Liverpool win an exciting FA Cup final

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

The FA Cup trophy

Liverpool Football Club won the 2006 FA Cup 3-1 on penalties after an eventful final against West Ham United ending 3-3 after extra time. Whilst the first twenty minutes started slowly, the pace couldn't have been any faster during the rest of the ninety minutes of normal play. West Ham took an early lead from a Jamie Carragher own goal 21 minutes into the game, before scoring another through Dean Ashton seven minutes later. Two goals down, Liverpool scored with a goal from Djibril Cisse just four minutes later and then drew level in the second half with an impressive volley from Steven Gerrard. Paul Konchesky put West Ham back in front on the 54th minute with a left wing cross that somehow ended up in the back of the net.

With West Ham 3-2 up, play continued at a frantic pace with plenty of opportunities for both teams, but the Hammers looked set to hold out till the final whistle. As the clock hit 90 minutes though, Gerrard, despite suffering from cramp, saved Liverpool from defeat with a last minute goal.

Going into extra time, both teams were suffering from the fast tempo of the first 90 minutes, with several injured and cramp-suffering players on both teams. With both sides having used up their three substitutions however, they had no choice but to battle on, and compared to the rest of the match, play slowed down considerably. West Ham nearly snatched victory with a shot from Nigel Reo-Coker, but Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina managed a deflection, and with the ball landing at the injured foot of West Ham's Marlon Harewood, it was all he could do to get a shot in, which went badly wide.

As extra time finished, the game turned to the penalty shootout to decide the cup winners. 40 year old Teddy Sheringham scored one for West Ham, but with three of West Ham's penalties getting saved by the keeper, Liverpool won 3-1, missing just one penalty themselves.

West Ham were firm underdogs in this final, but the teams proved to be a good match for each other, and pundits agreed that this was the best FA cup final for several decades.


Sources

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