The FA Cup semi-finals are held to ascertain who will compete in the FA Cup Final. They are the penultimate round of the FA Cup, the world’s oldest football competition.
What is the venue of the FA Cup semi-finals?
Semi-finals have always been held in a neutral venue. All semi-finals have been hosted at the new Wembley Stadium since 2008.
Previously, any suitable major ground that was not the home ground of one of the teams in the semi-final was used.
Birmingham’s Villa Park, Manchester’s Old Trafford, and Sheffield’s Hillsborough used to be frequent hosts.
Between 1871 and 1881, Kennington Oval hosted all semi-finals. In 1882, Huddersfield hosted the first neutral semi-final match outside of London.
Due to overcrowding, the 1989 semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough, Sheffield, turned tragic. 96 fans were killed in the stands.
The Hillsborough disaster had far-reaching implications for stadium design in the future. On the 23rd anniversary of the catastrophe, Liverpool was granted a special dispensation to postpone playing their 2012 semi-final match against Everton.
The North London derby semi-final between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in 1991 was the first to be held at Wembley Stadium, which is also home to the FA Cup Final.
After fans of both Sheffield clubs complained, the first FA Cup Steel City derby–between Sheffield rivals Wednesday and United–was moved from its original venue of Elland Road, Leeds, to Wembley two years later.
This happened again in 1994, except this time a replay was staged at Maine Road in Manchester between Manchester United and Oldham Athletic.
Other neutral stadiums were used from 1995 to 1999 and 2001 to 2004, while both matches in 2000 were played at the old Wembley Stadium, which was in its final year of existence.
Both semi-finals were held in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium in 2005. The FA chose to go back to a neutral ground format in 2006, with games held at Villa Park and Old Trafford.
Afterward, all future semi-finals were played in the new Wembley Stadium as it was announced in 2003 and took effect in 2008.
The decision was made mostly for financial reasons, allowing the FA to recoup part of the costs associated with the stadium’s reconstruction.
Traditionalists, on the other hand, opposed the decision, as were other supporters’ groups. Aston Villa, among others, has urged for the semi-finals to be regionalized again, more than a decade after the shift.
Tottenham Hotspur’s semi-final encounter in 2018 was in some ways a home match for them, given they played their home games at Wembley that season while their new stadium was being built. It was, nevertheless, treated as a neutral venue for the FA Cup semi-finals of that year.
How does the FA Cup Semi-Finals work?
If a semi-final match was drawn in the past, there would be a replay. There would be a second replay if the replay was also drawn. To find a winner, an infinite number of games might theoretically be played. In 1980, for example, the tie between Arsenal and Liverpool was decided after four games. This was the most games needed to decide an FA Cup semi-final, while three games were played on other occasions.
Prior to the 1992 semi-finals, the only semi-final played under different rules was the rearranged 1989 semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, for which it had been declared in advance that due to the Hillsborough Stadium disaster, the game would be decided by extra time and penalties if necessary.
The 1871–72 repeat match between Queen’s Park and Wanderers was canceled.
In the 1872–73 season, no semi-finals were held. Holder Wanderers won a bye to the final per the rules at the time. As a result of Queen’s Park’s decision not to compete in a semi-final, Oxford University advanced to the final.
Due to the nature of the competition, only one semi-final was contested between 1877 and 1881, leaving three teams.
The FA determined in 1991 that only one replay would be performed (beginning with the 1991–92 season). If the game finished in a tie, extra time would be played, followed by penalty kicks if the score remained the same.
The semi-finals were agreed in 1999 to be played in one game, with extra time and penalties if the score was tied after 90 minutes.
However, replays are still used in previous stages, despite being phased out in the quarter-finals in 2016. In the previous FA Cup semi-final replay, Manchester United faced Arsenal at Villa Park in 1999.
With Peter Schmeichel saving a last-minute penalty from Dennis Bergkamp and a Ryan Giggs extra-time goal determining the match in Manchester United’s favor, this became one of the most memorable semi-finals of all time. This goal was rated the best in FA Cup history in 2003.
If the game proceeded into extra time, a fourth substitute was allowed in semi-final matchups from 2016 to 2017.
Villa Park has hosted 55 FA Cup semi–finals, making it the most used stadium in the competition’s history.
Everton’s penalty triumph over Manchester United on April 19, 2009, had the biggest attendance for an FA Cup semi-final. The semi-final was the fourth to be held at the new Wembley Stadium.
Newcastle United’s 6–0 win over Fulham in the Anfield semi-final in 1908 holds the record for the largest margin of victory. Stoke City’s 5–0 triumph over Bolton Wanderers in the second 2011 semi-final on April 17 was the largest post-war winning margin. Hull City’s 5–3 win over Sheffield United in the second 2014 semi-final was the highest-scoring match.
FA Cup Semi-Finals 2019
The 138th edition of the world’s oldest football tournament (also known as the Football Association Challenge Cup) took place in 2018–19. Emirates sponsored the tournament, which was dubbed The Emirates FA Cup for sponsorship purposes. It began with the Extra Preliminary Round on August 11, 2018, and ended with the final on May 18, 2019.
Chelsea were the defending champions, however, they were knocked out in the fifth round by Manchester United on February 18, 2019, in a rematch of the previous year’s final.
Manchester City won their sixth FA Cup triumph and first since 2011, becoming the first English team to win a domestic trifecta after also winning the EFL Cup and Premier League.
Top Scorers in 2019
|Padraig Amond||Newport County||5|
|Gabriel Jesus||Manchester City||5|
|Matt Doherty||Wolverhampton Wanderers||4|
|Connor Jennings||Tranmere Rovers||4|
|Raúl Jiménez||Wolverhampton Wanderers||4|
|Paddy Madden||Fleetwood Town||4|
|Alfie May||Doncaster Rovers||4|
|Ivan Toney||Peterborough United||4|
FA Cup Semi-Finals 2021
The Football Association Challenge Cup, the world’s oldest football event, celebrated its 140th season in 2020–21. Emirates sponsored the tournament, which was dubbed the Emirates FA Cup for sponsorship purposes. The winners advanced to the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2021–22.
Arsenal, the reigning Premier League champions, were knocked out in the fourth round by Southampton.
Leicester City won their first FA Cup after defeating defending runners-up Chelsea 1–0 in the final. They had previously finished second four times.
Top Scorers in 2021
|Kelechi Iheanacho||Leicester City||4|
|Alfie May||Cheltenham Town||4|
|Tom Nichols||Crawley Town||4|
|Jon Mellish||Carlisle United||3|
|Ashley Nadesan||Crawley Town||3|
|Youri Tielemans||Leicester City||3|
|Carlos Vinícius||Tottenham Hotspur||3|
|Benjamin Whiteman||Doncaster Rovers||3|
FA Cup Semi-Finals 2022
The 141st season of the FA Cup took place in 2021–22, marking the 150th anniversary of the first Football Association Challenge Cup, the world’s oldest football tournament, which began in the 1871–72 season. The Emirates FA Cup was the name given to it since it was sponsored by Emirates. The winners advanced to the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2022–23.
Former England international Robbie Fowler made the semi-final draw on March 20, 2022.
Chelsea qualified for the FA Cup Final with a 2-0 win against Crystal Palace, with two goals from Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, while Liverpool and Manchester City faced off in a thrilling five-goal thriller, which Liverpool won 3-2.
Leicester City were the holders after defeating Chelsea in the 2021 FA Cup Final. Nottingham Forest knocked them out in the fourth round.
Liverpool won the FA Cup for the first time since 2006, defeating defending runners-up Chelsea on penalties in the final. Chelsea became the first team to lose three straight FA Cup finals, when the fifth FA Cup final went to extra time.
Top Scorers in 2022
|Riyad Mahrez||Manchester City||4|
|Jayden Stockley||Charlton Athletic||4|
|Ryan Bowman||Shrewsbury Town||3|
|Jordon Garrick||Plymouth Argyle||3|
|Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur||3|
|Callum Lang||Wigan Athletic||3|
|Ollie Palmer||AFC Wimbledon||3|
|Scott Quigley||Stockport County||3|
|James Wilson||Port Vale||3|
FA Cup semi-finals Draw
The date for the FA Cup semifinal draws will be announced when it is appropriate. The meeting where it will be decided which squad will compete and secure a spot in the final is anticipated to take place during the second and third week of May 2023.
In April 2023, both semifinal games will be held at Wembley Stadium in London. Again, this will cause scheduling conflicts because games are scheduled for that time in the Premier League and Championship.
Where to watch the FA Cup on TV
- UK: ITV, BBC One, BBC Red Button, and BBC iPlayer
- U.S.: ESPN+