History is being made in the FA Cup by Lincoln City from the National League, becoming the first Non-League club to make the FA Cup Quarter Finals since the current structure of the top two Divisions being exempted until the Third Round of the competition was put in place 92 years ago.
The Imps are also the first Non-League club in the last eight of the FA Cup since Queens Park Rangers in the 1913/14 season and the first Non-League club to defeat four League clubs in the same FA Cup run since Telford United achieved the feat in 1984/85. (And only the third ever Non-League club to achieve the feat, the first being Tottenham Hotspur on their way to lifting the trophy in 1900/01).
Lincoln City will be the third club this season to play in seven FA Cup ties following Midland Football League Premier Division side Westfields and Northern Premier League Division One North outfit Stourbridge. Historically the winners of the FA Cup only compete in six ties.
Lincoln become the 118th different club to reach the last eight of the FA Cup and the first new club to do so since Wycombe Wanderers in 2000/01 season.
At the other end of the scale, Arsenal (43), Manchester United (42) and Tottenham Hotspur (39) add to their Quarter Final appearance tally sitting in 2nd, 3rd and 4th position respectively behind Everton who had their 45th appearance last season.
Whichever of Arsenal and Manchester United go further in this season’s FA Cup will become the club with the best FA Cup record. They both currently have 12 wins, both have appeared in 19 Finals and both have reached the Semi Finals 28 times. It is only that one extra Quarter Final appearance that currently puts Arsenal out on front.
Millwall are the first club from the third tier to make the Quarter Finals since Bradford City just two seasons ago. It is the Lions’ third appearance in the Quarter Finals in the last 14 seasons. Their involvement this year, alongside Lincoln City, means it is now 11 seasons since the last eight of the competition was made up exclusively of top-flight clubs.
- Chelsea (Premier League) v Manchester United (Premier League)
Level 1 v Level 1
Eleven previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, with Manchester United winning eight times, but Chelsea have won the last two. First meeting occurred 109 years ago, whilst the sides have twice met in the FA Cup Final itself with one win apiece.
Chelsea are into the Quarter Finals for the 35th time and haven’t made the Semi Finals for four years. Manchester United are into the Quarter Finals for the third season in a row and for the 42nd time in total, the third highest number of appearances behind Arsenal (43) and Everton (45).
- Middlesbrough (Premier League) v Manchester City (Premier League)
Level 1 v Level 1
Six previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, with Middlesbrough ahead by four wins to two. The clubs first met in the competition 113 years ago and most recently just two seasons ago when Boro were a Championship club.
Middlesbrough are appearing in the Quarter Finals for the 17th time but it is 11 years since the club appeared in the Semi Finals. Manchester City are in the Quarter Finals for the 24th time but have not gone further for four seasons.
- Tottenham Hotspur (Premier League) v Millwall (EFL 1)
Level 1 v Level 3
Two previous FA Cup meetings between the two clubs, with Spurs triumphant on both occasions. Clubs first met in the competition 106 years ago and then again 56 years later in 1967 when Spurs went on to lift the trophy.
Tottenham are appearing in their 39th FA Cup Quarter Final, their first for five seasons, whilst it is only four years since Millwall made it this far, this being the Lions’ 10th appearance in the last eight.
- Arsenal (Premier League) v Lincoln City (National League)
Level 1 v Level 5
Despite 241 FA Cup campaigns between this is the first ever FA Cup meeting between the two clubs.
The FA Cup records of the two clubs couldn’t be more contrasting. Arsenal have the best FA Cup record with 12 wins, 19 Finals and 28 Semi-Final appearances (beating Manchester United into second place by virtue of having one more Quarter Final appearance; 43 versus 42). Lincoln are appearing in the FA Cup Quarter Finals for the first time ever, becoming the 188th different club to make the last eight and the first Non-League Quarter Finalist since Queens Park Rangers in 1914. The Imps have also equalled the record of most League clubs beaten by a Non-League side in one FA Cup run, matching Telford United who defeated four League clubs in 1985. Tottenham Hotspur are the only other Non-League club to achieve this feat on their way to lifting the Trophy in 1901.