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May 14, 2010

FA Cup final upsets

With relegated Portsmouth set to take on Premier League winners Chelsea in one of the seemingly most one-sided FA Cup finals in history, we take a look back over the history of the competition to see if they have any hope at all.

• Chelsea v Portsmouth preview
• Facey: The Wanderers' return

While Southampton, Millwall and Cardiff have made history recently by making it to the final in the last decade, no side has pulled off a major shock in the tournament since Everton beat Manchester United in 1995.

Portsmouth 4-1 Wolves (1939)

Pompey have done the incredible before, as favourites Wolves had scored 19 goals in the tournament on their way to final before meeting the south coast side. Portsmouth were battling against relegation, but Cliff Parker's double and goals from Bert Barlow and John Anderson sealed the trophy before the Second World War meant the tournament was not played again for another seven years. Portsmouth manager Jack Tinn said afterwards that his side won thanks to the help of his "lucky spats." Avram Grant may need a similar lucky charm.

Sunderland 1-0 Leeds (1973)

Sunderland were in the Second Division when they faced up against Don Revie's all-conquering Leeds side of the 70s. Leeds were the heavy favourites to pick up the trophy they won in 1972, but an inspired performance from Sunderland's goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery - including a save from Peter Lorimer that has been ranked as one of the greatest of all-time - and a goal from Ian Porterfield sealed the biggest shock in the history of the competition.

Southampton 1-0 Manchester United (1976)

The Saints, who were in the Second Division at the time, pulled off a shock over United with Bobby Stokes' late strike to seal the side's first major trophy. Southampton goalkeeper Ian Turner made a series of impressive saves to deny Gerry Daly and Gordon Hill and the unfancied side held out after Stokes beat Alex Stepney to claim a incredible win.

West Ham 1-0 Arsenal (1980)

The last club outside the top flight to win the trophy, the Hammers held off London rivals Arsenal after a rare header from Trevor Brooking handed them one of the biggest wins in their history. The Gunners dominated possession through the game, but the Second Division side held firm, while at 17 years and 256 days old, Paul Allen's appearance for the Hammers made him the youngest player to have played in the FA Cup final at the time.

Wimbledon 1-0 Liverpool 0 (1988)

Liverpool, one of the dominant teams of the 1980s and newly-crowned league champions, came unstuck against an unfashionable Wimbledon side dubbed the 'Crazy Gang'. A Lawrie Sanchez header rocked the Reds just before the half, but the final is most remembered as the first instance of a penalty save (by Dave Beasant from John Aldridge) in FA Cup final history.

Everton 1-0 Manchester United (1995)

Before Portsmouth in 2008, this was the last time a club outside of the big four of United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool had won the trophy. United had lost their Premier League crown to Blackburn and it was a year for the underdog as Everton (who had only just survived relegation) won the game thanks to a header from Paul Rideout. Once again, the unfancied side had to withstand a severe amount of pressure following the goal, but an inspired performance from Welsh international goalkeeper Neville Southall saw them home.

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