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banner Thursday, 10 May, 2001, 09:47 GMT 10:47 UK
The greatest FA Cup finals
1953 1958 1961 1971 1973 1976
1978 1979 1981 1987 1988 1990

The 2001 FA Cup Final, the first to be played outside England and the first since 1922 to be played away from Wembley, promises to be a classic.

Arsenal and Liverpool are so evenly matched that opinion is split virtually down the middle as to who will lift English football's most famous trophy.

But potentially great finals do not always evolve into truly great finals.

Manchester United's 1-0 win over Liverpool in 1996 was a damp squib, proving that the best teams do not always produce the best games.

So what makes the classic cup final?

Different fans will have different opinions and there is no foolproof list, but the likes of Stanley Matthews, Alex Montgomery and Dave Beasant all know the secret ingredient which goes into the recipe for the ultimate classic.

Here, BBC Sport Online selects a round dozen of the best post-war finals ever to grace Wembley.

Just click on the dates above for a tour around some of the greatest FA Cup finals in football history.

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