On this day in 2006 Liverpool became FA Cup winners for a seventh time after beating West Ham United.
After a relatively disappointing season for the Reds in cup competitions, seeing them exit the Champions League at the round of 16 and the League Cup at the third round, the FA Cup was Liverpool’s last shot at a piece of silverware for the 2005/06 campaign. Going into the final of the competition Rafa Benitez’s Reds were clear favourites coming up against a mid-table West Ham side.
The game got off to an incredibly shaky start for Liverpool however, with Jamie Carragher scoring an own goal to put the Hammers ahead before Dean Ashton made it 2-0 no more than 10 minutes later. France frontman Djibril Cisse pulled one back for Liverpool off the back of a sensational Steven Gerrard assist. Despite the Reds’ efforts they went into the break at Cardiff 2-1 down to Alan Pardew’s men.
Little under 10 minutes into the second half Gerrard equalised for Liverpool with a stunning half volley, though it wasn’t level for long as an attempted cross from West Ham full back Paul Konchesky looped over Pepe Reina, finding its way into the net making it 3-2 to the underdogs. As the game progressed it was looking as if it just wasn’t Liverpool’s day, that is until the 90th minute when Gerrard, burdened by cramp, let fly with an astounding 35-yard effort that flew into the West Ham net, making it 3-3 and sending the game to extra time.
After a further 30 minutes of extra time there were no more goals in the game and the final would be decided on penalties. Dietmar Hamann, John Arne Riise and Steven Gerrard all scored in the shootout while West Ham could only manage one goal, with Pepe Reina saving three of the Hammers four penalties to see Liverpool run out 3-1 winners after the shootout.