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5 great FA Cup comebacks

Watford’s 3-2 extra-time victory over Wolves on Sunday was the latest in a series of memorable FA Cup turnarounds.

Watford produced one of the great comebacks against Wolves (John Walton/PA)
Watford produced one of the great comebacks against Wolves (John Walton/PA)

Watford set up an FA Cup final showdown with Manchester City after overcoming a two-goal deficit to defeat Wolves 3-2 on Sunday.

Here Press Association Sport looks at five other great comebacks in the competition’s history.

Blackpool 4-3 Bolton Wanderers – 1953 (final)

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Stanley Matthews helped Blackpool recover from 3-1 down to beat Bolton in the 1953 FA Cup final (PA Archive)

Bolton led 3-1 in the Wembley final with barely 20 minutes to play when Stanley Matthews inspired a famous comeback in a thrilling encounter known as the ‘Matthews Final’. Stan Mortensen scored a hat-trick, but it was the genius of Matthews that brought Blackpool back from the brink.

Wrexham 2 Arsenal 1 – 1992 (third round)

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Captain Mickey Thomas helped Wrexham stun Arsenal in 1992 FA Cup (Malcolm Croft/PA)

One of the the FA Cup’s greatest comebacks was also one of its biggest upsets. Wrexham should have crumbled when reigning top-flight champions Arsenal took the lead through Alan Smith shortly before half-time, but goals from Mickey Thomas and Steve Watkin in the final 10 minutes resulted in a pitch invasion by jubilant home fans at the Racecourse Ground.

Tranmere 4 Southampton 3 – 2001 (fifth-round replay)

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Paul Rideout’s second-half hat-trick helped Tranmere stun Southampton in a replay (David Kendall/PA)

It should have been over when Hassan Kachloul, Jo Tessem and Dean Richards propelled Glenn Hoddle’s Southampton into a 3-0 lead at Prenton Park, but Paul Rideout had other ideas. The last half-hour saw Rideout seize the game by the scruff of the neck by firing a magnificent hat-trick before Stuart Barlow pounced for the winner.

Tottenham 3 Manchester City 4 – 2004 (fourth-round replay)

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Jon Macken scored the winner for Manchester City against Tottenham (Martin Rickett/PA)

Another three-goal deficit was overturned and this time it was hapless Tottenham who capitulated. Ledley King, Robbie Keane and Christian Ziege put Spurs in full control and when Joey Barton was dismissed for dissent early in the second half, it looked over for City. But the visitors responded with goals from Sylvain Distin, Paul Bosvelt and Shaun Wright-Phillips before Jon Macken struck the winner in injury time.

Chelsea 2 Bradford 4 – 2015 (fourth round)

Jose Mourino’s Chelsea were Premier League leaders when they collapsed to League One Bradford. Gary Cahill and Ramires opened up a seemingly comfortable lead at Stamford Bridge but goals from Jon Stead, Filipe Morais, Andy Halliday and Mark Yeates secured a place in the last 16 and wrote a chapter in FA Cup folklore.

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