Everybody loves an underdog story from the biblical days of David and Goliath to the great Susan Boyle getting to the final of Britain’s Got Talent. Once the Christmas tree has been put away and the winter evenings get colder and wetter, sports fans are in their ecstasy as the oldest club competition in football returns, the biggest sides enter the pot and the FA Cup Giant Killings are on. As we enter 2022, here is the We Love Sport retrospective on 5 of the best FA Cup Giant Killings in over the last 10 years.
5. Wigan Athletic 1 – 0 Manchester City – FA Cup 2018
Will Grigg was truly on fire during this season for Wigan Atheltic, a club that had been an unlikely mainstay in the Premier League for a number of seasons prior but facing difficulty after a succession of relegations had left them fighting in League One by the time Pep Guardiola’s men took the short coach ride past Wigan Pier. Sitting 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League, firmly in position as their dominance over the top flight took shape they came into the game having thrashed former Champions Leicester 5-1 in their previous game. With 82% possession across the 90 minutes, City clearly dominated this affair as well. Fabian Delph was sent off for the visiting side and things began to change before Will Grigg fired the ball past Ederson to take home an infamous victory for the Latics, knocking City out of the competition and becoming one of just 5 sides to beat Manchester City that season in all competitions.
4. Sutton United 1 – 0 Leeds United – FA Cup 2017
The majority of games on any list of FA Cup Giant Killings will sound the same when reviewing back, just like with the Wigan-City game above, the Premier League or Championship side generally has the best of possession and chances with the lower league or non-league side getting a shock goal or two. But not Sutton United vs Leeds. Yes, it was a low scoring affair but Sutton performed on par with a strong Leeds side. This looked more like a clash of equals than a giant versus a minnow. Sutton forced the Leeds goalkeeper into a number of saves from substantial, quality shots before it was a penalty for captain Jamie Collins that saw off the White Roses and give Sutton a dream tie at home to Arsenal. There would be no FA Cup Giant Killing in that game, however, just a memorable image of a Sutton player eating a pasty on the bench.
3. Norwich City 0 – 1 Luton Town – FA Cup 2013
Perhaps not quite as memorable as the other ties on this list, things were very different for Luton Town in 2013 than they are now (with the club safely in the Championship). 9 years ago, 85 leagues positions separated the Hatters and Norwich City when they met in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup. Some well-known faces such as Wes Hoolahan and Grant Holt all featured for the Canaries that day but it was not enough to avoid an embarrassing upset, even with a young, fresh-faced Harry Kane in the team – I wonder what happened to him?! After successfully keeping the Town at bay for the first 80 minutes, substitute Scott Rendell popped up with a goal for the Hatters, making Luton the first non-league side to defeat a top-flight team away from home since 1986! History-making FA Cup Giant Killing which takes this game into our top 3!
2. Chelsea 2 – 4 Bradford – FA Cup 2015
When Ramires put Chelsea 2-0 up inside 40 minutes against Bradford City back in 2015, you would have been forgiven for switching channels. If you had done that, you would have missed out on one of the greatest FA Cup comebacks of all time. Just two minutes after Ramires’ strike, the Bantams had pulled one back through veteran striker Jon Stead. Then, during the final 15 minutes, the game burst into life with League One Bradford scoring three unanswered goals to secure one of the finest results in their history.
1. Burnley 0 – 1 Lincoln City – FA Cup 2017
Burnley survived relegation from the Premier League in 2016/17, but their humiliation would be saved for the FA Cup. The Clarets were dumped out by non-league Lincoln City, managed by the famed Cowley brothers. After weathering the storm brilliantly, Sean Raggett rose high and nodded home an 89th-minute winner. The game itself was box office viewing with Joey Barton getting rattled by a string of Lincoln players. Absolute Scenes and the true definition of a famous FA Cup Giant Killing and the sort of story we dream of every season when the cup comes to town.
The FA Cup is live across the weekend and you can avoid missing a second of the televised action with We Love Sport.
How Do I Download The We Love Sport App?
If you’re reading this on your mobile, click this link: https://bit.ly/welovesportapp
If you’re on a desktop/tablet – open the App Store on your phone and search for We Love Sport.
Or, simply scan the QR code below using your mobile!