Our record in FA Cup semi-finals

Wednesday 17 April 2024 14:02

On Sunday United will contest a record 32nd FA Cup semi-final when we face Coventry City, who have reached this stage for only the second time in their history. Here we analyse the Reds’ record at this stage of the competition, as well as the stats behind the semis…


United have made it to 32 FA Cup semi-finals in our history, winning through to the Cup final 21 times and losing 10. This extends our record total of semi-finals over Arsenal, who have reached this stage 30 times. Chelsea’s appearance against Manchester City on Saturday takes them to 27 semi-finals, passing Everton on 26. City have now got to a record six consecutive semi-finals, although they have lost three of their previous five.

How United won the semi-final in 2016 Video

How United won the semi-final in 2016

You need no excuse to relive the high drama of our FA Cup semi-final win over Everton in 2016...


Our first semi-final appearance came in March 1909, when a Harold Halse goal was enough to defeat Newcastle United in front of over 40,000 fans at Bramall Lane and book a place in our first final against Bristol City. This stopped eventual First Division champions Newcastle having a crack at the Double.


This weekend’s match with Coventry will be the fourth time we’ve faced a side from the second tier of English football in the FA Cup semi-finals, following meetings with Fulham in 1958, Southampton in 1963 and Oldham Athletic in 1990. We progressed to the final in each of those three previous occasions, although Oldham took us to a replay on the way to Sir Alex Ferguson’s first trophy at United.


The Reds won all 13 of the FA Cup semi-finals we played between 1976 and 2007. Our longest run of consecutive semi-final appearances came in the 1960s, when Sir Matt Busby navigated the Reds through to the last-four stage in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1966. Sadly it’s not a record that carries too many great memories, as we fell at that hurdle on four of the five occasions, only making it through to a triumphant final appearance in 1963.


In total we’ve played 43 semi-final matches – of our 31 last-four appearances, 10 of those went to replays, with the 1970 match-up with rivals Leeds requiring three ties to settle it, following 0-0 draws in the first two games. Semi-final replays were scrapped for the 1999/00 tournament, which means our epic win over Arsenal at Villa Park in the Treble season was the last-ever FA Cup semi-final replay.

Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United Video

Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United

The 1999 semi-final replay between Arsenal and United must go down as one of the best ever played...


Our most common semi-final venue? That would be Villa Park, which has hosted United on last-four duty on 11 occasions (including replays). Second is Hillsborough with nine ties. This weekend’s match with Coventry will be our eighth FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium, the current permanent home of the semi-finals.


Top scorer for United in semi-finals is Bryan Robson with five goals, who proved he was the man for the big occasion (or the match before the really big occasion) in 1983, 1985 (twice), 1990 and 1994. Second is Sir Bobby Charlton who netted four last-four goals, in 1957 and three over two games in 1958. In total 39 players have scored semi-finals goals for United, from Halse in 1909 through to Bruno Fernandes against Chelsea in 2020. Of course, we won our last semi-final without anyone scoring in normal or extra-time, United beating Brighton 7-6 on penalties last season after a 0-0 draw. Victor Lindelof netted the decisive spot-kick, after a miss by the Seagulls’ Solly March.

Our 2023 semi-final: Watch the penalty shootout Video

Our 2023 semi-final: Watch the penalty shootout

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1909 United 1 Newcastle United 0, Bramall Lane (Halse)
1926 United 0 Manchester City 3, Bramall Lane
1948 United 3 Derby County 1, Hillsborough (Pearson 3)
1949 United 1 Wolves 1, Hillsborough (Mitten) United 0 Wolves 1, Goodison Park
1957 United 2 Birmingham City 0, Hillsborough (Berry, Charlton)
1958 United 2 Fulham 2, Villa Park (Charlton 2), United 5 Fulham 3, Highbury (Dawson 3, Brennan, Charlton)
1962 United 1 Tottenham 3, Hillsborough (Herd)
1963 United 1 Southampton 0, Villa Park (Law)
1964 United 1 West Ham 3, Hillsborough (Law)
1965 United 0 Leeds United 0, Hillsborough, United 0 Leeds United 1, City Ground
1966 United 0 Everton 1, Burnden Park
1970 United 0 Leeds United 0, Hillsborough, United 0 Leeds United 0, Villa Park, United 0 Leeds United 1, Burnden Park
1976 United 2 Derby County 0, Hillsborough (Hill 2)
1977 United 2 Leeds United 1, Hillsborough (Coppell, J Greenhoff)
1979 United 2 Liverpool 2, Maine Road (Jordan, B Greenhoff), United 1 Liverpool 0, Goodison Park (J Greenhoff)

1983 United 2 Arsenal 1, Villa Park (Robson, Whiteside)
1985 United 2 Liverpool 2, Goodison Park (Robson, Stapleton), United 2 Liverpool 1, Maine Road (Robson, Hughes)
1990 United 3 Oldham Athletic 3, Maine Road (Robson, Webb, Wallace), United 2 Oldham Athletic 1, Maine Road (McClair, Robins)
1994 United 1 Oldham Athletic 1, Wembley Stadium (Hughes), United 4 Oldham Athletic 1, Maine Road (Irwin, Kanchelskis, Robson, Giggs)
1995 United 2 Crystal Palace 2, Villa Park (Irwin, Pallister), United 2 Crystal Palace 0, Villa Park (Bruce, Pallister)
1996 United 2 Chelsea 1, Villa Park (Cole, Beckham)
1999 United 0 Arsenal 0, Villa Park, United 2 Arsenal 1, Villa Park (Beckham, Giggs)
2004 United 1 Arsenal 0, Villa Park (Scholes)
2005 United 4 Newcastle 1, Millennium Stadium (van Nistelrooy 2, Scholes, Ronaldo)
2007 United 4 Watford 1, Villa Park (Rooney 2, Ronaldo, Richardson)
2009 United 0 Everton 0, Wembley (Everton won on penalties)
2011 United 0 Manchester City 1, Wembley Stadium
2016 United 2 Everton 1, Wembley Stadium (Fellaini, Martial)
2018 United 2 Tottenham 1, Wembley Stadium (Sanchez, Herrera)
2020 United 1 Chelsea 3, Wembley Stadium (Fernandes)
2023 United 0 Brighton 0, Wembley Stadium (United won 7-6 on penalties)