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Top five FA Cup semi-finals

Sports Mole rounds up five of the best FA Cup semi-finals since the 1990s.

With Arsenal having scraped past Wigan Athletic in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final in what cannot be described as a classic, and the second Wembley clash between Hull City and Sheffield United happening later on today, it got Sports Mole thinking: what are the best FA Cup semis?

Here, we pick out five of our favourites from recent memory, with comebacks, drama and brilliant goals all essential to make the FA Cup the tournament that it is.

1. Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal, 1999

On the way to Manchester United's treble-winning 1999 season they were pushed all the way on at least two of the three fronts. The FA Cup final for them was routine, but the semi-final replay at Villa Park was anything but. The first ended 0-0 and was easily forgotten, but the replay had everything that an FA Cup fan can ask for. At 1-1, with United down to 10 men and facing a late penalty it looked as though Arsenal would get through. But soon after Peter Schmeichel's penalty save from Dennis Bergkamp, Ryan Giggs ran almost the length of the field to slam the ball into the roof of the net for a late winner. A sensational finish.

2. Chesterfield 3-3 Middlesbrough, 1997

Everybody loves a good underdog story, and Chesterfield from the third tier of English football came incredibly close to reaching the final in 1997 after taking Middlesbrough to a replay. They lost the second game 3-0, but before that were unlucky not to win the first game. They were 2-1 up when John Duncan's shot was ruled out despite crossing the line, before also coming back from 3-2 down to level. It was a dramatic game of football and Chesterfield were incredibly unfortunate not to go through.

3. Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Sheffield United, 1993

In this semi-final at Wembley in 1993, the Sheffield derby continued its derby with a quite brilliant game of football. Chris Waddle showed just what he could do with a football as he curled in a free kick from 20 yards, but the game was taken to extra time courtesy of Alan Cork's equalising header. It was Wednesday hero Mark Bright who won it for the Owls with just 13 minutes left to play. Cue a party in the Wednesday end.

4. Arsenal 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur, 1991

Another classic rivalry played out in the FA Cup, and as is so often the case the North London derby did not disappoint in the first of the semi-finals at Wembley. This game had everything, including one of the best FA Cup goals in history from Paul Gascoigne. His world class free kick flew past David Seaman and the rest was history with Gary Lineker also bagging a brace as Spurs had the last laugh over the rivals.

5. Everton 1-2 Liverpool, 2012

This has been the best semi-final since the FA Cup returned to Wembley for them, and once again it was a clash between two rivals. Everton took the lead through Nikica Jelavic, before an error from John Heitinga allowed Luis Suarez in to equalise. It was end-to-end stuff from that point on but Andy Carroll scored probably his most important Liverpool goal in the last few minutes to silence the Toffees fans.

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Arsenal's English midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates after scoring his second goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 2, 2014
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Todays Game Header Right
1Manchester CityMan City27205256173965
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27149453322151
3Leicester CityLeicester27155746311550
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs25116841271439
9Aston Villa251231038271139
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2797112837-934
13Crystal Palace2797112943-1434
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2638152055-3517
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2742211643-2714

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