Liverpool FC are all set for Wembley, their first visit in nearly three years. Their last game came in the final of the 2012 competition, a 2-1 defeat against Chelsea.
But a far happier memory comes from what happened at the semi final stage, beating Everton 2-1 with goals from Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll. It was the day Merseyside descended upon the capital, painting the town red and blue. Liverpool, somehow, came out victorious.
The win is easily remembered, but what is often forgotten is the circumstances surrounding the game. The Reds had their third-choice goalkeeper between the sticks and were eighth in the league, a point and a place behind Everton. Director of football Damien Comolli had also left the club just two days before.
What became of the squad Kenny Dalglish selected that day? Here’s what happened next.
Luis Suarez celebrates his equaliser against Everton
Goalkeeper: Brad Jones
The Australian had played just two games for the club – at home Northampton and Utrecht – since his arrival in 2010 when he was thrust into the spotlight four days before the semi final in a league game at Blackburn. Doni, second-choice and starting in place of the suspended Pepe Reina, was sent off 25 minutes into the game at Ewood Park.
Step forward Jones, who saved a Yakubu penalty with his first touch. With Doni injured, he had to come in against Everton – and did well, too. He remains at the club now as second-choice – and was even, briefly, made no.1 by Brendan Rodgers in December, although injury has seen him relegated to the bench once more.
Right back: Glen Johnson
The full back was into his third season at the club and was still trying to justify the fee Liverpool paid for him in 2009. Johnson remains at the club now, with 195 appearances over six seasons, but it set to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Centre back: Martin Skrtel
The Slovakian lined up in central defence and had established himself under Kenny Dalglish in the 2011-12 season, and remains a big part of Brendan Rodgers’ side today.
Centre back: Jamie Carragher
The veteran centre back was in the penultimate season of his Liverpool career – not that he’d know it at the time – and had not long come back into the side after Dalglish preferred Agger and Skrtel at the back. He would make the telling mistake for Nikica Jelavic’s goal, although recovered and had a fine game after that. He would end his career in 2013 on 737 appearances, and is now a top pundit for Sky Sports.
Left back: Daniel Agger
The Dane had spent most of the season at centre back but shifted across to accommodate Carragher. He would have two more seasons at Anfield before leaving to rejoin his first club, Brondby, in a cut-price deal. He’s played 12 times back in the Danish Superliga.
Right midfield: Jordan Henderson
Henderson’s penchant for running and high-tempo play was obvious in Dalglish’s first season, but he was still a very raw talent – and being shunted out wide right, a position he took up at Sunderland, didn’t help him much. He survived nearly being sold to Fulham to become vice-captain, likely captain and general darling of Liverpool.
Central midfield: Steven Gerrard
What else can be said about the Liverpool captain? This was actually has first start for the club since their previous trip to Wembley back in February when Gerrard lifted the League Cup. He was a huge part in the Reds’ title tilt last season but will leave for LA Galaxy at the end of the season.
Central midfield: Jay Spearing
Spearing’s expected ascension into Liverpool’s midfield had finally begun under Dalglish and he was selected alongside Gerrard – as he would be against Chelsea in the final, too. He would be moved on by Rodgers early in his reign, however, first on loan and then permanently to Bolton Wanderers.
Despite being made captain there, new boss Neil Lennon would move him on in January, with the midfielder – now 26 – joining Blackburn on loan.
Left midfield: Stewart Downing
Downing was seen as one of the poster boys of Liverpool’s failed league campaign after the club spent £20m to bring him from Aston Villa – but he still took up his position on the left hand side at Wembley, two months after a man of the match performance there against Cardiff in the League Cup final.
Rodgers would persist with him for a season – playing him at left back, at times – before moving him on to West Ham. His form this season led to a recall to the England squad.
Striker: Andy Carroll
Another of Liverpool’s failed buys – this time, at an eye-watering £35m – although he would more than make up for that in Kopites’ eyes with the headed winner against Everton. Carroll seemed destined to return to Newcastle, the club and city from where he came, when Rodgers arrived – but instead move on loan to West Ham, who then signed him in a £17m deal in 2013. He’s started just 24 league games since making his move permanent.
Striker: Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez caught the hearts and minds of Liverpool fans, striking up a remarkable relationship with Daniel Sturridge and almost firing them to the Premier League title in 2014. He would leave Anfield last summer as Player of the Year and can now be found at Barcelona as a £75m man, nutmegging David Luiz for fun.
Goalkeeper: Peter Gulacsi
Never made a first team appearance for Liverpool and now keeps goal at Austrian powerhouses Red Bull Salzburg.
Defender: Jose Enrique
Remains at Anfield but has suffered an injury-hit few years, leading to far too much time looking at animals in Knowsley Safari Park.
Defender: Martin Kelly
Turns 25 this month and made the surprise move to Crystal Palace for around £3m, where he’s featured at full back 28 times in the Premier League this season.
Midfielder: Maxi Rodriguez
Returned home to Argentina when Dalglish left and returned to his first professional club, Newell’s Old Boys. Was then named Alumni – or Player of the Year – as part of their title-winning campaign. Also was a part of the World Cup squad which reached the final in Brazil.
Midfielder: Jonjo Shelvey
The youngster was given a chance under Rodgers but suffered an inconsistent first season, prompting the Reds to sell him to Swansea for around £7m. Now forms part of their midfield.
Striker: Dirk Kuyt
Much-loved Dutchman moved to Fenerbahce, where he won the league at in 2014. His team bus was recently subjected to an assassination attempt, although Kuyt was thankfully not on it. Part of Louis van Gaal’s semi-finalists at last year’s World Cup.
Striker: Craig Bellamy
Bellamy took the free kick which Carroll eventually nodded home. Moved to hometown club Cardiff City at the end of the season and helped them to promotion to the Premier League. Now retired and works occasionally as a pundit.