Up for the Cup

Behind the Numbers

This week our statistician looks at Arsenal's FA Cup record, and how we fare when playing on a Friday.

Following the derby win over Tottenham at the weekend, Arsenal have now made it past the third round of the FA Cup in each of the past 18 seasons, meaning Arsène Wenger has never gone out of the famous old cup at the first hurdle.

That stat is even more impressive when you realise that, during the Club's 127-year history, the Gunners have been knocked out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage more often than any other round of the competition.

"The Gunners have lost only one of the last 36 home FA Cup games"

This is the Club's 115th FA Cup campaign - the third round was as far as the team got on 18 occasions (15.8 per cent). The last time Arsenal exited at that stage was 1996, a 1-0 away defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in a replay.

The Club's overall third-round record is P113 W69 D26 L18, a qualifying success rate of 79.3 per cent (compared to 100 per cent under Wenger).

Arsenal have entered the FA Cup at the third-round stage every year since 1925/26, though in three of the 32 campaigns prior to that they progressed beyond that stage.

In 1945/46, the Gunners were involved in their one and only two-legged FA Cup tie, in the third round against West Ham United. League football had still not resumed after the Second World War, and the FA decided to play all ties between the first and sixth Rounds over two legs, in order to boost revenues for the clubs.  Unfortunately the Gunners lost the first leg, at Upton Park, 6-0, and so the 1-0 victory at Highbury in the return leg four days later was largely inconsequential.

FA Cup third-round record

113 69 26 18


When eliminated from FA Cup

When eliminated from FA Cup



When eliminated from since 1925/26 (when third round was first game)

When eliminated from since 1925/26


The win over Tottenham Hotspur was Arsenal's 243rd all-time FA Cup victory, from 449 games. That's a win rate of 54.1 per cent but the more pertinent statistic is success of qualifying rate - the Gunners see off their opposition in the FA Cup (either via replays or at the first time of asking) 69.8 per cent of the time.

Arsenal play an average of 3.9 games per FA Cup campaign, score 7.1 goals, and concede 4.1. An 'average' cup run for the team, since 1925/26, is to reach the fifth round.

The most FA Cup games the Club have played in a single season is 11 - in both 1979 and 1980. The 1979 run included five matches to get past Sheffield Wednesday in the third round.

The most goals in an FA Cup run (not including preliminary rounds) is 20, in both 1932 and 1979.

The side's biggest win is 12-0 over Ashford United in the first qualifying round of 1893/94. In the tournament proper the record is 11-1, achieved against Darwin in the third round in 1931.

In 1973 Arsenal were eliminated at the semi-final stage by Sunderland, which meant they would then play their one and only ever FA Cup third-place play-off, against Wolves in August. The Gunners lost 3-1 at Highbury, so that remains the only FA Cup campaign in which they have lost twice.

Arsenal have therefore exited the competition 104 times, of which more than half (54.8 per cent) were away from home.

The Gunners will host Coventry City in the next round, the 35th home FA Cup draw the Club have had since 1995, compared to 25 away draws.

It will be the third home game in succession in the FA Cup, and last season's defeat to Blackburn Rovers was the first time they had lost in the competition at Emirates Stadium, and the first time Wenger lost a home FA Cup fixture since 1997 (a 1-0 reverse to Leeds United).

Saturday's win over Spurs was the 15th FA Cup fixture at Emirates Stadium, of which Arsenal have won 11, drawn three and lost one, with a +23 goal difference.

Indeed the Gunners have lost only one of the last 36 home FA Cup games. Since losing to Leeds in 1997, the home record is P36 W26 D9 L1 - that despite the boss not winning any of his first five FA Cup games at home. Indeed he didn't win a home FA Cup fixture until 1999, but did lift the trophy in that time.

NB. The fourth-round tie with Farnborough Town in 2003 was actually classed as an away fixture, despite being played at Highbury by arrangement.

Overall FA Cup record

449 243 101 105 809 470


Where eliminated from the FA Cup

Where eliminated from the FA Cup


Arsenal's FA Cup fourth-round clash with Coventry will be played on Friday, January 24 - the first Friday fixture for the Club since Boxing Day 2008.

The Gunners drew 2-2 that day, away to Aston Villa - which was one of six games they have played on a Friday in the Premier League era. And for fans looking for omens, they won each of the previous five, with an aggregate score of 17-5.

The last time Arsenal played at home on a Friday was April 16, 2004 - Thierry Henry scored four in a 5-0 league win over Leeds United as the Gunners closed in on the league title.

Arsenal actually played four Friday fixtures at Highbury during the Invincibles season, beating Newcastle, Wolves and Liverpool, as well as Leeds.

Friday has also been a good day for the Club historically, winning both the 1952/53 and 1988/89 league titles on that day.

This will be the first time the Gunners have played on a Friday at Emirates Stadium. Since we moved to the stadium in 2006, 43.7 per cent of the games have been on a Saturday, 17.8 per cent on a Sunday and Tuesday, and 17.4 per cent on Wednesdays. There have been seven (3.3 per cent) Monday fixtures, and none on a Thursday.

The most successful day in terms of win percentage is Tuesday (79 per cent), followed by Monday (71 per cent). Statistically, Saturday is the least successful day at Emirates (63 win percentage).

The record is reversed for away games over the same period, when Saturday is the most successful matchday with a 57 per cent win rate (not including the one game played on a Thursday).

Arsenal's home record by day since 2006/07

  P W D L Win %
Saturday 93 59 24 10 63%
Sunday  38 25 6 7 66%
Monday  7 5 1 1 71%
Tuesday  38 30 3 5 79%
Wednesday  37 26 10 1 70%
Thursday  0     
Friday  0     
TOTAL  213 145 44 24 68%

Arsenal's away (and neutral) venue record by day since 2006/07

  P W D L Win %
Saturday 76 43 14 19 57%
Sunday 50 16 14 20 32%
Monday  7 3 1 3 43%
Tuesday  31 14 6 11 45%
Wednesday  50 23 13 14 46%
Thursday  1 1 0 0 100%
Friday 1 0 1 0 0
TOTAL 216 100 49 67 46%

Overall record

  P W D L Win %
Saturday 169 102 38 29 60%
Sunday 88 41 20 27 47%
Monday  14 8 2 4 57%
Tuesday  69 44 9 16 64%
Wednesday  87 49 23 15 56%
Thursday 1 1 0 0 100%
Friday 1 0 1 0 0
TOTAL 429 245 93 91 57%

This will be Coventry's second trip to Emirates Stadium, following the Capital One Cup meeting last term.

The Gunners won that third-round meeting 6-1, with Olivier Giroud and Ignasi Miquel scoring their first goals for the Club.

"Micky Quinn's treble in 1993 remains the last time a visiting player has scored a hat-trick against Arsenal"

Prior to that, the teams last met in the Premier League on February 3, 2001 - Dennis Bergkamp scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at Highfield Road.

Arsenal have lost only one of the past 16 meetings between the sides, but Coventry did the double over the Gunners in the 1993/94 Premier League season. That included a 3-0 win at Highbury on the opening day of that season, with Micky Quinn scoring all three. In fact that remains the last time a visiting player scored a hat-trick against Arsenal.

This will be the fourth FA Cup encounter between the sides, the previous three games coming between 1975 and 1977, also in the fourth round. In 1975 there was a 1-1 draw at Highfield Road before Bertie Mee's side triumphed 3-0 at Highbury in the replay, and two seasons later Malcolm Macdonald scored twice as Arsenal won 3-1 at home.

Head-to-head v Coventry City

  Won Drawn Lost
League Cup 3 0 1
League  37 18 13
FA Cup 2 1 0
Total 42 19 14

Stats correct as at January 9, 2014.

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