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FA Cup

Top five clubs with most defeats in FA Cup finals

Published at :June 7, 2023 at 12:20 AM
Modified at :June 7, 2023 at 12:21 AM
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Rajat Chhajta


Manchester United also have an unwanted record to their name

The FA Cup (Football Association Challenge Cup) is the oldest existing football competition. It is the oldest among all tournaments as well as all leagues that still exist today. The first edition was played in the 1871-1872 season and the FA Cup has been held once a year since then (with an exception for interruptions during the First and the Second World Wars).

While there were teams like Wigan Athletic and Leicester City who were surprised winners but Premier League giants have dominated the fixture, however, this comes with the price of getting close to the trophy but not going over the final lap. Here are such teams who have been on the other side in the most number of finals.

5. Liverpool  

Total finals-15, wins-8, loss-7

Liverpool are one of the most successful clubs in English football history. The club’s extensive collection of silverware is boosted by a fine record in the FA Cup. Amongst the Merseyside club’s most memorable final defeats also include Wimbledon’s ‘Crazy Gang’ producing a historic upset in 1988 and Eric Cantona sealing cup success – and a domestic double – for Manchester United in 1996.

The Reds have reached 15 finals throughout their history and lost exactly half of those appearances, their most recent win being penalty decider final last season against Chelsea. Liverpool won the trophy for the first time in 1965 but have been crowned winners on just three occasions since the turn of the millennium, whilst their most recent defeat ended when Didier Drogba’s goal sealed victory for Chelsea in 2012.

4. Arsenal

Total finals-21, wins-14, loss-7

Level with Manchester United for final appearances are the record winners Arsenal, who kickstarted Mikel Arteta’s reign in north London by adding a record-extending 14th FA Cup to their collection in the 2020 season. Despite this, they have lost seven finals in total. However, they have just lost one showpiece in the past four decades which was Michael Owen’s brace securing a comeback victory for Liverpool in the 2001 final in Cardiff.

Arsenal won the trophy for the first time by beating Huddersfield in the 1930 final at Wembley, but it was the arrival of Arsene Wenger as manager which saw the club become the most successful in FA Cup history.

The Frenchman lifted the FA Cup on a record seven occasions throughout his time with the Gunners, including winning domestic doubles in both 1998 and 2002. Wenger’s impressive haul was added to with three victories in just four seasons before his departure from the Emirates – eclipsing Manchester United’s previous landmark for cup successes.

3. Everton

Total finals-13, wins-5, loss-8

The Toffees' tally of 13 final appearances also agonizingly includes eight showpiece defeats, including memorable losses to Merseyside rivals Liverpool in 1986 and 1989 and their most recent final loss to Chelsea in 2009 – Louis Saha’s now second fastest-ever FA Cup final goal after just 25 seconds not enough to win the trophy for David Moyes’ side.

Everton’s loyal fanbase may have been starved of success for more than two decades but the Merseyside club remains amongst the most successful sides in FA Cup final history, making 13 appearances. The Toffees have lifted the famous old trophy on five occasions, their first coming way back in 1906 and their most recent a shock victory over Manchester United in 1995 – Paul Rideout’s header sealing Everton’s most recent major honour.

2. Chelsea

Total finals-16, wins-8, loss-8

The most successful side in FA Cup history since the turn of the millennium, Chelsea have enjoyed a fine record in the competition with eight final appearances – including nine victories – since 2000. That haul has taken Chelsea to a record of 16 FA Cup final appearances, winning and losing an equal number of finals, with the most recent coming last year against Liverpool when they lost on penalties 6-5. With only three sides in the history of the tournament having ever featured in more showpiece occasions.

The West London side lost their first final to Sheffield United at Old Trafford in 1915, before winning the competition for the first time with a replay victory over Leeds in 1970. Chelsea’s greatest successes have come during the Roman Abramovich era, however, winning five FA Cups since the Russian’s billionaire investment including three trophies in just four seasons between 2007 and 2010.

1. Manchester United

Total finals-21, wins-12, loss-9

No side has ever lost more finals than Manchester United, with the Red Devils seeking to reach the Wembley showpiece for the 21st time when they faced and lost to the local rivals, Manchester City last Saturday.

Manchester United reached the final for the first time in 1909 and secured victory over Bristol City, winning a further four FA Cups before Sir Alex Ferguson won the first trophy of his Old Trafford reign by defeating Crystal Palace in 1990. That success sparked a glittering period for the side who won a further three FA Cups during the nineties, including domestic doubles in 1994 and 1996 and a historic treble-winning season – winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League – in 1999.

United’s 12 victories have been mixed with nine defeats, losing their last final appearance to City 2 – 1, when Ilkay Gundogan scored the fastest goal (13 seconds) into the match followed by his second-half strike to go one up again after Fernandes had bought them level before half time.

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