Arsenal take on Liverpool in the pick of the FA Cup third-round ties, with the two Premier League juggernauts regular opponents in the competition.
The two clubs first clashed in the FA Cup just over a century ago and there have been a fair few memorable match-ups in that time. Here’s an XI made up from players who helped their side to victory in this fixture.
Goalkeeper: Bill Harper
Herbert Chapman led Arsenal to the club’s maiden First Division and FA Cup triumphs but it took time for the iconic boss to bring success to Highbury. His second season at the club saw the Gunners on the end of 7-0, 6-1 and 5-1 defeats in the league, added to a 3-0 loss at Anfield in the February of the 1926/27 campaign. Arsenal faced Liverpool in the cup two weeks later and an inspired performance from Scottish stopper Bill Harper helped Chapman’s side progress. Despite making it all the way to Wembley, the Gunners ended up losing out to Cardiff City in the final – the only occasion a non-English side’s name has appeared on the trophy. Ironically Chapman dropped Harper for Welsh keeper Dan Lewis, whose mistake led to the only goal of the game.
Defender: Bill Lacey
Even if Arsenal go out of the cup, the Champions League and finish well adrift in the title race, nothing will match 1913, the club’s annus horribilis. That year marked the last time the Gunners suffered relegation, winning just three games. A 4-1 humiliation at home to Liverpool in the FA Cup made matters worse, with long-serving Irishman Bill Lacey on the scoresheet for the Reds.
Defender: Donald McKinlay
Ten years later and back in the top flight, Arsenal finished safely in mid-table but the result in the cup was identical to the previous encounter. Liverpool ended up as league champions in the 1922/23 season and dispatched the Gunners 4-1 in the first round of the cup. Club captain Donald McKinlay sealed the victory with a penalty ten minutes from time.
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Defender: Ronnie Moran
Four decades on and Liverpool prevailed once again with another defender, local lad Ronnie Moran, scoring a penalty to seal passage into the next round. However, there wasn’t so much between the sides in 1963, with just two points separating them in the league and a close-fought 2-1 win for Bill Shankly’s men in the cup.
Right-wing: Joe Hulme
A fourth-round tie in the 1935/36 season saw the two sides wearing black armbands, with the match coming a week after the death of King George V. Arsenal’s own George was at the beginning of his reign and Allison’s men saw off the challenge of Liverpool with experienced England international winger Joe Hulme on the scoresheet. The Gunners went on to lift the trophy for the second occasion in the club’s history come April, following a 1-0 win over four-time champions Sheffield United in the final.
Left-wing: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Three years before signing for Liverpool, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Besiktas, if you weren’t sure) helped dump his future club out of the cup, sending Arsenal into the quarter-finals of a competition they’d go on to win. The Gunners had been thumped 5-1 at Anfield a week before their FA Cup clash, with Brendan Rodgers’ side at the start of an incredible eleven-game winning streak in the league. However, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski found the net to secure revenge in a 2-1 win.
Central midfield: Brian Talbot
Arsenal and Liverpool played out a draw last month but Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta will both likely want to avoid a similar outcome and another fixture added to their packed schedules. Their 1979/80 counterparts, Bob Paisley and Terry Neill, had to navigate three replays in the semi-finals before a headed goal from Brian Talbot gave the Gunners a chance to retain the trophy.
Central midfield: Charlie George
Arsenal ended up losing that final to West Ham but a decade earlier they’d triumphed at Wembley and completed a league and cup Double in the process. Liverpool put up a valiant performance, taking the tie to extra-time after a goalless 90 minutes and even opening the scoring through Steve Heighway. However, the Gunners fought back and quickly equalised before cult hero Charlie George’s thunderous strike from just outside the area settled matters.
Forward: Dennis Bergkamp
2001/02 marked another Double-winning season for Arsenal and another victory over Liverpool on the way to FA Cup glory. An ill-tempered fourth-round tie saw three players sent off, including iconic goalscorer Dennis Bergkamp, with the Dutch forward heading in from a Thierry Henry cross in the first half before receiving his marching orders 20 minutes from time.
Forward: Michael Owen
That Bergkamp goal stopped Liverpool from retaining the trophy they’d won the previous May, with Arsenal the victims in the final following Michael Owen’s heroics. Freddie Ljungberg had given the Gunners the lead in the 72nd minute at the Millennium Stadium but two goals in the space of five minutes from Owen turned the game on its head. The FA Cup was added to the League Cup for Gerard Houllier’s men and they went on to secure the UEFA Cup to complete a treble, while another second-placed finish to Manchester United in the league left Arsenal empty-handed.
Forward: Reg Lewis
Owen wasn’t the first to make the headlines for a brace in an Arsenal-Liverpool cup final; Reg Lewis had accomplished that feat half a century earlier. The 1950 Wembley showpiece saw the two clubs meet in what was predicted to be a close affair following a league campaign that ended with just one point separating the sides. However, fine performances from Lewis, the Compton brothers, captain Joe Mercer and young forward Peter Goring secured the Gunners their third FA Cup.