Ten great FA Cup final facts
1. The first FA Cup final was played in 1872 at the Kennington Oval in London. It was won by Wanderers, defeating the Royal Engineers 1-0 in the final.
2. The first FA Cup final to be held at the Old Wembley was the 1923 final, won 2-0 by Bolton Wanderers. After a six-year stint at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, it returned to new Wembley in 2007, where Chelsea claimed a 1-0 win over Manchester United.
3. The only time the FA Cup has ever been out of England was when Cardiff beat Arsenal 1-0 in 1927. They had reached the final two years previously, but lost to Sheffield United. However, they weren’t the first non-English club to reach the final. Queen’s Park from Scotland lost two consecutive finals to Blackburn Rovers in the 1880s.
4. The highest scoring finals were in 1890 when Blackburn Rovers beat The Wednesday 6-1 and 1953 when Stanley Matthews inspired Blackpool to a 4-3 win over Stan Mortensen’s Bolton. The biggest win was in 1903 when Bury thrashed Derby County 6-0.
5. There have been 14 FA Cup final replays, including three in a row between 1981-83. Tottenham Hotspur won the first two, the 1981 final decided by Ricky Villa’s famous solo effort.
6. Arsenal will have the chance to go level with Manchester United on 11 FA Cup wins if they take the trophy. However, should they lose, they’ll join Everton on the record number of FA Cup final defeats with eight.
7. The official record attendance for an FA Cup final is 126,047, which was the first game at the old Wembley. However, reports suggest that the crowd could have been as large as 300,000.
8. Wanderers have the distinction of winning five FA Cups without losing a single final. Of teams still existing, Bury are top of the pile with two final wins and no losses. On the other end of the scale, Leicester City have played four finals without once lifting the trophy aloft.
9. Only two FA Cup finals have ever gone to penalties, and they happened in consecutive years. Arsenal v Manchester United in 2005 was won with Patrick Vieira’s last kick for the club before a dramatic 3-3 draw between Liverpool and West Ham was settled in the former’s favour through spot kicks.
10. Last year’s winners Wigan Athletic became the first club to win the FA Cup and be relegated in the same season. 16 years earlier, Middlesbrough lost the final (their second of the season having been defeated in the League Cup final) and got relegated from the Premier League.