FA Cup semi-finals
The semi-finals are contested at neutral venues; in the past these have usually been the home grounds of teams not involved in that semi-final, such as Villa Park in Birmingham, Old Trafford in Manchester and Hillsborough in Sheffield.
The 1991 semi-final between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur was the first to be played at Wembley, the traditional venue for the FA Cup Final. Two years later both semi-finals were held at Wembley after the Sheffield Wednesday/Sheffield United derby was switched from the original venue of Elland Road, Leeds. This was repeated in 1994, although a replay between Manchester United and Oldham Athletic was held at Maine Road, Manchester.
From 1995 to 1999 and from 2001 to 2004 other neutral grounds were used, though in 2000 both matches were played at the old Wembley, in its final year of operation. In 2005 both semi-finals were played at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. However, in 2006 the FA decided to revert to the neutral ground system, with Villa Park and Old Trafford hosting the games.
In 2003, it was announced that all future semi-finals would be played at the new Wembley Stadium, once it had opened; this took effect in 2008. The decision was mainly for financial reasons, to allow the FA to recoup some of the costs of rebuilding the stadium. However, the move was to the disappointment of traditionalists and drew criticism from some supporters' groups.
In the past a replay match was played if the first semi-final ended in a draw. If the replay match also ended in a draw a second replay match would take place. In theory an unlimited number of games could be played to determine the outcome of a tie. For example, in 1980 it took four games to decide the winner between Arsenal and Liverpool. This is the most games needed to settle an FA Cup Semi-Final, although there were several occasions where three games were played. Prior to the 1992 semi-finals, the only semi-final played under different rules to this was the rearranged 1989 semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, for which it had been declared in advance that the game would be decided by extra-time and penalties if necessary.
In 1991 the FA decided that only one replay should be played (starting with the 1991–92 competition). If this game ended in a draw, extra time would be played, followed by penalty kicks if the match was still even. In 1999 it was decided that the semi-finals should be decided in one game, with extra time and penalties used to determine the outcome if the game ended in a draw (replays are still used in earlier rounds, however). The last FA Cup Semi-Final replay, in 1999, saw Manchester United take on Arsenal at Villa Park. This turned out to become one of the most memorable semi-finals of all time, with Peter Schmeichel saving a last-minute penalty from Dennis Bergkamp and a Ryan Giggs extra time goal deciding the outcome in Manchester United's favour. In 2003 this goal was voted the greatest ever in FA Cup history.
Queen's Park chose not to contest the 1871–72 replay match with Wanderers. There were no semi-finals played in the 1872–73 competition, while between 1877–1881 only one semi-final was played.
The 1989 semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough, Sheffield, turned into tragedy when 96 supporters were killed in the stands due to overcrowding. The Hillsborough disaster had wide-ranging effects on future stadium design.
Villa Park is the most used stadium in FA Cup semi–final history, having hosted 55 semi–finals.
The highest winning margin was Newcastle United's 6–0 victory over Fulham in the 1908 Anfield semi-final. The highest post-war winning margin was Stoke City's 5–0 victory over Bolton Wanderers in the second 2011 semi-final on 17 April 2011. The highest-scoring match was Hull City's 5-3 victory over Sheffield United in the second 2014 semi-final.
List of FA Cup semi-finals
Semi Final Key
|*||Match went to extra time|
|†||Match decided by a penalty shootout after extra time|
|Bold||Winning team won The Double|
|Italics||Team from outside the top level of English football
(since the formation of The Football League in 1888)
|1872||1||Royal Engineers||0–0||Crystal Palace||Kennington Oval|
|2||Wanderers||0–0||Queen's Park||Kennington Oval|
|1873||1||Oxford University||w/o||Queen's Park||2|
|1874||1||Oxford University||1–0||Clapham Rovers||Kennington Oval|
|2||Royal Engineers||2–0||Swifts||Kennington Oval|
|1875||1||Old Etonians||1–0||Shropshire Wanderers||Kennington Oval|
|2||Royal Engineers||1–1||Oxford University||Kennington Oval|
|1876||1||Old Etonians||1–0||Oxford University||Kennington Oval|
|1877||1||Wanderers||1–0||Cambridge University||Kennington Oval|
|1878||1||Royal Engineers||2–1||Old Harrovians||Kennington Oval|
|1879||1||Old Etonians||2–1||Nottingham Forest||Kennington Oval|
|2||Newcastle United||Swindon Town||2–0||White Hart Lane|
|1911||1||Bradford City||Blackburn Rovers||3–0||Bramall Lane|
|2||Newcastle United||Chelsea||3–0||St Andrew's|
|1912||1||Barnsley||Swindon Town||0–0||Stamford Bridge|
|2||West Bromwich Albion||Blackburn Rovers||0–0||Anfield|
|1913||1||Aston Villa||Oldham Athletic||1–0||Ewood Park|
|1914||1||Burnley||Sheffield United||0–0||Old Trafford|
|2||Liverpool||Aston Villa||2–0||White Hart Lane|
|2||Sheffield United||Bolton Wanderers||2–1||Ewood Park|
|1946||1||Charlton Athletic||2–0||Bolton Wanderers||Villa Park|
|2||Derby County||1–1||Birmingham City||Hillsborough|
|1947||1||Charlton Athletic||4–0||Newcastle United||Elland Road|
|1948||1||Manchester United||3–1||Derby County||Hillsborough|
|2||Blackpool||3–1*||Tottenham Hotspur||Villa Park|
|1949||1||Wolverhampton Wanderers||1–1||Manchester United||Hillsborough|
Newcastle United were the most successful competitors in the FA Cup during the 1950s. Their three semi-finals were all won, and followed by a victorious final.
Established leading First Division clubs Arsenal, Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers and Manchester United, enjoyed more than one good cup run during the 1950s, although Manchester United did not lift the trophy during the 1950s. The decade also brought several unlikely semi-finalists in the competition; namely Port Vale, York City and Norwich City.
In 1958, 18-year-old Manchester United forward Alex Dawson became one of the few players to score a hat-trick in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, finding the net three times in the Highbury replay against Fulham, which his team won 5-3.
The 1960s brought semi-final appearances in the FA Cup for a wide range of teams. Tottenham Hotspur were semi-finalists one three occasions and went on to win the trophy each time.
Liverpool's re-emergence as a leading English club in the 1960s saw them reach the FA Cup semi-finals twice, losing in 1963 but going through in 1965 and winning the trophy for the first time.
West Ham United, who provided the nucleus of England's World Cup winning team, were semi-finalists in 1964 and went on to win the trophy. Their London rivals Chelsea reached the semi-finals twice during the decade but only one once and failed to win the trophy.
Leicester City were semi-finalists three times in the 1960s and went through each time, but failed to win the trophy. Their 1969 defeat made them the first team to reach the FA Cup final four times without winning it.
Swansea Town, semi-finalists in 1964, were the only Third Division team to reach the last four of the competition during the 1960s.
The 1970s began with Watford reaching the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in their history. Any hopes of glory, however, were ended by a 5-1 defeat to Chelsea. The other semi-final saw Leeds United and Manchester United face each other three times before the West Yorkshire side won. Chelsea went on to win the trophy but would not even reach the semi-finals, let alone the final, for the next 24 years.
Arsenal reached the semi-finals three years running from 1971, and were semi-finalists again in 1978 and 1979. They were winning semi-finalists on three occasions and trophy winners twice.
Liverpool, the most successful English clubs of the 1970s, were FA Cup semi-finalists four times during the decade, going through twice and winning the trophy once.
Tottenham's sixth FA Cup triumph in 1967 had left them just one win short of matching Aston Villa's record of seven FA Cup victories, but they failed to build on their success during the 1970s, going through the decade without even a semi-final appearance in the competition.
Leeds United, England's most successful club side in the first half of the decade, reached the FA Cup semi-finals three times in four seasons, going through twice and winning the trophy once.
After losing the 1970 FA Cup semi-final in a second replay, Manchester United reached the semi-finals three times in four seasons from 1976, winning each time, although they only finished with the trophy once.
Sunderland built on their surprise victory over Arsenal in the semi-final of 1973 by beating Leeds United in the final. Crystal Palace became the only Third Division team to reach the final during the decade when they progressed to the last four in 1976, but were beaten by Southampton, who then achieved a major upset in the final by beating Manchester United to win the trophy.
Liverpool, the most successful English club side of the 1980s, appeared in the semi-finals five times during the decade, winning on three occasions and lifting the actual trophy twice. However, 96 of their fans were fatally injured at the FA Cup semi-final on 15 April 1989 in what quickly became known as the Hillsborough disaster.
Liverpool's cross city rivals Everton reached the semi-finals five times during the 1980s, winning four times, and went on to win the trophy twice.
Manchester United won both of their semi-finals during the 1980s (in 1983 and 1985), and went on to win the trophy both times.
Tottenham Hotspur, who won the trophy in 1981 and 1982, reached their third semi-final of the decade in 1987 and won again, although they lost the final.
Manchester United reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup five times in the 1990s, winning each time and finishing with the trophy four times.
Liverpool were semi-finalists in 1990, 1992 and 1996, winning on two occasions and lifting the trophy once.
Arsenal were semi-finalists four times in the 1990s and winners twice, going on to lift the trophy both times.
Tottenham Hotspur were semi-finalists in 1991, 1993, 1995 and 1999, but only won on the first occasion, when they went on to win the trophy for a record eighth time - although this record was matched and then beaten within a few years by Manchester United. Their semi-final win in 1991 came in the first Wembley semi-final, where they defeated their North London rivals Arsenal. Two years later, however, they lost to Arsenal in the same stage of the competition.
Oldham Athletic, whose only previous FA Cup semi-final appearance was in 1913, reached the semi-finals in 1990 and 1994. On both occasions they faced Manchester United, who needed a replay to beat them both times.
Crystal Palace reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1990 and beat favourites Liverpool 4-3, although they lost the final to Manchester United after a replay. They reached the semi-finals again five years later, and took Manchester United to a replay before losing 2-0.
Chesterfield made an unlikely FA Cup semi-final appearance in 1997 and briefly looked capable of becoming the first third tier side to reach the FA Cup final after taking the lead against Middlesbrough, but the match ended in a draw and Middlesbrough won the replay.
In 1992, Norwich City reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the second time in four seasons, but were beaten by Sunderland. That year also saw the first penalty shootout in an FA Cup semi final, where Liverpool overcame Portsmouth on penalties after a replay.
The first decade of the 21st century saw the FA Cup remain largely the property of Arsenal (three times), Chelsea (three times) and Liverpool (twice), while Manchester United won it only once after winning it four times in the previous decade. Arsenal reached the semi-finals five years running from 2001 (winning four times), and again in 2009. Chelsea were semi-finalists in 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2009 (winning three times). As FA Cup winners in 2001 and 2006, Liverpool did not progress as far as the semi-finals on any other occasion during the decade.
The decade also brought the first FA Cup semi-final in many years for numerous clubs; Fulham, Bolton Wanderers, Sheffield United, Millwall, Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion, Watford, Barnsley, Portsmouth and Cardiff City. Of these teams, however, only Millwall, Portsmouth and Cardiff City reached the final, and only Portsmouth went on to win the trophy. An even more unlikely team to reach the FA Cup semi-final were Wycombe Wanderers in 2001. The Buckinghamshire club had never progressed to this stage of the competition before, and had been Football League members for less than a decade.
|2010||1||Chelsea||3–0||Aston Villa||Wembley Stadium (New)|
|2||Portsmouth||2–0*||Tottenham Hotspur||Wembley Stadium (New)|
|2011||1||Manchester City||1–0||Manchester United||Wembley Stadium (New)|
|2||Stoke City||5–0||Bolton Wanderers||Wembley Stadium (New)|
|2012||1||Liverpool||2–1||Everton||Wembley Stadium (New)|
|2||Chelsea||5–1||Tottenham Hotspur||Wembley Stadium (New)|
|2013||1||Wigan Athletic||2–0||Millwall||Wembley Stadium (New)|
|2||Manchester City||2–1||Chelsea||Wembley Stadium (New)|
|2014||1||Arsenal||1–1†||Wigan Athletic||Wembley Stadium (New)|
|2||Hull City||5–3||Sheffield United||Wembley Stadium (New)|
|2015||1||Arsenal||2–1*||Reading||Wembley Stadium (New)|
|2||Aston Villa||2–1||Liverpool||Wembley Stadium (New)|
Teams shown with an asterisk beside their name are no longer in existence. This table is updated as of both Semi-finals in the 2014–15 FA Cup.
- Venues that no longer exist or regularly host football are denoted with an asterisk.
- "New Wembley to host semis". BBC News. 2003-01-03. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
- "Football Supporters Hail FA Cup Semi-Final Decision" (Press release). Football Supporters Federation. 2005-11-18. Archived from the original on 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
- "Moyes unhappy with Wembley semi". BBC News. 2009-03-09. Retrieved 2011-02-25.
- Hughes, Rob (2008-04-06). "Nwanko Kanu repays Harry Redknapp’s faith in one moment". London: TimesOnline. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
- Non-League Club
- Second Division/First Division/Championship Club
- Third Division (North)/Third Division (South)/Third Division/Second Division/League One
- 3–1 on penalties
- 4–1 on penalties
- 4–2 on penalties