The FA Cup Third Round Games Which Changed Football Forever

January 08, 2016

- Grant Whittington

The FA Cup is without a doubt the tournament for the fans. For the one man and his dog at Winsford United that starts in August and by November we welcome the First Round Proper, and now here we are again, at the Third Round, where dreams are made.

The Third Round never fails to shock us. Over the years we’ve seen plenty of giant-killings. But there have also been moments which have changed the course of footballing history.

With 2016s round kicking off this evening, we take a look at the Third Round moments we’ll never forget…

Fergie’s Last Chance Saloon

Despite 36 trophies at Old Trafford, including five FA Cup winners’ medals, Sir Alex Ferguson was once a man under huge pressure, and after three years without a trophy Fergie was staring the axe right in the face.

The FA Cup of 1989/91 was the only chance of silverware that season and the Third Round saw them face Nottingham Forest and defeat would surely have sealed the end.

In the early stages of the second half Mark Robins popped up with a header to secure a 1-0 scoreline and as we know, the rest is history.

It does beg the question also, will van Gaal need a similar reprieve this weekend?

The Beginning of the End for Leeds

It’s been a rollercoaster ride for Leeds fans over the past decade and they aren’t about to get off it anytime soon either. It appears there’s more drama at Elland Road than there is at Emmerdale Farm these days, and that all began back in 2002 when Leeds were slayed by Cardiff City in the Third Round of the cup.

In the previous season they’d reached the Semi-Final of the Champions League and were top of the Premier League at the time, but Cardiff managed to pull off a giant killing and beat the Whites 2-1.

What followed was a run of nine games without a win, seeing the side finish outside of the European places. With finances dwindling the squad began to dismantle and by 2004 the club was sliding down the football pyramid, eventually ending up in League One by 2007.

The Start of Shanks

Despite the many great years at Liverpool, including two FA Cup wins, it was perhaps the Third Round directly before he arrived which had the largest impact on football and Liverpool FC.

Under the management of Phil Taylor Liverpool suffered one of the biggest shocks in FA Cup history when non-league Worcester City knocked them out in 1959. More failure followed after failing to return to the top flight and by December of that year Shankly had arrived and began a revolution which would turn Liverpool into one of the most successful teams in British history.

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