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Five greatest FA Cup third-round shocks

Everyone loves a giant-killing story when it comes to the FA Cup and there have been some notable third-round results in the competition's illustrious history.

Before we get into the top five to have made our list, it would be wrong of us not to mention a few other matches that only just missed the cut, starting with Kidderminster's victory over Reading in 2021/22.

Trailing 1-0 at the break, the National League North outfit hit back with two second-half goals to spark joyous scenes at Aggborough Stadium and send their Championship opponents packing. An extra-time defeat to West Ham in round four ended the Harriers' run.

In 2003, Shrewsbury, then of the fourth tier, pulled off a huge shock when knocking Everton out of the competition before they were then dumped out at the next stage after losing 4-0 to Chelsea.

The 2021/22 FA Cup also provided another upset when Cambridge United headed to St James' Park and managed to beat Premier League outfit Newcastle 1-0, much to the shock of an expectant crowd on Tyneside.

Although that result didn't make our top-five list, a defeat for the Magpies over 50 years ago has made the cut in what is one of the biggest upsets in the history of the competition.

What: FA Cup 2022/23
Where: Various grounds across the UK
When: 5th November 2022 - 3rd June 2023
How to watch: BBC & ITV
Odds: Man City 10/3, Liverpool 6/1, Arsenal 7/1, Tottenham 8/1, Man Utd 10/1, Chelsea 12/1

Hereford 2-1 Newcastle - 1972

After Hereford battled valiantly to earn a 2-2 draw at St James' Park, the non-league outfit welcomed the Magpies to Edgar Street for a replay, but nobody could have envisaged what would happen next.

Malcolm MacDonald gave Newcastle the lead in the 82nd minute, putting the club on the verge of the next round, only for the late Ronnie Radford to fire in a 30-yard scorcher into the top corner to level the scores and force extra-time.

Ricky George would end up grabbing the winner for Hereford in the 103rd minute as the Bulls became the first non-league side in 23 years to beat a top-flight side in a competitive fixture.

Newcastle are enjoying a brilliant 2022/23 campaign and are 12/1 to win the FA Cup this year, as they face a trip to Sheffield Wednesday on 7th January in the third round.

Manchester United 0-1 Leeds - 2010

There has been a great rivalry between Manchester United and Leeds over the years and bragging rights were up for grabs when they met in the third round of the FA Cup in 2010.

At the time, the Whites were plying their trade in League One after slipping down the football pyramid because of financial issues and little was expected of them when they headed to Old Trafford.

United had won their third straight Premier League crown the season before and were seen as one of the favourites to win the FA Cup in 2010, having fallen at the semi-final stage in 2009.

However, Jermaine Beckford managed to grab the only goal of the game to hand Leeds, who were 42 places below the Red Devils, a famous win.

Bournemouth 2-0 Manchester United - 1984

Although United are 12-time FA Cup winners, which leaves them behind only Arsenal (14) in the all-time standings, they have suffered some early exits in the competition and another third-round defeat came in 1984.

The Red Devils were the defending champions, having overcome Brighton the year before, but Ron Atkinson's side were not at the races when they made the trip to Bournemouth.

Managed by up-and-coming tactician Harry Redknapp at the time, the Cherries pulled off a shock 2-0 defeat to send the holders packing and make it another embarrassing early cup exit for United, who had already been eliminated by Oxford United in the Milk Cup that season.

United did manage to win the FA Cup the following year, beating Everton 1-0 in the final, and Erik ten Hag's troops are 10/1 to triumph for a 13th time in the 2022/23 edition.

Sutton United 2-1 Coventry City - 1989

Five years on from United's loss to Bournemouth, it was the turn of Coventry City to suffer an FA Cup upset as they were dumped out of the competition by Sutton United.

The Sky Blues had lifted the trophy two years earlier and were sitting third in the top tier ahead of the trip to Sutton, but it was the hosts that managed to put in a tremendous performance.

The Conference outfit recorded a 2-1 victory to spark wild scenes and book their place in the next round, where they subsequently lost 8-0 to Norwich City.

Wrexham 2-1 Arsenal - 1992

Rounding off our top-five list is Wrexham's giant-killing of Arsenal, who were the reigning First Division champions, in 1992.

The Gunners made the trip to fourth-tier Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground with the expectation of cruising through the tie, and they were on course for a win when Alan Smith put them ahead just before the break.

However, the hosts had other ideas and goals from Michael Thomas and Stephen Watkin inside the final eight minutes secured a famous victory.

Arsenal will be hoping to avoid another third-round shock when they travel to Cambridge United on 9th January. The Gunners are 1/10 to get the win, while the draw is priced at 9/1 and the home side are 16/1 to triumph.

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