The ‘hallowed ground’ of Wembley is being meticulously manicured as the countdown for the FA Cup final nears its epic conclusion. Come 5:15pm on Saturday, the game will be underway; crowds will be roaring from the side lines as the stars of Manchester City and Wigan Athletic show exactly why they deserve to be there. The big names, including Budweiser, who is sponsoring the event, are going to be on full show, ready to put on a final to remember.
It’s the epic conclusion of a season that’s been full of moments of tension, hope and surprises, but above all: excitement.
So, before you sit down with a Budweiser and the 2012/13 finale gets underway, let’s take a minute to look at three of the best moments from the FA Cup this season – all worthy of donning the #ToTheDream hashtag.
Matt Smith’s phenomenal goal scoring
In a very unlikely turn of events, Oldham came from the bottom of the FA Cup ladder to beat Liverpool FC in their fourth round clash – a result no one saw coming. It was their secret weapon who made the difference – Matt Smith. In only his second season of professional football, Oldham striker Matt Smith has shown rivals he’s a force to be reckoned with. And it’s during the FA Cup that he has risen to fame. Smith caused his first major upset during the Liverpool game when he battered through big name defenders (Skrtel and Coates) to bang home a header. The Liverpool home crowd went wild – angry fists were pumping the air. Smith was instrumental in the surprise win and went on to score another great goal during the game to help the team to a 3-2 victory. The following week, Oldham played Everton and Smith again shone scoring an injury time equaliser.
Chelsea’s miraculous comeback against Manchester United
Manchester United looked to have well and truly secured the win during their quarter-final against Chelsea, but the Blues weren’t going to let them have it easy. Despite the visible chinks in their armour, United were two up at half time. Hernández scored early in the fifth minute, followed soon after by an impressive inswinger from Rooney on a free-kick. Come the second half, the momentum completely changed. Chelsea went in guns blazing resulting in Hazard netting a fantastic curling effort before the hour mark. With that, United could do little to curb Chelsea’s spirit. With their attack faces on, Chelsea drew level at the 68th minute. It was Ramires’s who scored the equaliser with the help of Oscar. The Blues were going full-throttle for the win, and they could have had it if David de Gea hadn’t made his super save in the 90th minute to block Juan Mata’s strike. The draw earned Chelsea a replay, but United were lucky not be eliminated there and then.
Aguero’s two-footed tackle
This controversial tackle took place between Aguero and David Luiz in the 82nd minute of the semi-final between Manchester City and Chelsea. With Luiz in possession, Aguero rammed into the Chelsea player bringing him tumbling to the ground before jumping on him with two feet of studs. The referee awarded a free-kick to Chelsea, but Aguero got out of the tackle scot-free. Chelsea was disgusted a penalty was not awarded as at that stage of the game, it could have completely altered the outcome. Manchester City went on to beat Chelsea 2-1 – and now they’re in the final.
These are just some of the moments which have made headlines during the 2012/13 FA Cup. Come the final, the greatest match day moments like these will be featured in a fan film by Budweiser to be aired before it all kicks off. So, if you’ve got a memorable moment, share it on Twitter with the hashtag #ToTheDream.