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The 1996 FA Cup Final was the 51st to be held at Wembley Stadiummarker after the Second World War and was held between two of the biggest rivals in English football, Manchester United and Liverpool.

A few days before the final, Manchester United had secured their third league title in four years (1992–93, 1993–94 and 1995–96, coming second in 1994–95). The final was also their third in three seasons, having beaten Chelsea 4–0 in 1994 and lost 1–0 to Everton in 1995.

Liverpool, on the other hand, were going through a barren spell in terms of trophies, having not won the league title since 1989–90 or an FA Cup since 1992, although they had tasted success in the League Cup in 1995.

The match, despite the rivalry between the two teams, was a fairly unmemorable game, rarely sparking into life. Neither goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel for United and David James for Liverpool, was seriously tested throughout the majority of the game. However, with just five minutes remaining on the clock, David James tried to punch a corner clear. The ball landed just outside the penalty area, at the feet of United captain Eric Cantona, who had scored in his comeback game after a seven-month suspension at Old Traffordmarker against Liverpool earlier that season in a game that ended 2–2. Cantona hit his shot goalwards, through the crowded penalty area and the ball nestled in the back of the goal, winning the game for United.

The win was United's third FA Cup win under Alex Ferguson, having also won in 1990 and 1994. They became the first club to win the competition nine times, and also became the first club to win the league championship and FA Cup double on two occasions.

Match details

GK 1 David James
CB 12 John Scales
CB 5 Mark Wright
CB 6 Phil Babb
RWB 4 Jason McAteer
LWB 2 Rob Jones
CM 15 Jamie Redknapp
CM 10 John Barnes (c)
AM 17 Steve McManaman
CF 23 Robbie Fowler
CF 8 Stan Collymore
GK 26 Tony Warner
MF 16 Michael Thomas
FW 9 Ian Rush
Roy Evans
GK 1 Peter Schmeichel
RB 3 Denis Irwin
CB 6 Gary Pallister
CB 12 David May
LB 23 Phil Neville
RM 24 David Beckham
CM 16 Roy Keane
CM 19 Nicky Butt
LM 11 Ryan Giggs
SS 7 Eric Cantona (c)
CF 17 Andy Cole
DF 20 Gary Neville
MF 5 Lee Sharpe
MF 22 Paul Scholes
Alex Ferguson

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Penalty shootout if scores still level.
  • Three named substitutes
  • Maximum of two substitutions.


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