The five greatest FA Cup semi-finals: featuring Tottenham and Palace

FA Cup

It is FA Cup semi-final weekend, and we look at five great ties throughout history.

The FA Cup is an event that has created history throughout the years, and is still the longest running official football competition in the world.

This weekend, the two semi-finals will be played at Wembley to determine who will reach the Final of the 2015 edition, with Arsenal playing Reading as they look for a consecutive trophy, and Aston Villa taking on Liverpool in the second game.

Both games are sure to live long in the memory, and fans will be hoping for goals, controversy, and success for their own team.

The semi-final is a game which has brought a wealth of memorable matches in recent years, and we take a look at five of the best.

1991 - Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal

The first semi-final to be held at Wembley, this North London derby was memorable for Spurs reaching the final and claiming their first trophy in seven years, as well as Gazza’s long-range free kick.

A rocket that flew past David Seaman in the Gunners net, it is arguably the most memorable FA Cup goal, and one that set Spurs on the course to silverware.

1992 - Sheffield Wednesday vs Sheffield United

Another local derby, this was also played at Wembley, and saw Chris Waddle - unfavoured in England at the time following his return from Marseille - put on a show of magic to overcome Dave Bassett’s side.

A 2-1 win in extra-time came thanks to Mark Bright’s winner, although it was Waddle’s opening free-kick which stole the show.

1990 - Crystal Palace vs Liverpool

Alan Pardew’s most famous game as a player, he headed the winner with 10 minutes to go of extra time to send a much unfancied Palace side to Wembley, denying a Liverpool side who had won 9-0 the last time the teams met a potential double success.

A 3-3 draw in normal time came thanks to Andy Gray’s stoppage time equaliser, and Steve Coppell’s men, who were without Ian Wright, had the now-Palace boss to thank for the win - although they fell to Manchester United in the Final replay.

1997 - Chesterfield vs Middlesbrough

A 3-3 draw against Bryan Robson’s big spending stars was not enough to see Chesterfield through, as they lost the replay 3-0, but the first game was a memorable one. The Football League side went 2-0 up, only to be pegged back due to goals from Fabrizio Ravanelli and Craig Hignett - either side of a disallowed Chesterfield goal that should have stood.

Gianluca Festa put Boro ahead in injury time, before a late equaliser took the game to a replay, and Boro lost in the final to Chelsea.

1999 - Manchester United vs Arsenal

Notable for Ryan Gigg’s wonder goal which sent United on their way to the treble, it was arguably the most iconic moment of Alex Ferguson’s iconic career. It was the last semi-final replay in history, and one that will be remembered forever due to the Welshman’s run throughout the entire Arsenal defence.

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