly prosecute them for receiving stolen goods.[7] Liverpool F.C. arranged for most of the affected fans to receive tickets from an allocation that had been held back for a lottery among their supporters. The day after the final, South Wales Police seized 100 stolen tickets. Three people were also arrested after 15 forged tickets were also found ahead of the match.[8]

Road to Cardiff[edit]

Liverpool Round West Ham United
Luton Town [C]
Gerrard 16
Sinama Pongolle 62, 74
Alonso 69, 90
Round Three Norwich City [C]
Mullins 6
Zamora 57
Portsmouth [P]
Gerrard 37 (p)
Riise 41
Round Four Blackburn Rovers [P]
Sheringham 33 (p)
Etherington 37
Khizanishvili 59 (og)
Zamora 73
Manchester United [P]
Crouch 19 Round Five Bolton Wanderers [P]
Replay Bolton Wanderers [P]
2–1 aet
Jääskeläinen 10 (og)
Harewood 96
Birmingham City [P]
Hyypiä 1
Crouch 5, 38
Morientes 59
Riise 70
Tebily 77 (og)
Cissé 89
Round Six Manchester City [P]
Ashton 41, 69
Chelsea [P]
Old Trafford, Manchester
Riise 21
Luis García 53
Semi-finals Middlesbrough [P]
Villa Park, Birmingham
Harewood 78
  • Both clubs received a bye to round three.
  • In square brackets is a letter that represents the opposition's division
    • [C] = Championship
    • [P] = Premier League



Before the match, uncertainties existed over the both teams' line-ups – injuries had prevented West Ham striker Dean Ashton from playing for 12 days and Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso limped out of the club's final league match of the season, but both players finally started the match. Hayden Mullins and Luis García were both suspended, having been sent off in 26 April league match between the two clubs.

West Ham took an early lead without having a shot on goal. Alonso gave away possession to Ashton, who passed to Lionel Scaloni, who had space on the right wing. His low, driven cross was clumsily dealt with by Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, who bundled the ball past his keeper Pepe Reina. West Ham scored again after 28 minutes, when Reina failed to hold Matthew Etherington's shot and Dean Ashton raced in to tuck the loose ball beneath Reina's body.

From a free kick taken on the wide right by Steven Gerrard, Liverpool's Peter Crouch had a close decision for offside go against him, and saw his scoring effort disallowed. In the 32nd minute, Liverpool captain Gerrard delivered a similar ball to Djibril Cissé who volleyed the ball past Shaka Hislop in the West Ham goal. This was only the second time Liverpool had scored in the first half of an FA Cup Final, after John Aldridge's goal against Everton in 1989.

Shortly after half-time, with the score at 2–1, Harry Kewell limped out of the game, just as he had in Liverpool's Champions League Final of 2005. Fernando Morientes replaced him. Within ten minutes of the restart, Liverpool equalised through Gerrard. Crouch's knock-down was volleyed in by Gerrard from inside the penalty area. West Ham re-took the lead in the 64th minute, when Paul Konchesky swung in a cross which none of his team mates could reach. It sailed over Reina into the Liverpool net.

With Liverpool trailing, Rafael Benítez brought on midfielder Dietmar Hamann for striker Peter Crouch. West Ham, over the following 15 minutes, made their three permitted substitutions; Bobby Zamora on for Ashton, Christian Dailly on for Carl Fletcher, and Sheringham on for Etherington.

Wasting chances from Morientes and Gerrard, who was now suffering with cramp, Liverpool battled in vain until injury time, when Djibril Cissé pulled up with cramp. West Ham put the ball out to allow Cissé to be treated, Liverpool's throw-in returned the ball to West Ham deep in their defensive end, and rather than allow West Ham to clear as was the custom, Scaloni was put under pressure and the ball was punted aimlessly back into the midfield. After an unsuccessful ball into the penalty area, the ball found its way to Steven Gerrard. His first-time right footed 35-yard strike flew past Shaka Hislop's right and into the net to level the scores.

Extra-time saw a succession of injuries due to fatigue or cramp. Both sides were affected, notably West Ham's Marlon Harewood. With West Ham unable to substitute him, he required extensive treatment for a foot injury, and ended up hobbling around the pitch for the final minutes of extra-time.

A West Ham free kick in the final moments of extra-time was flicked on by captain Nigel Reo-Coker. Reina dived to his left & clawed the ball onto the far post. Sami Hyypiä tried but failed to clear the ball from the Liverpool goal, and the ball fell to Harewood. His close range volley taken with his injured left foot spun wide.

Just as they did in their Champions League victory in Istanbul in 2005, Liverpool took the match to penalties after a 3–3 draw. Reina, who had been at fault for two of the West Ham goals, saved three penalties, his final save from Anton Ferdinand clinching the FA Cup for Liverpool for a seventh time.

Match details[edit]

13 May 2006
15:00 BST
Liverpool 3–3 (a.e.t.) West Ham United
Cissé Goal 32'
Gerrard Goal 54'90+1'
(Report) Carragher Goal 21' (o.g.)
Ashton Goal 28'
Konchesky Goal 64'
Hamann Penalty scored
Hyypiä Penalty missed
Gerrard Penalty scored
Riise Penalty scored
3–1 Penalty missed Zamora
Penalty scored Sheringham
Penalty missed Konchesky
Penalty missed Ferdinand
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Attendance: 71,140
Referee: Alan Wiley (Staffordshire)
West Ham United
GK 25 Spain Pepe Reina
RB 3 Republic of Ireland Steve Finnan
CB 23 England Jamie Carragher Booked 62'
CB 4 Finland Sami Hyypiä
LB 6 Norway John Arne Riise
RM 8 England Steven Gerrard (c)
CM 14 Spain Xabi Alonso Substituted off 67'
CM 22 Mali Mohamed Sissoko
LM 7 Australia Harry Kewell Substituted off 48'
CF 15 England Peter Crouch Substituted off 71'
CF 9 France Djibril Cissé
GK 1 Poland Jerzy Dudek
DF 2 Netherlands Jan Kromkamp Substituted in 67'
DF 21 Mali Djimi Traoré
MF 16 Germany Dietmar Hamann Booked 118' Substituted in 71'
FW 19 Spain Fernando Morientes Substituted in 48'
Spain Rafael Benítez
Liverpool vs West Ham 2006-05-13.svg
GK 34 Trinidad and Tobago Shaka Hislop
RB 2 Argentina Lionel Scaloni
CB 5 England Anton Ferdinand
CB 4 Wales Danny Gabbidon
LB 3 England Paul Konchesky
RM 15 Israel Yossi Benayoun
CM 20 England Nigel Reo-Coker (c)
CM 6 Wales Carl Fletcher Substituted off 77'
LM 11 England Matthew Etherington Substituted off 85'
CF 10 England Marlon Harewood
CF 9 England Dean Ashton Booked 59' Substituted off 71'
GK 23 England Jimmy Walker
DF 7 Scotland Christian Dailly Substituted in 77'
DF 19 Wales James Collins
FW 8 England Teddy Sheringham Substituted in 85'
FW 25 England Bobby Zamora Substituted in 71'
England Alan Pardew

Man of the match

Match officials

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Penalty shootout if scores still level.
  • Five named substitutes
  • Maximum of 3 substitutions.


Liverpool West Ham
Total shots 19 15
Shots on target 7 9
Ball possession 54% 46%
Corner kicks 5 4
Fouls committed 12 22
Offsides 3 2
Yellow cards 2 1
Red cards 0 0

Source: ESPN[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Liverpool win Cup final thriller CNN. Retrieved 29 February 2012
  2. ^ Stevenson, Jonathan (13 May 2006). "Final recalls Cup's magic days". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 May 2007. 
  3. ^ The best Cup final ever! Alan Sunderland, Ricky Villa, Bob Stokoe and Steven Gerrard.... we recall the magic moments Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 February 2012
  4. ^ Top 10 FA Cup Final Thrillers Goal.com. Retrieved 29 February 2012
  5. ^ "FA brings 2006 Cup final forward". BBC Sport. 3 March 2006. Retrieved 24 March 2008. 
  6. ^ "Warning after FA Cup ticket theft". BBC News. 7 May 2006. Retrieved 24 March 2008. 
  7. ^ "Stolen Cup tickets 'not replaced'". BBC News. 10 May 2006. Retrieved 25 March 2008. 
  8. ^ "100 stolen FA Cup tickets seized". BBC News. 14 May 2006. Retrieved 24 March 2008. 
  9. ^ "Liverpool; FA Cup Winners 2006". ESPNsoccernet (ESPN Inc.). 13 May 2006. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 

External links[edit]