The best matches of the FA Cup third round

The third round of the FA Cup is where the fun begins. The big boys are and things get real.

Since its inception in 1871, there have been countless exciting third round matches, some of which have become true modern classics. There has been drama, excitement, chaos and upheaval, and that’s why we love the FA Cup.

Let’s take a look at ten of the best matches of the third round.

Ross hannah
Grimsby almost caused upheaval | Matthew Lewis / Getty Images

Famously nearly upset, Huddersfield needed two late goals to avoid falling to Grimsby outside the league in 2014.

The hosts led twice during the game and entered the 86th minute with one foot in the fourth round, but an equalizer from Martin Paterson set up a fascinating ending.

Grimsby ended up losing the game in the most heartbreaking way possible – an own 90th-minute goal from Aswad Thomas.

The 1994/95 season was tough for Arsenal but even though they struggled in the Premier League no one expected them to be sidelined by second tier Millwall.

A strong Arsenal squad which included players like Tony Adams and Ian Wright were absolutely played out of the park. Millwall took the lead after 11 minutes by Mark Beard and continued to push for more, refusing to sit against the upper opposition.

The climax came in stoppage time as 18-year-old Mark Kennedy embarked on a 60-yard run, dancing in front of countless Arsenal stars before unleashing a fierce strike to set the exclamation mark ultimate on the game.

Gylfi Sigurdsson, Brian Howard
Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates penalty | Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images

After winning a 1-1 draw in the opener, Reading traveled to Anfield to face Liverpool in a replay that will be long remembered for a host of reasons.

For Liverpool they were in turmoil after a string of poor results and reports of behind-the-scenes break-ups, while Reading – fourth in the league – were just happy to be involved.

An own goal from Ryan Bertrand had won Liverpool at half-time, but Reading netted a deserved equalizer thanks to a penalty from Gylfi Sigurdsson, and they then won it all with an overtime strike from Shane Long.

Jermaine beckford
Beckford scored a famous winner | Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Meetings between Manchester United and Leeds are always special, and their third round draw in January 2010 was no exception.

Simon Grayson’s Leeds were working third at the time, with 42 places separating the two in the Football League, but a 19th-minute strike from Jermaine Beckford was enough to seal a historic victory for the visitors.

It was the first time under Sir Alex Ferguson that United had been eliminated in the third round, as well as the first time they had lost an FA Cup game to a non-Premier League side.

Defending Premier League champions Arsenal against a Wrexham side that had just finished bottom of fourth, what could possibly go wrong?

George Graham’s Gunners dominated early on and took a lead that Alan Smith deserved shortly before half-time, but that’s where the fun really started.

Wrexham dominated after the interval, playing the kind of football you’d expect to see from top teams, and the 82nd and 84th minute goals sparked an invasion of the pitch from desperate fans to celebrate one of the biggest giant murders in competition history.

James Wesolowski, Iain Hume
Leicester thought they won it | Mike Hewitt / Getty Images

Leicester believed they had pulled off their third round replay against Fulham when James Wesolowski went 3-1 a few minutes after half-time.

Looking for a way to get back into the game, Fulham brought in Italy striker Vincenzo Montella, who attacked the game like a man possessed. He scored two goals ahead of time and prepared the game for an exciting final.

Leicester had to hold on and was seconds into extra time, only for a mazy run from Wayne Routledge to lead to a 94th-minute winner for the Cottagers.

The magic of the FA Cup. We’ve all heard that phrase, and it’s used to describe games exactly like that connection between Sutton United and Coventry.

Sutton was playing in non-league football, while Coventry was just 18 months away from winning the FA Cup. On paper, this game could only go one way.

The minnows took the lead before half-time but were caught up after the break, only for Matthew Hanlan to win what turned out to be the winner shortly before the hour mark and seal one of the biggest shocks. famous in the history of the cup.

Michael Carrick, Samir NAsri
United held on for a win | Alex Livesey / Getty Images

We don’t often see Titans face off in the third round, so a Manchester derby between City and United was a pleasant surprise.

In an afternoon immortalized by the return of midfielder Paul Scholes from retirement, the excitement was maintained throughout the competition.

It could have gone another way as United roared into a three-goal (and one man) advantage in the first half, but a thrilling comeback from City forced Ferguson’s side to call for the full-time whistle as they had to fight attack after attack.

Laurent Blanc, Ruud van Nistelrooy
Van Nistelrooy had to save the day | PAUL BARKER / Getty Images

Peter Schmeichel came minutes after having one on former employers United in the most spectacular way.

United took out a good team but lost 2-0 after 53 minutes, and as the clock started to slow it looked like they were watching elimination in the face, only for Ruud van Nistelrooy to change the story.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pulled one out in the 77th minute, before second-half substitute Van Nistelrooy scored twice in two minutes to clear Villa of the cup.

Steven Gerrard, Dirk Kuyt, Xabi Alonso
Liverpool avoided real fear | Gary M. Prior / Getty Images

This one had a bit of everything: a potential slaughter, a missed penalty, a late return and a billion-yard goal.

Steven Gerrard’s superb first start was canceled out by Steve Howard, Steve Robinson and Kevin Nichols, who had taken Luton 3-1 in the 53rd minute – three minutes after Djibril Cisse missed a penalty. It happened.

Florent Sinama-Pongolle and a 40-yarder from Xabi Alonso evened things out, and the former returned home in the 74th minute to lead Liverpool, but the best was yet to come.

Luton goalkeeper Marlon Beresford showed up for a corner save, only to be bypassed by Alonso and humiliated when the Spaniard’s 60-yard strike crept into an empty net.

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