E.ON Great Saves No.10: Jose Reina
FA Cup final, May 13, 2006
Liverpool were clear favourites to defeat the Hammers but found themselves 2-1 down at half-time, with Jose Reina looking shaky between the sticks and at fault for West Ham's second goal. But the Spanish stopper would atone for his first-half performance immediately after the break, producing a brilliant double stop that kept his side in with a chance of FA Cup glory...
Gerrard (54, 90)
Carragher (og) (21)
FA Cup final,
May 13, 2006
Millennium Stadium, Referee: Alan Wiley, Att: 71,140
West Ham seemed certain to make it 3-1 just moments into the second half as Matthew Etherington found space on the left before squaring the ball to an unmarked Marlon Harewood inside the Liverpool box. But Reina made a brilliant point-blank stop and then stood firm to block Yossi Benayoun's follow-up - and keep Liverpool in the match.
A fumble from the Spaniard had allowed Dean Ashton to put West Ham 2-0 up midway through the first-half, but he made up for that error with a wonderful double save at 2-1 that ensured Liverpool were still in with a chance. Liverpool would go on to level the scores before another mistake from Reina saw the Hammers lead again. Once again, however, Reina would recover - making another miraculous save in extra-time from Nigel Reo-Coker before saving three penalties in the shoot-out.
Had Reina not made that double-stop to deny West Ham taking a 3-1 lead then even the masterful Gerrard would have struggled to haul Liverpool back into the match. But, after that let-off, the Reds skipper took the game by the scruff of the neck and produced a magnificent performance, scoring two brilliant goals to take the tie into extra-time. He later converted a penalty, too, as Liverpool won the FA Cup for the seventh time.
The Israeli midfielder had been in brilliant form for West Ham during their run to the final and again produced an excellent performance at the Millennium Stadium that almost inspired his side to a shock victory. Had it not been for Reina he could have got on the scoresheet too. So impressed with Benayoun was Rafa Benitez that he splashed out £5million on him a year later.
Did You Know...?
The 2006 FA Cup was the last major honour won by Liverpool.
In 2007 Reina became only the third player to follow in his father's footsteps by appearing in a European Cup final. Paolo Maldini and Manuel Sanchis have also achieved the feat.
In October 2008, Reina and Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas broke the national record for the longest time spent without conceding a goal after Spain went 710 minutes without letting a goal in.
What Happened Next
Reina went from strength to strength, and became the quickest goalkeeper in Liverpool history to keep 100 clean sheets in all competitions. He signed a new six-year contract at Anfield in April 2010.
This season E.ON is celebrating Great Saves - great energy saves at home and great goalkeeping saves on the pitch. To win an exciting range of football prizes, with everything from signed shirts to a set of four family tickets at the FA Cup final go to eongreatsaves - where you can also vote for your favourite FA Cup save.
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