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Drama, upsets, tragedy and success – Liverpool’s last 10 FA Cup semi-finals

As Liverpool prepare to face Man City in a mouthwatering FA Cup clash, we take a trip down memory lane to see how the Reds have fared in past semi-finals.

Liverpool have won eight of their last 10 FA Cup semi-finals, with one of the two defeats being the last time at this stage of the competition.

Here’s a look back at what happened in the Reds’ last 10 FA Cup semi-finals.

 

Liverpool 1-2 Aston Villa (2015)

Ah, the Dejan Lovren shot game!

Liverpool had a glorious opportunity to give Steven Gerrard a perfect send-off for the Reds by reaching the final at Wembley in 2015.

It would have been the final game of arguably the greatest Anfield career of all and the legendary midfielder deserved such an occasion.

Instead, Brendan Rodgers’ side were abysmal against Aston Villa in the semis, taking the lead through Philippe Coutinho before allowing their Tim Sherwood-managed opponents to turn the game on its head.

In stoppage time, Lovren then decided to try his luck from 35 yards, almost clearing the stadium in the process and summing up a woeful afternoon.

 

Liverpool 2-1 Everton (2012)

Going into this match, Everton were arguably rare favourites to beat their rivals – they would finish one place and four points above them in the Premier League in 2011/12 – but they fluffed their lines once again.

A defensive mix-up involving Jamie Carragher allowed Nikica Jelavic to open the scoring, but Luis Suarez equalised in trademark outside-of-the-foot fashion.

The stage was then set for Liverpool flop Andy Carroll to head home a late winner, setting up a final meeting with Chelsea, which they ultimately lost 2-1.

Undoubtedly Carroll’s best moment at the club, he will always have a place in supporters’ hearts for scoring a winning goal in a Merseyside derby at Wembley!

 

Liverpool 2-1 Chelsea (2006)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. TUESDAY, MAY 3rd, 2005: Liverpool's manager Rafael Benitez and Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The rivalry between Liverpool and Chelsea during the mid-2000s was hostile, with the two clubs meeting in endless league, cup and Champions League matches.

It was Rafa Benitez who got the better of Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford back in 2006, in a tense, action-packed semi-final showdown.

John Arne Riise bent in a free-kick to put Liverpool 1-0 up and Luis Garcia doubled the advantage to break Chelsea hearts, as he had done in Europe 12 months earlier.

Didier Drogba pulled a goal back to create a frantic finale – Joe Cole missed a huge chance in stoppage time, too – but the Reds held on and would then defeat West Ham in Cardiff.

 

Liverpool 2-1 Wycombe (2001)

Liverpool's Robbie Fowler celebrates after scoring vs. Wycombe - FA Cup Semi Final, 2001 (Image: Action Images / Spencer Day)

Liverpool would end up with a cup treble this season.

Wycombe were shock FA Cup semi-finalists that season – who else remembers Roy Essandoh? – and Gerard Houllier’s side were expected to breeze past their third-tier opponents at Villa Park.

Instead, the Reds made hard work of proceedings, not taking the lead until the 78th minute when Emile Heskey powered home a header.

Robbie Fowler swiftly doubled the advantage with a free-kick, and although Wycombe got a late consolation, Liverpool were into another final.

Michael Owen did the rest in Cardiff…

 

Liverpool 3-0 Aston Villa (1996)

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 6, 1996: Liverpool's manager Roy Evans against Coventry City during the Premiership match at Highfield Road. Coventry won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Four years after lifting the FA Cup, Liverpool again had a chance to reach the final in 1996, facing Villa at Old Trafford.

Fowler was a man at the peak of his powers at this point in his career and the Reds’ opponents were powerless to stop him from scoring twice.

Jason McAteer added a third goal for good measure, setting up a massive final encounter against bitter rivals United.

Then Eric Cantona broke Liverpool’s hearts with a late winner at Wembley in what remains one of the worst Cup finals in history.

 

Liverpool 0-0 Portsmouth – 3-1 on pens (1992)

Barry Venison, Liverpool, 1992 (Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport)

The 1990s were a bleak period in Liverpool’s history, particularly compared to the previous two decades, but their 1992 FA Cup triumph was one of the few high points.

Graeme Souness’ team were pitted against Portsmouth in the semis that season, with an initial 1-1 draw requiring a replay to separate the two sides.

After a goalless 120 minutes at Villa Park, the Reds prevailed 3-1 in a nervy penalty shootout, in what ended up being Souness’ last game in charge before undergoing a triple bypass heart surgery.

 

Liverpool 3-4 Crystal Palace (1990)

John Aldridge Liverpool

Liverpool don’t suffer too many heartbreaking days, thankfully, but this was certainly one of them.

They were expected to beat Crystal Palace in the last four back in 1990, setting up a final meeting with arch-rivals Man United in the process.

An FA Cup classic occurred at Villa Park, however, as a star-studded Liverpool side managed by Sir Kenny Dalglish were beaten 4-3.

Alan Pardew scored the winner for the Eagles, many years before he embarrassed himself by dancing on the Wembley touchline.

 

Liverpool 3-1 Nottingham Forest (1989)

Hillsborough, 1989, referee Ray Lewis (Image: Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo)

An FA Cup semi-final took place at Old Trafford in 1989, but what happened at Hillsborough less than a month earlier made it pale into insignificance.

As it was, Liverpool beat Nottingham Forest 3-1, thanks to two goals from John Aldridge and a Brian Laws own goal, setting up a fitting final meeting with Everton.

It was Dalglish’s men who would prevail 3-2 at Wembley, but more important was how the city came together at the national stadium in a time of tragedy.

 

Liverpool 2-1 Nottingham Forest (1988)

John Barnes, Peter Beardsley, Liverpool, 1988 (Picture by Ross Kinnaird EMPICS Sport)

A year earlier, Forest again stood between Liverpool and a place at Wembley, just four days before the Reds’ iconic 5-0 mauling of Brian Clough’s side in the First Division.

Aldridge was again at the double for his boyhood club, inspiring them to a 2-1 victory, despite Nigel Clough pulling a goal back.

That 1987/88 team is considered one of Liverpool’s best in history and they looked all but certain to clinch FA Cup glory against Wimbledon in the final.

The Dons stunned the Merseysiders, though, with Aldridge becoming the first-ever player to miss a penalty in the final, in what was one of the greatest FA Cup shocks of all time.

 

Liverpool 2-0 Southampton (1986)

Kenny Dalglish, Jan Molby and Ronnie Whelan congratulate Ian Rush (second l) on one of his two goals vs. Everton in FA Cup Final 1986 (Picture by Peter Robinson EMPICS Sport)

Back in 1986, Liverpool clinched league glory on the final day of the season but were also eyeing up the first double in their history.

They faced Southampton in the semi-finals and, in truth, made relatively light work of opponents at White Hart Lane.

That being said, a goalless draw took the game to extra-time, before Ian Rush twice found the net to send Liverpool through.

In the final, an excellent Everton side were seen off 3-1, meaning the Reds became just the fifth team to achieve a league and cup double.

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