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The 2006 FA Cup Final was the final and deciding match of the FA Cup 2005-06. It took place on Saturday, 13 May 2006 at the Millennium Stadiummarker in Cardiffmarker and saw the 2001 cup winners Liverpool beat Londonmarker club West Ham United after a penalty shoot-out. West Ham were ahead 2-0 and then 3-2 but Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard scored a goal in the last minute from 30-yards + to take the game to extra-time and they eventually triumphed on penalties. It is considered by most who watched to be one of the greatest Cup Finals in the history of the tournament.

Liverpool had won the FA Cup on six previous occasions (1965, 1974, 1986, 1989, 1992 and 2001) - four of those coming since West Ham last won the trophy. As well as 1980, West Ham also won the Cup in 1964 and 1975. "The Hammers" took part in the first FA Cup final to be played at the newly-built Wembley Stadiummarker in 1923. Coincidentally, Liverpool played in the first FA Cup final in Cardiffmarker, which was in 2001. The newly-rebuilt Wembley Stadium was expected to be ready for this final, but delays in building meant that the final would take place in Cardiffmarker, as it had done since Wembley's closure.

In the Premier League in 2005-06, Liverpool finished third and West Ham came ninth. Liverpool won both league meetings; 2–0 at home on 29 October 2005 and 2–1 away on 26 April 2006.

It was Liverpool's seventh FA Cup triumph to date, placing them joint fourth on the list of the most successful sides in the competition with Aston Villa. It was their first domestic trophy under the management of Rafael Benítez, who had been appointed two years earlier and won the European Cup in his first season at the helm.

It was West Ham United's first appearance in the final for 26 years, since they won the trophy in 1980, and their fifth appearance so far.


The 2006 FA Cup final has today been renamed by many as the Gerrard Final in reference to the the 1953 FA Cup Final often called the Matthews Final.


The game was originally planned to be played on 20 May. However, England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson wanted a four-week break before the 2006 FIFA World Cup so that if any England players were involved (Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Peter Crouch all later made his squad) could get a decent rest before the tournament.

Staffordshire referee Alan Wiley officiated the match. Mike Dean from the Wirralmarker had originally been appointed, but questions as to his impartiality were raised due to his residential proximity to Liverpool.

Ticketing problems

In the week before the Final, there was a major crisis when a block of 1,600 tickets in the Liverpool supporters' seating area was stolen in the postal system. The stadium authorities refused to reissue the tickets on crowd safety grounds, and threatened to eject anyone found sitting in the block from the stadium and possibly prosecute them for receiving stolen goods. Liverpool F.C. arranged for most of the affected fans to receive tickets from an allocation that had been held back for a lottery among their supporters. The day after the final, South Wales Police seized 100 stolen tickets. Three people were also arrested after 15 forged tickets were also found ahead of the match.



Before the match, uncertainties existed over the both teams' lineups - injuries had prevented West Ham striker Dean Ashton from playing for 12 days and Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso limped out of the club's final league match of the season. Both started, but there was no place for Hayden Mullins or Luis García, who were both sent off in the 26 April league match between the two clubs, and were suspended.

West Ham took an early lead without having a shot on goal. Alonso gave away possession to Ashton, who passed to Lionel Scaloni, who had space on the right wing. His low, driven cross was clumsily dealt with by Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, who bundled the ball past his keeper José Reina. 21 mins: Liverpool 0–1 West Ham.

Following some skilful dribbling, West Ham's Matthew Etherington unleashed a shot which Reina failed to hold properly. Dean Ashton raced in to tuck the loose ball beneath Reina's body, the ball trickled over the line. Two shots, two goals for West Ham. 28 mins: Liverpool 0–2 West Ham.

From a free kick taken on the wide right by Steven Gerrard, Liverpool's Peter Crouch had a close decision for offside go against him, and saw his scoring effort disallowed. A minute later, Liverpool captain Gerrard delivered a similar ball to Djibril Cissé who volleyed the ball past Shaka Hislop in the West Ham goal. 32 mins: Liverpool 1–2 West Ham. Curiously, this was only the second time Liverpool had scored in the first half of an FA Cup Final, after John Aldridge's goal against Everton in 1989.

Shortly after half-time, with the score at 2–1, Harry Kewell limped out of the game, just as he had in Liverpool's Champions League Final of 2005. Fernando Morientes replaced him.

Within ten minutes of the restart, Liverpool equalised through Gerrard. Crouch's knock-down is volleyed in by Gerrard from inside the penalty area. 54 mins: Liverpool 2–2 West Ham.

On 67 minutes, a frustrated Alonso was replaced by Jan Kromkamp.

In the middle of an attacking move, Paul Konchesky swung in a cross which none of his team mates could reach. It sailed over Reina into the Liverpool net to effect a stunning fluke. 64 mins: Liverpool 2–3 West Ham.

Despite trailing, Liverpool boss Rafael Benítez brought on midfielder Dietmar Hamann for striker Peter Crouch. West Ham, over the following 15 minutes, made their three permitted substitutions; Bobby Zamora on for Ashton, Christian Dailly on for Carl Fletcher, and Sheringham on for Etherington.

Wasting chances from Morientes and Gerrard, who was now suffering with cramp, Liverpool battled in vain until injury time, when Djibril Cisse pulled up with cramp. West Hammarker put the ball out to allow Cisse to be treated, Liverpool's throw-in returned the ball to West Ham deep in their defensive end, and the ball was punted back into the midfield. After an unsuccessful ball into the penalty area, the ball found its way to Steven Gerrard. His spectacular first-time 37-yard strike flew past a bewildered Shaka Hislop and nestled in the bottom corner of the net.

90 mins: Liverpool 3–3 West Ham.

Extra-time passed without much incident, except for a succession of injuries, due to fatigue or cramp. Both sides were affected, notably West Ham's Marlon Harewood. With West Ham unable to substitute him, he required extensive treatment for a foot injury, and ended up hobbling around the pitch for the final minutes of extra-time.

The final dramatic twist came from a West Ham free kick in the final moments of extra-time. Flicked on by captain Nigel Reo-Coker, the ball looked destined to sneak in, but Reina dived to his left & clawed the ball onto the far post. Sami Hyypiä tried but failed to clear the ball from the Liverpool goal, and the ball fell to Harewood. Unfortunately for him, his close range volley taken with his injured left foot spun wide.

Just as they did in their famous Champions League victory in Istanbulmarker in 2005, Liverpool took the match to penalties after a 3–3 draw with Steven Gerrard striking another one in to have a dream final. Reina, who had been at fault for two of the West Hammarker goals, saved three penalties, his final save from Anton Ferdinand clinching the FA Cup for Liverpool for a seventh time.

Match details

GK 25 José Manuel Reina
RB 3 Steve Finnan
CB 23 Jamie Carragher
CB 4 Sami Hyypiä
LB 6 John Arne Riise
RM 8 Steven Gerrard (c)
CM 14 Xabi Alonso
CM 22 Mohamed Sissoko
LM 7 Harry Kewell
CF 9 Djibril Cissé
CF 15 Peter Crouch
GK 1 Jerzy Dudek
DF 2 Jan Kromkamp
DF 21 Djimi Traoré
MF 16 Dietmar Hamann
FW 19 Fernando Morientes
Rafael Benítez
GK 34 Shaka Hislop
RB 2 Lionel Scaloni
CB 5 Anton Ferdinand
CB 4 Danny Gabbidon
LB 3 Paul Konchesky
RM 15 Yossi Benayoun
CM 6 Carl Fletcher
CM 20 Nigel Reo-Coker (c)
LM 11 Matthew Etherington
CF 9 Dean Ashton
CF 10 Marlon Harewood
GK 23 Jimmy Walker
DF 7 Christian Dailly
DF 19 James Collins
FW 8 Teddy Sheringham
FW 25 Bobby Zamora
Alan Pardew

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Penalty shootout if scores still level.
  • Five named substitutes
  • Maximum of 3 substitutions.

Road to Cardiff

Liverpool Round West Ham
Luton Town [C]

Gerrard 16
Sinama Pongolle 62, 74
Alonso 69, 90

Round Three Norwich City [C]

Mullins 6
Zamora 57
Portsmouth [P]

Gerrard 37 (p)
Riise 41
Round Four Blackburn Roversmarker [P]

Sheringham 33 (p)
Etherington 37
Khizanishvili 59 (og)
Zamora 73

Manchester United [P]

Crouch 19 Round Five Bolton Wanderers [P]

Replay Bolton Wanderers [P]
2–1 aet

Jääskeläinen 10 (og)
Harewood 96
Birmingham City [P]

Hyypiä 1
Crouch 5, 38
Morientes 59
Riise 70
Tebily 77 (og)
Cissé 89

Round Six Manchester City [P]

Ashton 41, 69
Chelsea [P]
Old Traffordmarker, Manchestermarker

Riise 21
Luis García 53
Semi-finals Middlesbrough [P]
Villa Parkmarker, Birminghammarker

Harewood 78

  • Both clubs received a bye to round three.
  • In square brackets is a letter that represents the opposition's division
    • [C] = Championship
    • [P] = Premier League

See also


External links

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