The FA Cup Sixth Round: Five classic encounters

Sunday 08 Mar 2015
Barnsley celebrate in front of jubilant fans after beating Chelsea in 2008

The FA Cup quarter finals are upon us. Eight sides are just one win away from a Wembley Semi-Final and the stakes are high.

As dreams begin to turn into reality, the prospect of lifting one of football’s most famous trophies draws ever nearer.

Over the years there have been many classic sixth round ties, with upsets, stunning goals and iconic images aplenty.

We’ve picked five of the best – from Barnsley’s stunning victory against Chelsea in 2008, to a Watford team containing Luther Blissett and John Barnes upsetting the odds against the formidable Arsenal side of the late 80s…                

1995: Liverpool 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur, 11 March 1995

Gerry Francis’ Spurs side delighted their 5,000 travelling fans with a win at Anfield at this stage 20 years ago. Robbie Fowler put Liverpool in front but Teddy Sheringham levelled with a curling right-footer to set up a pulsating finale. 

With 90 seconds to go, Sheringham passed to German superstar Jurgen Klinsmann and he surged into the box to lift the ball over David James for the winner. 

Ten days earlier, Spurs had won their Fifth Round replay 6-2 at Southampton but their name was not on The Cup, as Everton beat them in the Semi-Final at Elland Road. 

Klinsmann revealed afterwards that his ambition as a youngster had been to play at Anfield.

Teddy Sheringham celebrates in front of jubilant Tottenham Hotspur fans at Anfield

2008: Barnsley 1-0 Chelsea, 8 March 2008

Chelsea were FA Cup winners in 2007, 2009 and 2010. The only team to beat them in four FA Cup seasons were Barnsley, who finished the campaign in 18th place in the Championship. 

The Tykes had knocked Liverpool out 2-1 at Anfield in the previous round and there was a 22,000 full house at Oakwell for their Sixth Round tie with The Cup holders. 

Barnsley could have been a couple of goals up by half time and on 66 minutes, Kayode Odejayi, a modest signing from Cheltenham Town, leapt with Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini and headed Martin Devaney’s right-wing cross down into the net. Tyke that!

Sam Togwell celebrates Barnsley's famous win against Chelsea in 2008

2001: Leicester City 1-2 Wycombe Wanderers, 10 March 2001

Lawrie Sanchez had won The Cup as a player, and had scored the goal that beat Liverpool in 1988. 

Fast-forward 13 years and his Wycombe Wanderers team was bidding to become only the eighth outside the top two divisions ever to reach the Semi-Finals. 

Premier League Leicester City stood in their way at Filbert Street. 

Muzzy Izzet netted for Leicester and McCarthy for Wycombe, before Roy Essandoh entered Cup folklore by heading a last-minute winner for the Chairboys. 

He had arrived at the club only days before, after they had contacted BBC Ceefax to let people know they were looking for a forward.

Wycombe's Roy Essandoh wrote himself into FA Cup folklore in 2001

1987: Arsenal 1-3 Watford, 14 March 1987

For the first time in The Cup’s history all four quarter finals were won by the away team. 

Graham Taylor had managed Watford from the Fourth Division to the First in four years and taken them to their first FA Cup Final in 1984. 

Three years later they shocked Arsenal with a 3-1 win at Highbury. 

Luther Blissett missed an early sitter and Ian Allinson gave the Gunners the lead after a Watford defender had robbed his own goalkeeper on a blindingly sunny afternoon. But the Hornets were not a side that respected reputations. 

Blissett atoned with two goals and John Barnes headed the other as they made it to the final four once more. 

Nigel Gibbs (l) and Charlie Nicholas (r) compete for possession in the 1987 FA Cup quarter-final

1970: Queens Park Rangers 2-4 Chelsea, 21 February 1970

A Chelsea side full of flair players under Dave Sexton won The Cup for the first time in 1970. They scored 25 goals and Peter Osgood was on target in every round. 

An ‘Ossie’ on top form blasted a hat-trick as the Blues won an exciting west London derby with QPR 4-2 at Loftus Road. 

Defender David Webb netted the other – he went on to notch the winner in the Final replay with Leeds at Old Trafford – and Rangers’ marksmen were Terry Venables, a former Chelsea star, and Barry Bridges with the other.

Ron 'Chopper' Harris and Peter Osgood remonstrate with the referee after he ordered a penalty to be retaken

The FA Cup quarter finals kick off on Saturday 7 March at 12.45pm as Bradford City take on Reading.

Later on the same day Aston Villa welcome West Bromwich Albion (5.30pm) to Villa Park.

On Sunday 8 March, Liverpool take on Blackburn at Anfield at 4pm.

The fourth and final fixture sees Arsenal travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United at 7.45pm on Monday 9 March.

All four games are live on TV and the semi-final draw takes place immediately after the fourth game. Click here for more details.

See six of the best from The FA Cup Sixth Round from the last few years


By David Barber FA Historian