By this point trips to Wembley had become the standard for Liverpool, and they headed south for another final just three years after they defeated Everton. This time they would face Sunderland, who were the first second division side in ten years to feature in an FA Cup Final. Liverpool were the more talented and successful side, but the Northeast club had done their share of impressing along the way to Wembley.
Malcom Crosby had navigated his side through difficult ties with West Ham and Chelsea in the fifth and sixth rounds, both of which required a replay, and both of which saw Sunderland win by a narrow one-goal margin. They got past Norwich in the semi-final, with Liverpool forced into a replay against Portsmouth, which they won on penalties.
Graeme Souness was back in charge after having a triple bypass, and Liverpool found a breakthrough difficult. They took the lead shortly after the restart, though, with Michael Thomas volleying past Tony Norman at the far post. The work done by twenty year-old Steve McManaman was terrific, but Thomas' strike bettered it by some distance. Liverpool would seal the victory with twenty minutes to play, as Ian Rush slotted it home after Thomas had been dispossessed on the edge of the area.
Unfortunately much of the joy from the victory was wiped away by an interview with Souness that would appear on April 15th, the third anniversary of Hillsborough, with the newspaper that had heaped more pain suffering on those already grieving. Souness apologized then and revisited his apology last year, but for many it was grounds for a resignation, and his exit wouldn't come for two more years.