click to go to homepage
United's players celebrate in the dressing room after the FA Cup semi-final win over Arsenal in April 2004

12 semi-final facts to get you up for the cup

Ahead of Manchester United's Emirates FA Cup semi-final with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, here are 12 facts about the club's last-four ties of the past...

Steel City start
Manchester United's first four semi-finals were all played in the same South Yorkshire city - two at Bramall Lane, home of Sheffield United, and two at Hillsborough, Sheffield Wednesday's ground. The latter was the most frequent semi venue for the Reds until relatively recently when Villa Park (11 visits) overtook it.

Treble top
Two United players have scored hat-tricks in FA Cup semi-finals - Stan Pearson in a 3-1 victory over Derby County in 1948 and Alex Dawson in the 5-3 replay triumph against Fulham at Highbury a decade later.

A general view of the pitch at Villa Park, home of Aston Villa
We've played 11 FA Cup semi-finals at Villa Park, most recently against Watford in 2007

Firing blanks
The Reds failed to score in six consecutive semi-final matches in a sequence which started in 1965. Leeds United won a replay 1-0 in that year after the first game ended goalless; the Yorkshire club also beat Sir Matt Busby's team 1-0 in 1970, this time in a second replay after two 0-0 draws. In 1966, the Reds lost to a solitary strike by this Saturday's opponents, Everton, in a semi-final staged at Burnden Park, Bolton.

Semi-finals on the spin
United reached the last-four stage in five successive years between 1962 and 1966 but only progressed to the final in one of them, 1963, when Busby's men knocked out Southampton and went on to lift the trophy at Leicester City's expense. In the mid-1990s, Alex Ferguson's team reached and won three consecutive semi-finals against Oldham Athletic, Crystal Palace and Chelsea. The Reds went on to win the FA Cup in 1994 and 1996 but lost the 1995 final - to Everton.

Captain Marvel
Bryan Robson is United's leading scorer in FA Cup semi-finals with five goals to his name, spanning five separate games including replays. Sir Bobby Charlton is next best with four strikes.

Bryan Robson celebrates his goal for United in the 1985 FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool
Bryan Robson hit five semi-final goals - including one against Liverpool in April 1985

The Hills
The late Jimmy Hill, the long-serving Match of the Day host, scored against the Reds for Fulham in front of around 70,000 fans at Villa Park in 1958, thus maintaining his record of hitting the net in every round bar the final. Another Hill, Gordon (no relation), bagged both goals for United in the 2-0 victory over Derby County in 1976.

Wembley woe
United have played three FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley but have not won any of them. The Reds needed a last-gasp equaliser from Mark Hughes in 1994 before overcoming Oldham Athletic in the replay at Maine Road. More recently, Sir Alex Ferguson's men lost to Everton on penalties in 2009 and were defeated 1-0 by Manchester City 1-0 two years later.

Tough Toffees
United have lost to Everton in both of the semi-final meetings so far - the aforementioned ties of 1966 and 2009. The Reds' most frequent opponents at this stage are Leeds (two defeats, one win) and Arsenal (three wins).

Pally's pair
Gary Pallister netted only 15 goals in 437 games for United but he managed to score against Crystal Palace in both the 1995 semi-final and its replay - his only two FA Cup strikes for the club in 38 appearances. The centre-back was joined on the scoresheet by two fellow defenders - Denis Irwin in the first game and Steve Bruce in the rematch.

Goalscorers Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister celebrate after United's FA Cup semi-final replay win over Crystal Palace in 1995
Goalscorers Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister celebrate after the 1995 replay win over Palace
Cup classic
The famous 1999 tie at Villa Park, which included Ryan Giggs's sensational solo winner against Arsenal, was the last-ever FA Cup semi-final replay. The titanic clash, one of the finest in the competition's long and illustrious history, arguably only came about because Roy Keane had a goal wrongly disallowed in the first game at Aston Villa's ground.

The best goal in FA Cup historyVideo

'Invincibles' humbled
Arsenal may have gone through the entire 2003/04 league season undefeated but they were no match for Sir Alex Ferguson's side in the FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park. Paul Scholes smashed in the only goal of the game and United went on to beat Millwall in the final. That was the 11th and penultimate time the Reds won the trophy.

Brothers in arms
Jimmy and Brian Greenhoff have both found the net for United at the last-four stage. Former Stoke striker Jimmy scored crucial goals against Leeds (1977) and Liverpool (1979 replay), while defender Brian also scored in the 1979 semi-final tie, in the initial clash with the Merseysiders.

Brian and Jimmy Greenhoff pose at Old Trafford with the FA Cup that United won three months earlier in 1977
Brian and Jimmy Greenhoff pose with the FA Cup in 1977 after United's triumph the previous season