Saturday, May 25, 2024

The Greatest FA Cup Quarter-Final Moments

The FA Cup quarter-finals take place this weekend. Bournemouth take on Southampton in the early kick off and Everton host Manchester City this evening. Sunday sees Chelsea play Sheffield United before Leicester and Manchester United battle it out for a place in the semi-final.

We have seen many great moments throughout FA Cup history. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the greatest FA Cup quarter-final moments.


The Frenchman was a special player. He was capable of doing the impossible out of nothing. In an FA Cup quarter-final against Barnsley, Ginola scored a brilliant individual goal.

In what turned out to be the only goal of the game, Ginola picks up the ball on the left-hand side around 30-40 yards out and cuts inside.

Ginola then proceeds to run towards the edge of the box, avoiding a slide tackle. He moved past numerous other Barnsley players around him, before slotting it past the opposition keeper and into the bottom right corner.

A truly exceptional goal.


Leicester went into the quarter-final against Wycombe as massive favourites being a team in the top flight, two divisions higher than Wycombe.

Wycombe took the lead in the second half when Paul McCarthy headed in a free-kick but this was cancelled out by a Muzzy Izzet equalizer.

Manager Lawrie Sanchez scored in the 1988 FA Cup final where Wimbledon shocked the footballing world by beating Liverpool. He would once again be involved in one of the great underdog stories in the competition’s history.

Sanchez witnessed history in the changing room. He was sent from dugout after an argument with the referee over a penalty appeal.

Step up Roy Essandoh. Wycombe were hit with an injury crisis and resorted to Ceefax to find a striker replacement. He had plied his trade in the lower Scottish leagues and Finland but his career-defining moment came in this game.

He came on as a second-half substitute as a relatively unknown figure. Everyone would know his name after the final whistle. In injury time, the ball was flung into the box with Essandoh getting his head on the flick on. The crowd went wild as the club earned a place in the semi-final.

Wycombe’s journey would end in the semi-final to eventual champions Liverpool but fans will never forget the run they went on, with the FA Cup quarter-final goal from Essandoh something that fans will remember forever.


The 2007/08 season was a year for the underdogs in the FA Cup, with Barnsley, Portsmouth, West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City the four semi-finalists that season. Only Portsmouth were in the Premier League.

Two shock results came on the same day when Barnsley and Portsmouth earned incredible quarter-final wins, resulting in a place at Wembley.

Man United were chasing a treble, leading the Premier League table and doing well in Europe. With Chelsea their nearest competitors in the league and Lyon facing United next in the Champions League, playing Portsmouth at home seemed the easiest of the three.

However, Portsmouth managed to earn a shock win. Midfielder Sulley Muntari scored the game-winning penalty as Pompey won 1-0 at Old Trafford. They would go on to beat Cardiff in the final, winning the FA Cup for only the second time in their history and marking the last time an English manager has won the historic trophy.

This result had wider implications as it ended up denying Alex Ferguson’s men a second historic treble, with the red half of Manchester being crowned Premier League and Champions League winners that season.

This FA Cup quarter-final will also be remembered for Rio Ferdinand playing part of the game in goal after Tomasz Kuszcak, who replaced Edwin van der Sar at half time, was sent off for a foul on former Liverpool striker Milan Baros that resulted in the penalty.

Portsmouth will be known as the team who denied Man United a second treble and it still leaves United fans wondering what if.

Later on that day, Barnsley hosted Chelsea. Despite earning a famous win over Liverpool at Anfield in the previous round, Tykes fans were not expecting to win.

In front of 22,000 fans, Martin Devaney’s cross was met by Kayode Odejayi in the 66th minute. This was the only goal of the game as Barnsley earned a trip to Wembley.

Despite knocking both Liverpool and Chelsea out, Barnsley’s journey would end in a semi-final 1-0 defeat to Cardiff City. Despite this, fans will always remember their FA Cup run.

This was an FA Cup season that we are unlikely to see again. To have three Championship teams involved in the semi-final and none of the traditional ‘Big Four’ was excellent for the neutrals and fans of footballing fairytales.

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