Top Five: Arsenal's memorable FA Cup third round moments
(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Top Five: Arsenal's memorable FA Cup third round moments

Ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Bloomfield Road to face League One Blackpool in the FA Cup, let’s take a look at some of the Gunners most memorable moments in the third round of footballs oldest cup competition.

andy-preston
Andy Preston

Arsenal are the most successful club in FA Cup history, having won the trophy 13 times in their history, including seven times under the 22-year reign of Arsene Wenger.

Unai Emery will be looking to claim silverware in his first season in North London and continue his impressive record of winning cup competitions having won the Europa League three times with Sevilla as well as winning both cup competitions in two consecutive seasons with Paris Saint-Germain.

5. Watford 2-4 Arsenal, January 5th, 2002

This one delivered everything you would want from a classic FA Cup third round tie. Packed stadium, cold afternoon and a plucky first division side hopeful of causing an upset against an Arsenal team full of stars.

However, Wenger’s men would prove all too much for Gianluca Vialli’s Watford as Thierry Henry, Freddie Ljungberg, Nwankwo Kanu and Dennis Bergkamp all notched for the Gunners as they swept into the next round at a canter.

Arsenal went from strength to strength that season and completed an FA Cup and Premier League double for the second time under Wenger, eventually beating Chelsea 2-0 in the 2002 FA Cup Final.

4. The marathon tie - Sheffield Wednesday vs Arsenal, 1979

In the days before extra-time and penalties in the FA Cup, it took Arsenal four bites before they saw off Sheffield Wednesday in the third round of the cup in 1979.

First facing each other on January 6th, the game ended in a 1-1 draw at Hillsborough and the first replay saw the game end in exactly the same result just three days later.

The third game between the two would produce something of an FA Cup thriller. Wednesday had to come from behind on two occasions and eventually levelled at 3-3 from the penalty spot in stoppage time, much to the dismay of fans of both sides, and probably the players too, they would have to meet for a fourth time.

Arsenal finally got the better of Wednesday on January 22nd with a 2-0 victory, having taken nine hours of football to progress. However, the gruelling fixture would all be worthwhile as the Gunners lifted the cup in one of the competitions most iconic finals with a 3-2 win over Manchester United with a late winner from Alan Sunderland.

3. Liverpool 1-3 Arsenal, January 6th, 2007

The beginning of the 2006/07 FA Cup campaign threw up a mouth-watering tie as Arsenal travelled to Anfield to face cup holders Liverpool.

New summer recruit Tomas Rosicky would make his mark and endow himself to the Arsenal faithful as his brace helped the Gunners complete a triumphant night at Anfield.

Rosicky opened the scoring with a stunner as his curled effort from the edge of the box looped over a helpless Jerzy Dudek. The Czech Republic midfielder then doubled the away sides lead as he tricked his way past several Liverpool players before squeezing a low drive into the bottom right-hand corner just before half time.

Dirk Kuyt pulled back a goal for the home side with a close-range header to give the Anfield crowd a glimmer of hope, but that hope would be short-lived thanks to Henry.

Henry burst into full stride on the left touchline as he shrugged off Jamie Carragher and breezed past the experienced centre-back before cutting inside the box and firing his shot under Dudek to send Arsenal into the next round.

2. Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur, 4th January, 2014

The North London Derby represents one of the fiercest rivalries in English football, a tie that almost always delivers with drama and goals aplenty.

The red side of north London once again emphasised their superiority over their local rivals in the 2014 FA Cup third round.

Arsenal had threatened to make the breakthrough for much of the half and they were finally rewarded after half an hour as Serge Gnabry led a swift counter-attack and rolled the ball to Santi Cazorla who arrowed the ball into the top right corner.

The Gunners then sealed the tie just after the hour mark. Danny Rose was caught in possession on the halfway line by the poised Rosicky, who sprinted half the length of the field and shrugged off a challenge by Kyle Walker before dinking the ball over Hugo Lloris to send the Emirates crowd into jubilation.

Arsene Wenger’s side went on to win the FA Cup that season, ending a barren spell on nine years without a trophy.

1. The Return of The King - 9th January, 2012

Arsenal fans were all poised with the excitement of a kid waking up on Christmas day at the prospect of Henry once again pulling on the famous red shirt and their dreams would be realised when the Frenchman returned on a short-term loan deal from New York Red Bulls in 2012.

Leeds United were the visiting side at the Emirates in the FA Cup third round and the game was beginning to dwell into a forgettable evening as Arsenal struggled to break down a resilient Leeds defence for the opening 70 minutes.  

Henry returned to his stomping ground to a hero’s welcome as the crowd rose to its feet to welcome back one of the most legendary figures in Arsenal’s history as he replaced Marouane Chamakh with 22 minutes remaining.

With just 12 minutes left, Henry produced a moment that will forever be etched in Arsenal folklore and provided possibly the best moment the Emirates Stadium has seen in its short history.

Henry pulled off the right full-back with a trademark run and was found sumptuously by Alex Song. Henry’s only needed one touch to set himself and in classic Henry style, he curled the ball into the bottom right-hand corner with a passed finish with his instep.

“Henry. Chance. Goal!”

Arsenal’s greatest goalscorer of all time send the Emirates delirious as the Frenchman let out an outburst of passion and joy before embracing his manager Wenger with a hug on the touchline.

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