Ranking the 6 Best Cup Meetings Between Arsenal and Liverpool

Richard MorganContributor IFebruary 13, 2014

Ranking the 6 Best Cup Meetings Between Arsenal and Liverpool

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    Smiles better: Liverpool celebrate their 2001 FA Cup final win over Arsenal
    Smiles better: Liverpool celebrate their 2001 FA Cup final win over ArsenalBen Radford/Getty Images

    Arsenal host Liverpool in the FA Cup fifth round at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon in what is one of the standout ties of the weekend as two behemoths of the game go head to head for a place in the last eight.

    And ahead of this eagerly anticipated clash in north London between two sides who have won the world's oldest cup competition on no more than 17 occasions between them, we take a look back at six previous domestic cup meetings between the giants and rank those match-ups.

6. Liverpool 1-3 Arsenal (January 2007, FA Cup Third Round)

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    The Gunners dumped the then holders out the FA Cup with a vintage display at Anfield seven years ago.

    Liverpool, who had won the competition for the seventh and most recent time the previous season, were hoping that home advantage would prove decisive in this much-anticipated tie in front of live TV cameras.

    However, the visitors were in a great run of form at that time and ultimately proved way too strong for Rafa Benitez's outfit, with Czech Republic midfielder Tomas Rosicky's first-half brace knocking the stuffing out of the Reds.

    And despite ever-reliable Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt managing to half the deficit with a neat glancing near-post header with still 20 minutes to go, Arsenal skipper Thierry Henry ended the match as a contest late on by dispossessing Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher on the touchline, before coolly side-footing past Jerzy Dudek.

5. Liverpool 3-6 Arsenal (January 2007, League Cup Quarter-Finals)

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    Rafa Benitez's Liverpool suffered one of their heaviest-ever defeats at Anfield in this bruising Carling Cup last-eight meeting seven years ago, in a tie which saw Brazilian forward Julio Baptista net four goals.

    In fact, the scoreline would have been even worse for the Reds had skipper Steven Gerrard and centre-back Sami Hyypia not scored consolation goals late on, although it was still the first time in 77 years that the Reds had conceded six goals on home soil.

    However, ultimately it was a night that belonged to the Beast, who enjoyed his best-ever display in an Arsenal shirt and the attacker could even have had five but for a fluffed spot kick in the second half.

4. Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal (November 1988, League Cup Third-Round Replay)

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    Revenge for the Reds for their shock loss to the Gunners in the final of the 1987 Littlewoods Cup came in the form of this pulsating third-round replay at Villa Park after the two arch rivals could not be separated in the first two meetings.

    However, while those previous contests had been cagey and times sterile affairs, this decider in Birmingham was a classic that swung from one way to the next.

    It was Arsenal that took a first-half lead thanks to Paul Merson's wonder strike, only for the champions to then hit back in style after the interval.

    Firstly, England midfielder Steve McMahon slammed home an equaliser just past the hour mark with one of his trademark long-range pile drivers.

    And then deadly Republic of Ireland striker John Aldridge was in the right place at the right time to hand Liverpool victory with a late strike.




3) Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal (April 1987, League Cup Final)

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    The Reds went into the 1987 Littlewoods Cup final as firm favourites to claim the first piece of silverware of that campaign against George Graham's young Arsenal side.

    For one thing, the Reds had won the league and cup double the previous season, while the Merseyside giants had also never lost a fixture in which prolific striker Ian Rush had scored.

    And so when the deadly Welshman gave his side the lead midway through the first half, a fifth League Cup in the space of just seven years appeared a mere formality for player-manager Kenny Dalglish and his team.

    However, the underdogs did not read the script and on a baking hot day at Wembley Stadium, the north Londoners hit back with a double either side of the break from Scotland international Charlie Nicholas, as Graham won his first-ever trophy in charge of his beloved Arsenal.





2. Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal (May 1971, FA Cup Final)

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    The north Londoners arrived at the home of football on a real high having wrapped up the title at the home of archrivals Tottenham Hotspur the week before.

    And now the Gunners were aiming to emulate Spurs by becoming just the second team in the 20th Century to claim a league and cup double by overcoming Liverpool.

    However, despite dominating the show-piece event, Arsenal were taken to extra time in the scorching sun at Wembley after a sensational display by Reds goalkeeper Ray Clemence during the 90 minutes.

    And when the Merseysiders' winger Steve Heighway immediately then beat Arsenal No. 1 Bob Wilson at his near post with a low shot, an upset appeared very much to be on the cards.

    But Arsenal had not won the title without having to demonstrate huge doses of self-belief and inner strength at times during that campaign, and two late strikes from Eddie Kelly and Charlie George then turned the whole contest on its head.



1. Liverpool 2-1 Arsenal (May 2001, FA Cup Final)

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    In the first FA Cup final, excluding replays, not to be held at Wembley Stadium for almost 80 years, it was the Merseysiders who took the honours in Cardiff's Millennium stadium on their way to an historic treble that season.

    However, for the opening 80 minutes of this match, it was all one-way traffic as Arsene Wenger's side took the game by the scruff of the neck right from the very off.

    Somehow, though, through a mixture of luck and poor Arsenal finishing, the Reds managed to stay on level terms, although when Swedish midfielder Freddie Ljungberg did finally break the deadlock with just 20 minutes remaining, there appeared to be only one winner.

    But that was reckoning without the precise finishing of England international striker Michael Owen, with the soon-to-be crowned Ballon d'Or winner netting twice late on to hand Liverpool one of the great smash-and-grab FA Cup final wins in modern history.