- 2006 FA Cup Final
The 2006 FA Cup Final [cite news | last = Maddock| first = David| date = 2006-05-15| title = Cramp to Champ| publisher = "
Daily Mirror"| url = http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/tm_objectid=17078682%26method=full%26siteid=94762%26headline=cramp%2dto%2dchamp-name_page.html| accessdate = 2008-03-24] was the final and deciding match of the FA Cup 2005-06. It took place on Saturday, 13 May 2006at the Millennium Stadiumin Cardiffand saw the 2001 cup winners Liverpool beat Londonclub West Ham United after a penalty shoot-out. [cite news |title=Final recalls Cup's magic days |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/fa_cup/4769009.stm |publisher= BBC Sport|accessdate=2007-05-25 | date=2006-05-13|first=Jonathan|last=Stevenson|accessdate=2008-03-24] West Ham were ahead 2-1 and then 3-2 but Liverpool captain Steven Gerrardscored a goal in the last minute from 30-yards + to take the game to extra-time and they eventually triumphed on penalties.
Liverpool had won the
FA Cupon 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 Stadiumin 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 throughout Wembley's period of rebuilding.
Premier Leaguein 2005-06, Liverpool finished third and West Ham came ninth. Liverpool won both league meetings; 2–0 at home on 29 October 2005and 2–1 away on 26 April 2006.
The game was originally planned to be played on
20 May. However, England manager Sven-Göran Erikssonwanted a four-week break before the 2006 FIFA World Cupso that if any England players were involved (Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragherand Peter Crouchall later made his squad) could get a decent rest before the tournament. [cite news |title=FA brings 2006 Cup final forward | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/4316423.stm | publisher= BBC Sport| date=2006-03-03|accessdate=2008-03-24] Staffordshirereferee Alan Wileyofficiated 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.
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. [cite news|title=Warning after FA Cup ticket theft|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4982170.stm |publisher=
BBC News| date= 2006-05-07|accessdate=2008-03-24] 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. [cite news|title=Stolen Cup tickets 'not replaced' |url= http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/4758585.stm |publisher= BBC News|date= 2006-05-10|accessdate=2008-03-25] 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. [cite news|title=100 stolen FA Cup tickets seized|date=2006-05-14| url= http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_east/4769641.stm |publisher= BBC News| accessdate=2008-03-24]
Before the match, uncertainties existed over the both teams' lineups - injuries had prevented West Ham striker
Dean Ashtonfrom playing for 12 days and Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonsolimped out of the club's final league match of the season. Both started, but there was no place for Hayden Mullinsor Luis García, who were both sent off in the 26 Aprilleague match between the two clubs, and were suspended. Poor Hayden was hard done by...
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 José Reina. 21 mins: 1–0 to West Ham.
Following some skilful dribbling, West Ham's
Matthew Etheringtonunleashed a shot which Reina failed to hold properly. Dean Ashton raced in to tuck the loose ball beneath Reina's body, the ball trickled over the line. Two shots, two goals for West Ham. 28 mins: 2–0 to West Ham.
From a free kick taken on the wide right by
Steven Gerrard, Liverpool's Peter Crouchhad a close decision for offsidego against him, and saw his scoring effort disallowed. A minute later, Liverpool captain Gerrard delivered a similar ball to Djibril Cisséwho volleyed the ball past Shaka Hislopin the West Ham goal. 32 mins: 2–1 to West Ham. Curiously, 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 Kewelllimped out of the game, just as he had in Liverpool's Champions League Final of 2005. Fernando Morientesreplaced him.
Within ten minutes of the restart, Liverpool equalised through Gerrard. Crouch's knock-down is volleyed in by Gerrard from inside the penalty area. 54 mins: Liverpool 2, West Ham 2.
On 67 minutes, a frustrated Alonso was replaced by
In the middle of an attacking move,
Paul Koncheskyswung in a cross which none of his team mates could reach. It sailed over Reina into the Liverpool net to effect a stunning fluke. 64 mins: 3–2 to West Ham.
Despite trailing, Liverpool boss
Rafael Benítezbrought on midfielder Dietmar Hamannfor striker Peter Crouch. West Ham, over the following 15 minutes, made their three permitted substitutions; Bobby Zamoraon for Ashton, Christian Daillyon 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 Cissepulled up with cramp. West Hamthen had to put the ball out, in accordance with the spirit of the game. Liverpool successfully prevented the resulting throw in going out for a goal kick, so the ball was punted back into the midfield. After an unsuccessful ball into the penalty area, the ball found its way to Steven Gerrard. His spectacular first-time 35-yard strike flew past a bewildered Shaka Hislopand nestled in the bottom corner of the net. 90 mins: Liverpool 3, West Ham 3.
Extra-time passed without much incident, except for 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.
The final dramatic twist came from a West Ham free kick in the final moments of extra-time. Flicked on by captain
Nigel Reo-Coker, the ball looked destined to sneak in, but Reina dived to his left & clawed the ball onto the far post. Sami Hyypiätried but failed to clear the ball from the Liverpool goal, and the ball fell to Harewood. Unfortunately for him, his close range volley span wide from his injured left foot.
Just as they did in their famous Champions League victory in
Istanbulin 2005, Liverpool took the match to penalties after a 3–3 draw with Steven Gerrardstriking another one in to have a dream final. Reina, who had been at fault for two of the West Hamgoals, saved three penalties, his final save from Anton Ferdinandclinching the FA Cup for Liverpool for a seventh time.
score=3 – 3 (a.e.t.)
(3 – 1 pen.)
team2=West Ham United
report= [http://www.fa-cupfinals.co.uk/2006.htm (Report)]
Gerrard goal|54 goal|90+1
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
penaltyscore=3 – 1
Road to Cardiff
* 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
FA Cup 2005-06for more details leading up to this final.
FA Cup Finalfor a list of previous FA Cup Final results.
* [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=484894 Game facts] at soccerbase.com
* [http://www.thefa.com/TheFACup/TheFACup/NewsAndFeatures/Postings/2006/05/FACF06_MatchReport.htm The FA Match Report]
* [http://www.lfchistory.net/viewgame.asp?game_id=4990 LFC History Match Report]
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