Five of the best: FA Cup semi-finals

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This weekend sees the return of the FA Cup with reigning Premier League champions Manchester City set to face current holders Chelsea, in the standout fixture of two semi-finals to be played at Wembley.

The two sides have already met in one showpiece final this season, with Roberto Mancini's men running out 3-2 winners in the FA Community Shield at Villa Park back in August.

But, Chelsea have improved under the interim management of Rafa Benitez, and will be looking to add to their four successful final appearances in the past six seasons, by booking their place in the 2013 instalment with victory over City on Sunday.

The Blues will have just two full days to recover from Thursday's Europa League exertions,  though, where they qualified for another semi-final showdown courtesy of a 5-4 aggregate victory over Rubin Kazan, despite a 3-2 loss in Moscow.

The winner of the penultimate FA Cup clash before this year's final will be hot favourite to lift the trophy, as relegation threatened Wigan Athletic take on Championship outfit Millwall in the first semi-final on Saturday.

Roberto Martinez has guided the Latics to the last four for the first time in the club's 81-year history, and will fancy themselves to go one step further at the expense of the 2004 finalists, who start as underdogs to reach their second FA Cup final, given their lowly position - 16th - in England's second tier.

Ahead of the two ties - one far more glamourous, but no less intriguing - here at GiveMeFootball we've decided to whet your appetite by bringing you five of the most memorable FA Cup semi-final moments.

Click through the tabs to find out which games and players made the cut, and feel free to leave a comment with your favourite memories below!

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal, 1991

A game that defined the brilliant best - and worst - of majestic midfielder Paul Gascoigne. Tottenham ran out 3-1 winners against their north London rivals, thanks to two quick-fire goals scored and assisted by Gazza.

His stunning free-kick to open the scoring remains one of the greatest all-time FA Cup moments, and his perfectly weighted pass for Gary Lineker to put Spurs 2-0 up inside 10 minutes had them well on their way to the final.

Unfortunately for Gascoigne, he was withdrawn early in that game against Nottingham Forest, after injuring himself in a reckless challenge, and was forced to watch the rest of the final on television in hospital.

Manchester United v Arsenal, 1999

Ryan Giggs has won almost everything there is to win in his illustrious Manchester United career, but he will forever be remembered for his match-winning solo goal against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final.

Starting on the halfway line, the Welsh winger embarked on a mazy run, waltzing past player after player, to split open a Gunners defence that conceded just 17 goals in the Premier League all season.

With the match tentatively poised at 1-1, it wasn't until the second-half of extra time that Giggs galloped forward, setting Sir Alex Ferguson's side on their way to a famous Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.

Southampton v Watford, 2003

After enduring a 24 game goalless drought Southampton striker Brett Ormerod scored one goal and set-up another as the south coast club beat Championship opponents Watford at Villa Park.

That match-winning performance alone repaid the Saints all of the £1.75million shelled out to Blackpool to bring him to St Mary's the previous summer, with the Premier League minnows reaping the financial rewards of a place in the FA Cup final, despite losing that match 1-0 to Arsenal at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Manchester City v Manchester United, 2011

Yaya Toure scored the decisive goal to hand Manchester City a 1-0 victory over local rivals Manchester United, setting Roberto Mancini's men on their way to ending their 35-year trophy drought.

The Ivorian midfielder dispossessed Michael Carrick before bursting through the United defence to blow away any hopes Sir Alex Ferguson's side had of landing another treble.

City's FA Cup success provided the platform on which their Premier League title triumph the following season was built, sending out a message that City are now a genuine force to be reckoned with in England.

Liverpool v Everton, 2012

Much maligned striker Andy Carroll was the toast of the Kop after he settled last year's FA Cup semi-final clash with Merseyside rivals Everton.

David Moyes' side took the lead through Nikica Jelavic, before Luis Suarez capitalised on an uncharacteristic error from Sylvain Distin, to bring the tie level at 1-1.

With the scores still the same in the 86th minute, up stepped the £35million man to divert Craig Bellamy's inswinging free-kick past the helpless Tim Howard.

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Ryan Giggs
Manchester United
FA Cup

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