2015–16 FA Cup

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2015–16 FA Cup
Football Association Challenge Cup
Dates15 August 2015 – 21 May 2016
Defending championsArsenal
ChampionsManchester United
(12th title)
Runners-upCrystal Palace
Matches played149
Goals scored412 (2.77 per match)
Attendance2,098,077 (14,081 per match)
Top goal scorer(s)Matěj Vydra
(6 goals)
(Note: All statistics do not include qualifying play-offs)

The 2015–16 FA Cup (also known as the FA Challenge Cup) was the 135th edition of the oldest recognised football tournament in the world. It was sponsored by Emirates, and known as The Emirates FA Cup for sponsorship purposes.[1] It began with the Extra Preliminary Round on 15 August 2015, and concluded with the final on 21 May 2016.[2] The FA Cup winner qualifies for the 2016–17 UEFA Europa League group stage.

Premier League side Arsenal were the defending champions after they beat Aston Villa 4–0 in the previous final on 30 May 2015,[3] but were eliminated by Watford in the sixth round.

The winners were Manchester United, who defeated Crystal Palace 2–1 in the final after extra time.[4]


Round Clubs
Winners from
previous round
New entries
this round
Leagues entering
at this round
First Round Proper 124 80 32 48 EFL League One
EFL League Two
Second Round Proper 84 40 40 none none
Third Round Proper 64 64 20 44 Premier League
EFL Championship
Fourth Round Proper 32 32 32 none none
Fifth Round Proper 16 16 16 none none
Quarter-finals 8 8 8 none none
Semi-finals 4 4 4 none none
Final 2 2 2 none none

Prize fund

Round No. of Clubs
receive fund
Prize fund
per club[5]
Extra Preliminary Round winners 184 £1,500
Preliminary Round winners 160 £1,925
First Round Qualifying winners 116 £3,000
Second Round Qualifying winners 80 £4,500
Third Round Qualifying winners 40 £7,500
Fourth Round Qualifying winners 32 £12,500
First Round Proper winners 40 £18,000
Second Round Proper winners 20 £27,000
Third Round Proper winners 32 £67,500
Fourth Round Proper winners 16 £90,000
Fifth Round Proper winners 8 £180,000
Sixth Round Proper winners 4 £360,000
Semi-Final losers 2 £450,000
Semi-Final winners 2 £900,000
Final runners-up 1 £900,000
Final winner 1 £1,800,000
Total £15,132,000

Round and draw dates

The schedule are as follows.[2][6]

Phase Round Draw date Match date
Qualifying rounds Extra Preliminary Round 3 July 2015[7] 15 August 2015
Preliminary Round 29 August 2015
First Round Qualifying 24 August 2015[8] 12 September 2015
Second Round Qualifying 14 September 2015[9] 26 September 2015
Third Round Qualifying 28 September 2015[10] 10 October 2015
Fourth Round Qualifying 12 October 2015[11] 24 October 2015
Main tournament First Round Proper 26 October 2015, 19:00 GMT[12] 7 November 2015
Second Round Proper 9 November 2015, 19:00 GMT[13] 5 December 2015
Third Round Proper 7 December 2015, 19:00 GMT[14] 9 January 2016
Fourth Round Proper 11 January 2016, 19:15 GMT[15] 30 January 2016
Fifth Round Proper 31 January 2016, 18:15 GMT[16] 20 February 2016
Sixth Round Proper 21 February 2016, 18:15 GMT[17] 12 March 2016
Semi-finals 14 March 2016 23 and 24 April 2016
Final 21 May 2016

Qualifying rounds

The qualifying competition began with the Extra Preliminary Round on 15 August 2015.[2] All of the competing teams that were not members of either the Premier League or the Football League had to compete in the qualifying rounds to win a place in the first round proper. The final (fourth) qualifying round began on the weekend of 24 October.[2]

First Round Proper

The First Round draw took place on 26 October at 7pm at the club house of the FA Charter Standard Community Club Thackley Juniors F.C. based in Thackley in West Yorkshire, and was broadcast live on BBC Two and BBC Radio 5 Live.[18] The First Round Proper were played on the weekend of 7 November.[2] 32 teams from the qualifying competition joined the 48 teams from League One and League Two to compete in this round. The round included two teams from Level 8 still in the competition, Northwich Victoria and Didcot Town, which were the lowest-ranked teams in this round; Northwich Victoria advanced to become the lowest-ranked team in the second round.

Second Round Proper

The second round draw took place on 9 November at Civil Service, based in Chiswick, London, and was broadcast live on BBC Two.

The lowest-ranked side in this round was Northwich Victoria, who competed at level 8 of English football.

Third Round Proper

A total of 64 teams play in this round: 44 teams from Premier League and Football League Championship which entered in this round, and the 20 winners of the previous round. The draw was held on 7 December 2015.[19]

The lowest-ranked team in this round was Eastleigh from the National League (tier 5), the only non-league side remaining in the competition.

Fourth Round Proper

The draw for the fourth round proper was held on 11 January 2016.[23] The fourth round proper was played across the weekend of 30 January 2016.[2]

The three lowest ranked teams in this round were Oxford United, Portsmouth and Carlisle United, who competed in League Two (tier 4).

Fifth Round Proper

The draw for the Fifth Round Proper was held on 31 January 2016.[24] The fifth round proper was played across the weekend of 20 February 2016.[2]

The lowest ranked club in this round was Shrewsbury Town, who competed in League One (tier 3).

Sixth Round Proper

The draw for the Sixth Round Proper was held on 21 February 2016.[25] The sixth round proper was played across the weekend of 12 March 2016.[2] This marked the final year where the sixth round would go into a replay if teams were tied.

The lowest ranked club remaining in this round was Reading, who competed in the League Championship (tier 2).


The draw for the semi-finals was held on 14 March 2016.[26] The semi-finals were played on 23 and 24 April 2016.[2]

Everton (1)1–2Manchester United (1)
Smalling Goal 75' (o.g.) Report Fellaini Goal 34'
Martial Goal 90+3'
Attendance: 86,064

Crystal Palace (1)2–1Watford (1)
Bolasie Goal 6'
Wickham Goal 61'
Report Deeney Goal 55'
Attendance: 79,110
Referee: Craig Pawson


The final took place on 21 May 2016 at Wembley Stadium.[2]

Crystal Palace (1)1–2 (a.e.t.)Manchester United (1)
Puncheon Goal 78' Report Mata Goal 81'
Lingard Goal 110'
Attendance: 88,619

Top goalscorers

Rank Player Club Goals[27]
1 Czech Republic Matěj Vydra Reading 6
2 Zimbabwe Macauley Bonne Colchester United 4
Nigeria Kelechi Iheanacho Manchester City
England Ben Marshall Blackburn Rovers
England Conor Washington Peterborough United

Broadcasting rights

The domestic broadcasting rights for the competition were held by the BBC and subscription channel BT Sport. The BBC held the rights since 2014–15, while BT Sport since 2013–14. The FA Cup Final was required to be broadcast live on UK terrestrial television under the Ofcom code of protected sporting events.[28]

The following matches were broadcast live on UK television:

Round BT Sport BBC
First Round Proper[29][30] From

F.C. United of Manchester v Chesterfield
Bradford City v Aldershot Town (Replay)
Maidenhead United v Port Vale (Replay)

Salford City v Notts County
Second Round Proper[31][32] Rochdale v Bury
Grimsby Town v Shrewsbury Town
Hartlepool United v Salford City (Replay)
Whitehawk v Dagenham & Redbridge (Replay)
Salford City v Hartlepool United
Third Round Proper[33][34] Wycombe Wanderers v Aston Villa
Manchester United v Sheffield United
Chelsea v Scunthorpe United
Bristol City v West Bromwich Albion (Replay)
Liverpool v Exeter City (Replay)
Exeter City v Liverpool
Oxford United v Swansea City (BBC Wales)
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City
Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur (Replay)
Fourth Round Proper[35][36] Colchester United v Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool v West Ham United
Carlisle United v Everton
West Ham United v Liverpool (Replay)
Derby County v Manchester United
Milton Keynes Dons v Chelsea
Peterborough United v West Bromwich Albion (Replay)
Fifth Round Proper[37][38] Arsenal v Hull City
Blackburn Rovers v West Ham United
Shrewsbury Town v Manchester United
Hull City v Arsenal (Replay)
AFC Bournemouth v Everton
Chelsea v Manchester City
Sixth Round Proper[39][40] Arsenal v Watford
Manchester United v West Ham United
Reading v Crystal Palace
Everton v Chelsea
West Ham United v Manchester United (Replay)
Semi-Finals[41] Crystal Palace v Watford Everton v Manchester United
Final Crystal Palace v Manchester United

Welsh language channel S4C broadcast the third round match between Cardiff City and Shrewsbury Town,[42] and also broadcast the rescheduled third round match between Newport County and Blackburn Rovers.


  1. ^ The match on 9 January 2016 between Newport County and Blackburn Rovers was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.[21] The match was later rearranged for 18 January 2016.[22]


  1. ^ "FA Cup get first title sponsor following deal with Emirates Airline". BBC Sport. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "The 2015–16 fixture list was released by The FA". The FA. 12 May 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Arsenal 4 Aston Villa 0". BBC. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  4. ^ "Man Utd win the FA Cup: Lingard hits extra time stunner to win the trophy for 10-man-United". Daily Telegraph. 21 May 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  5. ^ "The FA Cup Prize Fund". The FA.
  6. ^ "Round Dates" (pdf). The Football Association. 4 July 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Who plays who? Early FA competition fixtures unveiled". The Football Association. 3 July 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  8. ^ "The Emirates FA Cup First Round Qualifying draw made". The Football Association. 24 August 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Oadby given Emirates FA Cup trip to high-flying Solihull". The Football Association. 14 September 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Draw made for the Emirates FA Cup Third Round Qualifying". The Football Association. 28 September 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  11. ^ "Draw for the Emirates FA Cup fourth round qualifying made". The Football Association. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  12. ^ "Emirates FA Cup first round draw live on BBC Two on Monday". The Football Association. 24 October 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Emirates FA Cup second round proper draw set for Monday". The Football Association. 8 November 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  14. ^ "The Emirates FA Cup third round proper draw set for Monday". The Football Association. 6 December 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  15. ^ "The Emirates FA Cup fourth round draw numbers revealed". The Football Association. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  16. ^ "The Emirates FA Cup fifth round proper draw numbers". The Football Association. 29 January 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  17. ^ "Emirates FA Cup sixth round proper draw set for Sunday". The Football Association. 20 February 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  18. ^ "Emirates FA Cup first round draw live on BBC Two on Monday". The FA. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  19. ^ "Exeter City to face Liverpool in Emirates FA Cup third round". The Football Association. 7 December 2015. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  20. ^ "Bloomfield Road To Host Carlisle United Cup Tie". Blackpool F.C. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  21. ^ "Newport County's Emirates FA Cup tie against Blackburn postponed". Sky Sports. 9 January 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2016.
  22. ^ "Rearranged FA Cup tie on S4C". Newport County. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  23. ^ "FA Cup fourth-round draw: Eastleigh could face Leeds". BBC Sport. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  24. ^ "FA Cup fifth round: Chelsea to host Manchester City". BBC Sport. 31 January 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  25. ^ "FA Cup: Chelsea travel to Everton in quarter-finals". BBC Sport. 21 February 2016. Retrieved 21 February 2016.
  26. ^ "FA Cup: Everton to face Man Utd or West Ham in semi-finals". BBC Sport. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  27. ^ "2015/2016 FA Cup Top Scorers". World Football. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  28. ^ "Code on Sports and Other Listed and Designated Events" (PDF). Ofcom.
  29. ^ "FA Cup First Round Proper TV Ties Announuced". The FA. 28 October 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  30. ^ "Two Emirates FA Cup first round replays to be shown live". The FA. 10 November 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  31. ^ "Emirates FA Cup second round live television ties selected". The FA. 11 November 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  32. ^ "Two Emirates FA Cup second round replays selected for TV". The FA. 8 December 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  33. ^ "Emirates FA Cup third round television ties selected". The FA. 11 December 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  34. ^ "Leicester City v Tottenham replay selected for TV coverage". The FA. 12 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  35. ^ "Broadcasters select Emirates FA Cup fourth round ties". The FA. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  36. ^ "BBC and BT Sport select FA Cup fourth round replays". The FA. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  37. ^ "Chelsea v Man City among FA Cup fifth round live TV ties". The FA. 5 February 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  38. ^ "Date confirmed for Hull v Arsenal FA Cup fifth round replay". The FA. 25 February 2016. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  39. ^ "BBC and BT Sport select their live quarter final TV ties". The FA. 26 February 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  40. ^ "Date agreed for West Ham v Man Utd Emirates FA Cup replay". The FA. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  41. ^ "Football Association confirms FA Cup semi-final dates". The FA. 18 March 2016. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  42. ^ "Gêm Caerdydd yn y Gwpan FA Emirates yn fyw ar S4C" (in Welsh). S4C. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
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