2001 FA Cup Final

The 2001 FA Cup Final was a football match between Arsenal and Liverpool on 12 May 2001 at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. It was the final match of the 2000–01 FA Cup, the 119th season of the world's oldest football knockout competition, the FA Cup, and the first in the competition's history to be staged outside England, due to the ongoing reconstruction of its usual venue, Wembley Stadium. Arsenal appeared in their fourteenth final to Liverpool's twelfth.

Given both teams were in the highest tier of English football, the Premier League, they entered the competition in the third round. Each needed to progress through five rounds to reach the final. Arsenal's progress was relatively comfortable; after scoring six past Queens Park Rangers, they knocked out holders Chelsea in the fifth round and later came from behind to beat local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final. Liverpool by contrast made hard work of overcoming lower-league opponents Tranmere Rovers and Wycombe Wanderers in the latter rounds of the competition. The final marked the first time that two managers born outside the British Isles had met in an FA Cup final – French compatriots Arsène Wenger and Gérard Houllier.

The match followed a familiar pattern of Arsenal dictating the pace and creating chances, but failing to breach the Liverpool defence. Arsenal had a penalty appeal turned down in the first half, when defender Stéphane Henchoz was judged not to have handled the ball to deny Thierry Henry a goalscoring opportunity. Henchoz's partner Sami Hyypiä made a series of goalline clearances during the second half, but was helpless to stop Arsenal taking the lead in the 72nd minute. Liverpool responded by making changes and equalised in the 83rd minute; Arsenal's failure to deal with a free-kick presented Michael Owen the chance to score. Owen then outpaced Lee Dixon and Tony Adams to score his second and the match winner, two minutes before the end of normal time. Liverpool's victory marked the second part of their unique treble of the 2000–01 season: they had won the League Cup in late February and added the UEFA Cup four days later.

2001 FA Cup Final
2001 FA Cup Final programme
The match programme cover.
Event2000–01 FA Cup
Arsenal Liverpool
1 2
Date12 May 2001
VenueMillennium Stadium, Cardiff
Man of the MatchMichael Owen (Liverpool)
RefereeSteve Dunn (Gloucestershire)
Attendance72,500
WeatherClear
24 °C (75 °F)[1]

Route to the final

The FA Cup is English football's primary cup competition. Clubs in the Premier League enter the FA Cup in the third round and are drawn randomly out of a hat with the remaining clubs. If a match is drawn, a replay comes into force, ordinarily at the ground of the team who were away for the first game. As with league fixtures, FA Cup matches are subject to change in the event of games being selected for television coverage and this often can be influenced by clashes with other competitions.[2] This was the first season that The Football Association introduced guidelines to prevent the withdrawal of clubs from the competition.[3] The final was scheduled a week before the final weekend of the Premier League, to aid any successful club playing European football.[3]

Arsenal

Round Opposition Score
3rd Carlisle United (a) 1–0
4th Queens Park Rangers (a) 6–0
5th Chelsea (h) 3–1
6th Blackburn Rovers (h) 3–0
Semi-final Tottenham Hotspur (n) 2–1
Key: (h) = Home venue; (a) = Away venue; (n) = Neutral venue.

Arsenal entered the competition in the third round and their cup run started with an away tie against Carlisle United. Although the home side created numerous chances in the opening minutes and looked likeliest to score, Arsenal took the lead in the 22nd minute through Sylvain Wiltord. Poor finishing from both teams thereafter meant Arsenal progressed by a slender scoreline.[4] In the fourth round, Arsenal faced Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. The visitors' first goal came around the half-hour mark; defender Ashley Cole cleared Peter Crouch's goal-bound header and from that Arsenal launched a counterattack. Lee Dixon's cross inadvertently met Chris Plummer who scored an own goal. Wiltord extended Arsenal's lead a minute later, and QPR conceded another own goal early in the second half which sealed the tie in the visitors' favour. Arsenal finished as comfortable 6–0 winners, representing the club's best away win in the FA Cup for 64 years.[5]

In the fifth round, Arsenal played the cup holders Chelsea at home. Throughout the tie, Arsenal's centre-back partnership of Oleh Luzhny and Igors Stepanovs struggled against the pace of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who equalised for Chelsea after Thierry Henry gave the home side the lead. Wiltord replaced Robert Pires in the second half and scored twice to settle the match.[6] In the sixth round, Arsenal enjoyed a comfortable win against Blackburn Rovers of the First Division, where Wiltord continued his run scoring in each round of the competition.[7]

Arsenal faced Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final and it was their local rivals who had taken the lead in the 14th minute.[8] Patrick Vieira equalised just after Tottenham captain Sol Campbell was taken off the pitch to receive treatment.[8] Tottenham managed to withstand pressure from Arsenal for most of the second half, but came unstuck in the 73rd minute when Pires scored the decisive goal.[8]

Liverpool

Round Opposition Score
3rd Rotherham United (h) 3–0
4th Leeds United (a) 0–2
5th Manchester City (h) 4–2
6th Tranmere Rovers (a) 4–2
Semi-final Wycombe Wanderers (n) 2–1
Key: (h) = Home venue; (a) = Away venue; (n) = Neutral venue.

Liverpool entered the competition in the third round, where they were drawn against Second Division side Rotherham United at home. Igor Bišćan was sent off in the tie for a second bookable offence, moments after Emile Heskey had scored. Dietmar Hamann extended Liverpool's lead in the 73rd minute and a further goal by Heskey ensured their progress in the competition.[9]

Liverpool's opponent in the fourth round was Leeds United.[10] The match was played at Elland Road on 27 January 2001 in front of a near-capacity crowd of 37,108. The home team enjoyed much of the possession, but struggled to find a breakthrough as Liverpool's defence stood firm. Two minutes before full-time, Barmby, on as a substitute, scored the winning goal, rebounding a shot that came off the post. Barmby then turned provider for Liverpool's second, setting-up Heskey to score.[11]

Anfield hosted Manchester City in the fifth round. It was the start of a decisive week for Liverpool, as they faced Roma midweek in the UEFA Cup, then Birmingham City in the 2001 Football League Cup Final.[12] Liverpool were awarded a penalty after five minutes, as goalkeeper Nicky Weaver fouled Vladimír Šmicer inside the 18-yard box. Jari Litmanen converted the spot kick to give Liverpool the lead, which quickly became 2–0 when Heskey's shot found its way past Weaver. Andrei Kanchelskis' goal in the 28th minute halved the scoreline, but Šmicer and Markus Babbel each scored in the second half to put Liverpool in a commanding lead. City persisted and in stoppage time scored their second goal of the match; Shaun Goater's deflected shot did enough to beat goalkeeper Sander Westerveld.[12]

Liverpool travelled to Prenton Park to play Tranmere Rovers in the sixth round. Danny Murphy and Michael Owen each scored in a first half in which the visitors dominated play.[13] Steve Yates pulled a goal back for Tranmere after half-time, but in the 52nd minute Steven Gerrard headed-in a cross to restore Liverpool's two-goal advantage. A mistake by Robbie Fowler gifted substitute Wayne Allison the chance to score, but the striker made amends as he converted a penalty kick in the 81st minute.[13] In the semi-final, Liverpool faced Wycombe Wanderers at Villa Park. Goals from Heskey and Fowler and a consolation scored by Wycombe's captain Keith Ryan ensured Liverpool won 2–1 and earnt a place in the final.[14]

Pre-match

Stadium changes

Stadiwm y MileniwmLB02
In addition to hosting the FA Cup Final, the Millennium Stadium acted as the venue for the Charity Shield, and all major Football League trophy and play-off finals.[15]

In October 2000, Wembley Stadium, the final's traditional venue, was closed in anticipation of major redevelopment.[16] Having considered alternative venues such as Twickenham, Murrayfield and Villa Park, the FA announced in January 2001 that the next three Cup finals would be staged at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.[17] This therefore marked the first time the showpiece event was held outside England.[17] In the lead-up to the final, FA chief executive Adam Crozier acknowledged concerns over transport and the quality of the pitch, saying, "We've done a lot of work with Cardiff and hopefully it will be a great occasion, but we'll take a view about how it's worked after the final and decide whether to still hold the match there."[18] A new pitch was re-laid in May, and the police made attempts to ease traffic on the M4 by opening three more turn-offs than they did for the League Cup final.[19]

The finalists received a total allocation of approximately 52,000 tickets, which was an estimated increase of 10% on previous Wembley finals.[20] Seat prices for the final exceeded £70,[20] though some ticket touts charged as much as £1,000.[21] The cheapest tickets cost £20; the rest were priced at £40 and £55.[20]

Build-up

Arsenal were appearing in the final of the FA Cup for the 14th time, their first in over three years. They had won the cup seven times previously (in 1930, 1936, 1950, 1971, 1979, 1993 and 1998) and were beaten in the final six times.[22] By comparison, Liverpool were making their 12th appearance in a FA Cup final. The club won the cup five times (in 1965, 1974, 1986, 1989, 1992) and lost six finals, most recent of which against Manchester United in 1996.[23] Arsenal and Liverpool had previously met thirteen times in the FA Cup, including four replays.[24] Arsenal had a slender advantage in those meetings, winning five times to Liverpool's four.[24] Both clubs were involved in the longest ever semi-final in FA Cup history in 1980, which required three replays after the original tie ended goalless.[25] Brian Talbot's goal at Highfield Road earnt Arsenal a 1–0 victory.[25]

Houllier, Gérard
Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier was on course to win multiple trophies in the 2000–01 season.

The last meeting between the two teams had been in the Premier League on 23 December 2000. Liverpool recorded a 4–0 win at Anfield, their third-straight victory in all competitions.[26] Gérard Houllier, the manager of Liverpool, enjoyed success in the cup competitions during the 2000–01 season; under his management, the club ended their six-year spell without silverware by winning the League Cup,[27] and in the calendar year defeated Roma, Porto and Barcelona to reach the 2001 UEFA Cup Final.[28] Houllier was indifferent that his side were considered the underdogs in the FA Cup final, and told reporters, "We have great work ethic and team ethic. There is a great desire to achieve something as a club."[29] He confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Heskey would start the final, though had yet to make a final decision over who would partner the England forward.[29]

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger admitted his team had underachieved during the season, but took criticism of failing to challenge Manchester United in the league and progressing further in the UEFA Champions League as a "compliment to the club".[30] He spoke in favour of moving FA Cup ties midweek to prevent fixture congestion, because the current system was too demanding for the big clubs: "In England a team that goes for the FA Cup automatically has a problem in the championship, especially if they play in the Champions League. There are then so many games something has to be sacrificed and I have sacrificed points in the championship to the FA Cup."[30] When asked whether reducing the number of teams in the UEFA Champions League would help, Wenger commented it "... would mean less money and no one with the wages we pay can accept a drop in income. As for cutting the Premiership – they have done that in France and now those teams not involved in the cups are complaining."[30]

The match attracted considerable media interest because of the number of foreigners involved.[31] It marked the first time that the two managers of opposing sides were born outside the British Isles, and it was anticipated the final would receive a large overseas audience because of the inclusion of several international players.[31] Broadcast in 70 countries, viewing figures for the match totalled close to 600 million.[32]

Match

Summary

Both clubs lined up in a traditional 4–4–2 formation: a four-man defence (comprising two centre-backs and left and right full-backs), four midfielders (two in the centre, and one on each wing) and two centre forwards.[33] Wenger opted to pair Gilles Grimandi with Vieira in midfield and Wiltord up front with Henry, leaving Bergkamp on the substitutes' bench.[34] Ashley Cole played in defence, ahead of Sylvinho, who did not feature in the matchday squad.[35] For Liverpool, Houllier named Owen in the starting line-up, and chose Šmicer and Murphy to play in midfield.[36] Gary McAllister, Patrik Berger and Fowler began the final as substitutes.[36]

Arsenal in their usual home strip of red shirts and white shorts kicked off the match and immediately won a corner, which was dealt with by Westerveld.[35] A run by Heskey six minutes later resulted in the player taking a tumble under Gilles Grimandi's challenge, but his appeals for a penalty were ignored by referee Dunn.[35] Arsenal began to dominate play, with Vieira at the heart of their best moves. The midfielder won a challenge with Heskey in the 17th minute and sent the ball in the direction of Freddie Ljungberg, who in turn passed it to Henry. The Frenchman went around Westerveld and shot the ball goalwards, which was cleared off the line by Stéphane Henchoz.[37] Television replays later showed the ball hitting Henchoz's arm before going wide; although Henry appealed for a penalty, it was turned down as the incident was missed by both the referee and his assistant.[37] Owen came close to scoring in the 20th minute, but for his shot to be blocked by Martin Keown.[37] Arsenal continued to find the best openings, but struggled to split open the Liverpool defence. A long range effort by Grimandi was easily saved by Westerveld as the final approached the half-hour mark, and a duel between Wiltord and Jamie Carragher on the right side resulted in a Liverpool corner.[35] Two minutes before the interval Henry was penalised for drifting into an offside position, having collected a long pass.[38]

Liverpool resumed play and won a free-kick in the 48th minute; Murphy's delivery found Heskey, whose header forced a save from David Seaman. Arsenal enjoyed their best spell of the match soon afterwards, but failed to make use of their set-pieces.[35] A free-kick taken by Pires was easily handled by Westerveld, and nothing came out of the resulting corner.[35] Pires and Henry combined in attack for Arsenal and the latter came close to scoring, had the Liverpool goalkeeper not intervened. The ball rebounded to Cole who shot goalwards, but Sami Hyypiä cleared off the line.[35] Hamann was shown a yellow card for fouling Vieira in the 57th minute, and Houllier responded by replacing him with McAllister four minutes later.[35] The change had the desired effect as it brought composure to Liverpool's play, particularly in midfield. In the 62nd minute Ljungberg received a yellow card for a challenge on Šmicer. Arsenal squandered another chance, this time two minutes before the 70; Henry outpaced Henchoz and his rebounded shot found Ljungberg in the penalty area. The midfielder's effort, a chip over the advancing Westerveld, was cleared off the line by Hyypiä.[39]

With 19 minutes left, Arsenal finally scored. A poor clearance by Westerveld fell to Grimandi, who passed the ball to Pires. Ljungberg received it and rounded the goalkeeper to score, much to Wenger's delight.[38] Henry missed a chance to give Arsenal a two-goal lead in the 74th minute, as his shot was point-blank saved by Westerveld and on the follow up cleared by Hyypiä.[35] Both managers made changes in the final period of the game; Ray Parlour came on for Wiltord in order to protect Arsenal's lead, whereas Liverpool made an attacking double substitution – Fowler and Berger on for Šmicer and Murphy.[35] Liverpool survived the onslaught and found a foothold in the game when Owen equalised with eight minutes left. Arsenal failed to clear substitute McAllister's free-kick, and Owen pounced with a right-foot finish past Seaman from eight yards.[37] Liverpool's comeback was completed five minutes later in the 88th minute, with extra time looming; Owen was released down the left by a weighted long ball pass from Berger, with the type of vision which had been earlier missing from their play, and he outpaced both Tony Adams and Dixon before shooting low and accurately past Seaman, beating him at the far post.[38] Liverpool held on to their lead for the few minutes remaining to win the final.[38]

Details

Arsenal1–2Liverpool
Ljungberg Goal 72' Report Owen Goal 83'88'
Arsenal
Liverpool
GK 1 England David Seaman
RB 2 England Lee Dixon Substituted off 90'
CB 5 England Martin Keown
CB 6 England Tony Adams (c)
LB 29 England Ashley Cole
RM 8 Sweden Freddie Ljungberg Yellow card 62' Substituted off 85'
CM 18 France Gilles Grimandi
CM 4 France Patrick Vieira
LM 7 France Robert Pires
CF 11 France Sylvain Wiltord Substituted off 76'
CF 14 France Thierry Henry
Substitutes:
GK 13 Austria Alex Manninger
DF 12 Cameroon Lauren
MF 15 England Ray Parlour Substituted in 76'
FW 10 Netherlands Dennis Bergkamp Substituted in 90'
FW 25 Nigeria Nwankwo Kanu Substituted in 85'
Manager:
France Arsène Wenger
Arsenal vs Liverpool 2001-05-12
GK 1 Netherlands Sander Westerveld
RB 6 Germany Markus Babbel
CB 12 Finland Sami Hyypiä (c)
CB 2 Switzerland Stéphane Henchoz
LB 23 England Jamie Carragher
RM 13 England Danny Murphy Substituted off 77'
CM 17 England Steven Gerrard
CM 16 Germany Dietmar Hamann Yellow card 57' Substituted off 60'
LM 7 Czech Republic Vladimír Šmicer Substituted off 77'
CF 8 England Emile Heskey
CF 10 England Michael Owen
Substitutes:
GK 19 France Pegguy Arphexad
DF 27 France Grégory Vignal
MF 15 Czech Republic Patrik Berger Substituted in 77'
MF 21 Scotland Gary McAllister Substituted in 60'
FW 9 England Robbie Fowler Substituted in 77'
Manager:
France Gérard Houllier

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Penalty shootout if scores still level.
  • Five named substitutes
  • Maximum of 3 substitutions.

Statistics

Statistic Arsenal Liverpool
Goals scored 1 2
Possession 47% 53%
Shots on target 7 4
Shots off target 4 2
Corner kicks 4 5
Offsides 6 2
Fouls 18 17
Yellow cards 1 1
Red cards 0 0
Source:[40][41]

Post-match and aftermath

Houllier was disappointed with Liverpool's start and noticed his players struggled with the humidity.[42] He nevertheless saw set-pieces as an opportunity to score goals from and felt the equaliser turned the final in his team's favour: "Suddenly the confidence switches to the other camp. They're affected, they become a bit unsettled, and you keep going."[43] Houllier revealed he gave a frank assessment of the task facing his players before the match; although in his words Arsenal were "... probably a bit better than us, probably more mature, more experienced, more ability in some areas", dealing with setbacks would make the difference on the day.[43] He dismissed accusations that Liverpool were boring, rather describing his team as difficult to beat.[44] Owen, the match winner, felt he answered his critics by scoring left-footed: "It's nice to prove people wrong when they say you haven't got a left foot. I was supposed to be the worst header and the worst player with my left foot in the league, and how could an England player play when they haven't got a left foot. ... It does go to show that I have improved and I am improving."[45]

Thierry Henry (498018484)
Thierry Henry's performance received mixed reviews by the British press.

Wenger lamented Arsenal's inability to make possession count, saying: "It has happened all season. We don't finish."[46] He criticised the referee for not sending off Henchoz, especially as linesman Kevin Pike told him the Liverpool defender had committed a foul.[47] On reflection of the season, Wenger disagreed it was one of failure – "It is not easy to get to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the final of the FA Cup and to finish in the top three of the Premiership in the same season", but admitted he needed to make signings to strengthen the squad.[48] Henry called for changes to Arsenal's forward line and felt the team would benefit from a "fox in the box", a player who would stay in and around the penalty area to score.[49] "When I make wide runs and put in crosses there is often no-one there to put the ball in the net. Owen was the hero because he is always in the right place. We need a goalscorer like that", he concluded.[49]

Journalists and pundits reviewing the final praised Liverpool's tenacity; radio commentator Alan Green wrote in his News Letter column of 14 May 2001: "Simply, they never give up and when you have a player like Michael Owen within your ranks you believe that any situation can be rescued, as it was in the magnificent Millennium Stadium."[50] The Guardian correspondent David Lacey declared "The Owen of France '98 was reborn in Cardiff,"[51] while Hugh McIlvanney of The Sunday Times called Owen "the master executioner of English football." McIlvanney felt over the 90 minutes the Arsenal team were "unlucky to lose", lauding Vieira's show in midfield.[52] James Lawton's match report in The Independent was not as empathetic; although in praise of Henry's performance his indecision compared to Owen, demonstrated how "effect, not style, is everything" in football.[46] Clive White of The Herald criticised Henry's lack of end product, using the final and Arsenal's European failure against Valencia to demonstrate how he would never be considered a "natural goalscorer".[53] Ron Atkinson, writing in his tactics column for The Guardian noted Liverpool's winning goal only came about because of Arsenal's eagerness to attack, which left gaps in defence.[54]

The final was broadcast live in the United Kingdom by both ITV and Sky Sports, with the former providing free-to-air coverage and Sky Sports 2 being the pay-TV alternative.[55] ITV held the majority of the viewership, with an overnight peak audience of 7.8 million viewers.[56] Four days after the final Liverpool beat Alavés by five goals to four, to win the UEFA Cup and complete a treble of cup victories.[57] Victory against Charlton Athletic on 20 May 2001 ensured Liverpool finished third in the Premier League and with that earn a place in the 2001–02 UEFA Champions League.[58] Arsenal ended the season as league runners-up; a draw against Newcastle United was enough for them to secure second spot.[59]

In his autobiography released a few years later, Gerrard reflected that Liverpool were fortunate to win, but was critical of Arsenal's "bitter" reaction: "Wenger and Ljungberg kept complaining about the hand-balls. Get real, boys. That's football. Grow up."[60] He reserved special praise for his opponent Vieira however, saying a few days after the game: "It was my job to try and stop him, but he definitely got the better of me that day. He's such a great player. He's so fit, and he dictates the pace of a game. There are a lot of things you can learn just by watching him."[61] Assessing his career in a column for the Telegraph, Owen wrote that winning the cup was "...the best day of my career, the game I look back on more than any other and think it was the most exhilarating experience I ever had playing football."[62]

See also

References

  1. ^ "History for Cardiff-Wales, United Kingdom". Weather Underground. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Rules of The FA Cup Challenge Cup". The Football Association. Archived from the original on 21 February 2004. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  3. ^ a b Bradley, Mark (28 January 2000). "FA Cup reverts to tradition". The Independent. London. p. 30.
  4. ^ Malam, Colin (6 January 2001). "Wily Wiltord helps Arsenal maintain the class divide". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  5. ^ Ley, John (28 January 2001). "Arsenal question Wenger's priorities". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  6. ^ Lacey, David (19 February 2001). "Wiltord picks Chelsea's pocket". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Gunners blitz stuns Blackburn". BBC Sport. 12 May 2001. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  8. ^ a b c Lacey, David (9 April 2001). "Pinpoint Pires has the final say". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 October 2012.
  9. ^ Turbervill, Huw (6 January 2001). "Biscan blow sparks Liverpool into life". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  10. ^ Szczepanik, Nick (8 January 2001). "Leeds meet old rivals on elite list". The Times. p. S1.
  11. ^ "Liverpool stun Leeds". BBC Sport. 27 January 2001. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  12. ^ a b "Liverpool too slick for City". BBC Sport. 18 February 2001. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  13. ^ a b Winter, Henry (12 March 2001). "Liverpool show appetite for fight". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Liverpool end Wycombe's fight". BBC Sport. 8 April 2001. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  15. ^ "FA opts for Cardiff final". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. 5 January 2001. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  16. ^ "Timeline: The new Wembley". BBC Sport. 21 February 2006. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  17. ^ a b Bradley, Mark (4 January 2001). "Millennium showpieces". Coventry Telegraph. p. 71.
  18. ^ Townsend, Nick (6 May 2001). "Crozier: Cardiff on trial for Cup final". The Independent. London. p. 1.
  19. ^ Dobson, Roger (10 May 2001). "Cardiff prepares for moment of cup final glory". The Independent. London. p. 4.
  20. ^ a b c Dickinson, Matt (26 January 2001). "FA kicks out Cup Final freeloaders". The Times. p. 40.
  21. ^ Mather, David (10 May 2001). "Police seize fake tickets". The Mirror. London. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  22. ^ "Arsenal's complete cup finals". Statto Organisation. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  23. ^ "Liverpool's complete cup finals". Statto Organisation. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  24. ^ a b "Arsenal's head-to-head comparison with Liverpool". Statto Organisation. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  25. ^ a b Murray, Scott (2 March 2012). "Joy of Six: Liverpool v Arsenal matches". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  26. ^ Malam, Colin (24 December 2000). "Liverpool keep dream alive". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  27. ^ "Blues shot down as Liverpool lift cup". BBC Sport. 25 February 2001. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  28. ^ "Liverpool's Uefa Cup run". BBC Sport. 15 May 2001. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  29. ^ a b Ingle, Sean (11 May 2001). "Heskey to start tomorrow". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  30. ^ a b c Rich, Tim (12 May 2001). "Wenger driven by the fear of failure". The Independent. London. p. 31.
  31. ^ a b Dillon, John; Maddock, David (12 May 2001). "Abide with moi, boyo!". The Mirror. London. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  32. ^ "Economic Impact of the FA Cup and Other Football Matches". Cardiff Council. 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  33. ^ Moore, Glenn (14 May 2001). "Houllier's way the right path to glory". The Independent. London. p. S3.
  34. ^ Kay, Oliver (14 May 2001). "Keown and Henry left frustrated by weakest links in team". The Times. p. S7.
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "FA Cup final clockwatch". BBC Sport. 12 May 2001. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  36. ^ a b Rudd, Alyson (14 May 2001). "Cool Owen shows his ability to shine on the big occasion". The Times. p. S7.
  37. ^ a b c d "Owen shatters Arsenal in Cup final". BBC Sport. 12 May 2001. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
  38. ^ a b c d Hughes, Matt (12 May 2001). "Arsenal 1–2 Liverpool". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  39. ^ Malam, Colin (13 May 2001). "FA Cup Final: Owen's double take stuns unlucky Arsenal". The Sunday Telegraph. London. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  40. ^ "How they rated". News of the World. 13 May 2001. p. S8.
  41. ^ Driscoll, Matt (13 May 2001). "Football's Owen home". News of the World. p. S2.
  42. ^ "Houllier celebrates Cardiff triumph". BBC Sport. 12 May 2001. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  43. ^ a b c Williams, Richard (14 May 2001). "Owen fast forward to next blockbuster". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  44. ^ Winter, Henry (15 May 2001). "Tables turn as Liverpool produce late knockout". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  45. ^ "I've nothing more to prove, says Owen". BBC Sport. 13 May 2001. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  46. ^ a b Lawton, James (14 May 2001). "Clinical Owen takes Arsenal to finishing school". The Independent. London. p. S3.
  47. ^ "Wenger: Ref Dunn us right in". Sunday Mail. Glasgow. 14 May 2001. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  48. ^ Dickinson, Matt (14 May 2001). "Wenger's trust again betrayed by Arsenal's lack of killer instinct". The Times. p. S7.
  49. ^ a b "Henry: We need box fox". BBC Sport. 14 May 2001. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  50. ^ Green, Alan (14 May 2001). "'Old Empire' striking back". The News Letter. p. 60.
  51. ^ Lacey, David (14 May 2001). "Five minutes that turned the world upside down". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  52. ^ McIlvanney, Hugh (13 May 2001). "Gunned down by smiling assassin". The Sunday Times. p. S3.
  53. ^ White, Clive (14 May 2001). "Owen shows how it's done; No hoorays for Henry as he fails to breach defence". The Herald. Glasgow. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  54. ^ Atkinson, Ron (14 May 2001). "How a moment's lapse lost the Cup for Arsenal". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  55. ^ Morgan, Richard (12 May 2001). "The sporting week". The Mirror. London. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  56. ^ "Ratings – BBC1 hits right note with Euro singsong". Broadcast. Top Right Group. 18 May 2001. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  57. ^ "Houllier hails brilliant Reds". BBC Sport. 17 May 2001. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
  58. ^ Lacey, David (21 May 2001). "Houllier's rallying call produces final flourish from the men of May". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  59. ^ Wardle, John (16 May 2001). "Silver medal for Gunners". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  60. ^ Gerrard, Steven (2012). Gerrard: My Autobiography. Random House. p. 204. ISBN 1-4481-5446-4.
  61. ^ Lawton, Matt (30 May 2001). "Gerrard salutes Vieira the master". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  62. ^ Owen, Michael (14 May 2014). "Winning the FA Cup with Liverpool remains the highlight of my career". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 27 February 2016.
2000–01 Arsenal F.C. season

The 2000–01 season was the 103rd season of competitive football played by Arsenal. The club ended the campaign second in the Premier League, ten points behind reigning champions Manchester United. Arsenal reached the 2001 FA Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff in May 2001; in spite of dominating against Liverpool, they conceded two late goals, both scored by Michael Owen. In Europe, Arsenal made it to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 1972, only to be eliminated on the away goals rule by eventual finalists Valencia.

In the transfer window, Arsenal sold Marc Overmars and Emmanuel Petit to Barcelona for a combined fee of more than £30 million. Defender Lauren was signed as a direct replacement for Nigel Winterburn, who signed on a free transfer to West Ham United. French footballers Robert Pires and Sylvain Wiltord were purchased from Marseille and Bordeaux respectively; the latter's arrival broke the club's transfer record.

Midfielder Patrick Vieira was sent off in Arsenal's first two league games of the season, though the team coped well in his absence and went unbeaten throughout September and October. Arsenal made it past the next phase of the Champions League by November, but continued to perform inconsistently in the Premier League away from home; they lost at Everton, Leeds United and Liverpool in the space of a month. A 6–1 defeat to Manchester United in February prompted Wenger to rule out their chances of winning the league. The team finished in second on 70 points, three fewer than in the previous season.

35 different players represented the club in four competitions and there were 17 different goalscorers. Thierry Henry was Arsenal's top goalscorer in the 2000–01 season; he scored 22 goals in 53 appearances.

2001–02 Arsenal F.C. season

The 2001–02 season was the 104th season of competitive football played by Arsenal. Having ended the previous season as FA Cup finalists and league runners-up to Manchester United, the club went one better in this campaign, by completing the domestic double – their second in four years and third overall. Arsenal won the Premier League by a seven-point margin, were unbeaten away from home and managed the unique feat of scoring in every league game. They lost only three times in the division, all of which at home. At the Millennium Stadium, Arsenal beat Chelsea 2–0 to win the 2002 FA Cup Final. In Europe however, they fared poorly as they were eliminated in the second group stage of the UEFA Champions League.

In the transfer window, Arsenal sold several fringe players, notably Nelson Vivas to Internazionale and Sylvinho to Celta Vigo; goalkeeper John Lukic was released following his decision to retire. Goalkeeper Richard Wright was signed as an earmarked understudy to David Seaman, while midfielder Giovanni van Bronckhorst and striker Francis Jeffers were purchased in big money moves from Rangers and Everton respectively. Perhaps the marked signing for Arsenal was the acquisition of defender Sol Campbell, who moved from local rivals Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer.

Manager Arsène Wenger was named Barclaycard Manager of the Year and midfielder Freddie Ljungberg received the player equivalent – the Barclaycard Player of the Year, in recognition of the team's achievement. Winger Robert Pires was given the accolade of being the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year, while Thierry Henry ended the campaign as club and the league's top goalscorer, the latter for which he was awarded the Premier League Golden Boot. At the end of the season, club captain Tony Adams announced his retirement from football; he was followed by fellow defender Lee Dixon and club goalkeeping coach Bob Wilson.

2003–04 Arsenal F.C. season

The 2003–04 season was the 109th in the history of Arsenal Football Club. It began on 1 July 2003 and concluded on 30 June 2004, with competitive matches played between August and May. The club ended the Premier League campaign as champions without a single defeat – a record of 26 wins and 12 draws. Arsenal fared less well in the cups, eliminated in the FA Cup and League Cup semi-finals to Manchester United and Middlesbrough respectively, and at the quarter-final stage of the UEFA Champions League to Chelsea.

Arsenal did little business in the transfer market early in the season due to the financial demands that came with the club's new stadium project. The main addition to the first team was goalkeeper Jens Lehmann for £1.5 million; striker José Antonio Reyes was later purchased in the winter transfer window. Arsenal retained their best players and successfully negotiated new contracts for captain Patrick Vieira and midfielder Robert Pires. The stability of the squad meant Arsenal were considered front-runners for the Premier League title, along with Manchester United, and Chelsea who were taken over by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

A strong start to the season saw Arsenal top the league table after four matches. The team's draw at Manchester United in September marked an unsavoury episode between both clubs: several Arsenal players were charged and fined accordingly by The Football Association for their part in a mass brawl that occurred after the match. In November, Arsenal beat Dynamo Kyiv by a single goal and more impressively scored five against Inter Milan at the San Siro – two results which kick-started their Champions League campaign. At the turn of the year, the team won nine league matches in a row to consolidate first position. In the first week of April, they were eliminated from the FA Cup and Champions League, but by the end of the month had secured their status as league champions, with a 2–2 draw against local rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

34 different players represented the club in five competitions and there were 15 different goalscorers. Arsenal's top goalscorer for the third year running was Thierry Henry, who scored 39 goals in 51 games. The Frenchman was given the accolade of PFA Players' Player of the Year by his fellow peers and the FWA Footballer of the Year by football writers. Although the Arsenal team were unsuccessful in cup competitions, their dominance in the league was regarded by many commentators as a standalone achievement. They acquired the nickname "The Invincibles", much like the Preston North End team that went unbeaten in the inaugural Football League season. The club was awarded a golden replica trophy by the Premier League once the season concluded and they remained unbeaten for 49 games, setting a new record. In 2012, the Arsenal team of 2003–04 won the "Best Team" category in the Premier League 20 Seasons Awards.

2009 Republic of Ireland v France football matches

Republic of Ireland vs France was a two-legged football play-off held on 14 and 18 November 2009 between the national teams of the Republic of Ireland and France as part of the UEFA second round of qualification for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The first match was held on 14 November in Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland, and ended in a 1–0 victory for France with Nicolas Anelka scoring. The second leg, played on 18 November in the Stade de France outside Paris, France, finished 1-0 to the Republic of Ireland (with Robbie Keane scoring). The tie went to extra time and a controversial William Gallas goal made the score 2-1 on aggregate and France progressed to the World Cup at Ireland's expense.

After the second leg, the French captain Thierry Henry admitted to Irish defender Richard Dunne that he had illegally handled the ball in the build-up to Gallas' match-winning goal, which had been scored in extra time with 17 minutes remaining in the game.

The incident led to calls from the Football Association of Ireland and Government of Ireland to the world governing body FIFA for the result to be set aside and for the game to be replayed, and later for Ireland to be allowed to enter the World Cup as an unprecedented supernumerary 33rd team. Henry, previously seen by many in the sport as a fair footballer, was characterised as cheating, with the incident being compared to Diego Maradona's "Hand of God" goal, and TIME magazine comparing Henry's goal (sometimes called "Le Hand of God") to a top ten list of sporting cheats. Henry considered retiring from international football due to the reactions to the game, while the Swedish match referee Martin Hansson considered quitting as a referee.The result sparked debate on the issue of fair play in football, and fuelled the ongoing debate on the introduction of video refereeing and Additional Assistant Referees into the sport. At an emergency meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee called in part as a result of the handball controversy, FIFA announced it was setting up an inquiry into the options for technology or extra officials in football, but ruled out any changes being introduced in time for the 2010 World Cup. Henry's case was passed to the FIFA Disciplinary Committee for investigation, which ruled that it could not sanction Henry under the text of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

Christian Ziege

Christian Ziege (German pronunciation: [ˈkʁɪsti̯an ˈt͡siːɡə]; born 1 February 1972) is a retired German footballer and football manager.

He started his playing career at FC Bayern Munich, where he won two Bundesliga titles and a UEFA Cup before moving to A.C. Milan, winning an Italian Scudetto. In 1999, he joined Middlesbrough of the English Premier League, where he was voted the club's Player of the Year in his only season. A year later, he joined Liverpool and was part of the squad which won a treble of the Football League Cup, the FA Cup and the UEFA Cup in 2000–01. In 2001, he moved to Tottenham Hotspur, before ending his career back in Germany with Borussia Mönchengladbach.

With the German national team, Ziege won UEFA Euro 1996 and finished runner-up at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He also represented the country at UEFA Euro 2000, UEFA Euro 2004 and the 1998 FIFA World Cup. An attacking left wing-back, Ziege was considered a dead-ball specialist.

Dennis Bergkamp

Dennis Nicolaas Maria Bergkamp (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdɛnəs ˈbɛrxkɑmp] (listen); born 10 May 1969) is a Dutch former professional footballer, who until 21 December 2017 was the assistant manager at Ajax. Originally a wide midfielder, Bergkamp was moved to main striker and then to second striker, where he remained throughout his playing career. Bergkamp has been described by Jan Mulder as having "the finest technique" of any Dutch international and a "dream for a striker" by teammate Thierry Henry.The son of an electrician, Bergkamp was born in Amsterdam and played as an amateur in the lower leagues. He was spotted by Ajax at age 11 and made his professional debut in 1986. Good form led to an international call-up with the Netherlands a year later, attracting the attention of several European clubs. Bergkamp signed for Italian club Inter Milan in 1993, where he had two disappointing seasons. After joining Arsenal in 1995, he rejuvenated his career, helping the club to win three Premier League titles, four FA Cup trophies, and reach the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final, which marked his last appearance as a player. With the Netherlands national team, Bergkamp surpassed Faas Wilkes's record to become the country's top goalscorer of all time in 1998, a record later eclipsed by Patrick Kluivert, Robin van Persie and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of his generation, Bergkamp finished third twice in the FIFA World Player of the Year award and was selected by Pelé as one of the FIFA 100 greatest living players. In 2007, he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame, the first and so far only Dutch player ever to receive such honour. Due to his fear of flying, Bergkamp has been affectionately nicknamed the "Non-Flying Dutchman" by Arsenal supporters. In 2017, Bergkamp's famous goal against Newcastle United was voted as the best Premier League goal of all-time in the league's 25-year history.

Emile Heskey

Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey (born 11 January 1978) is an English former professional footballer who played as a striker. He made more than 500 appearances in the Football League and Premier League over an 18-year career, and represented England in international football. He also had a spell in Australia, playing for the A-League club Newcastle Jets.

Born in Leicester, Heskey started his career with Leicester City after progressing through their youth system, making his first-team debut in 1995. After winning the League Cup in 1997 and 2000 he made an £11 million move to Liverpool in 2000, which, at the time, was the record transfer fee paid by the club. At Liverpool, he won multiple honours, including the FA Cup in 2001. He moved to Birmingham City in 2004 and after their relegation from the Premier League signed for Wigan Athletic for a club record £5.5 million fee in 2006. He signed for Aston Villa in 2009 and was released in 2012 before signing for A-League club Newcastle Jets. After two years, he returned to England, finishing his career with Championship club Bolton Wanderers.

Heskey was an England international at under-16, under-18, under-21, B and senior levels. He made his England debut against Hungary in a 1–1 draw in 1999. He lost his place in the squad after UEFA Euro 2004, during which he failed to shine and was the subject of much criticism. After a long lay-off from international duty, Heskey was recalled to the England squad for UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers in September 2007. He retired from international football following the 2010 FIFA World Cup, having attained 62 caps and scored 7 goals for his country.

Michael Owen

Michael James Owen (born 14 December 1979) is an English former footballer who played as a striker for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, as well as for the England national team. Since retiring from football in 2013, he has become a racehorse breeder and owner and regularly features as a sports pundit and commentator.The son of former footballer Terry Owen, Owen was born in Chester and began his senior career at Liverpool in 1996. He progressed through the Liverpool youth team and scored on his debut in May 1997. In his first full season in the Premier League, he finished as joint top scorer with 18 goals. He repeated this the following year and was Liverpool's top goal-scorer from 1997–2004, gaining his name as a proven goal-scorer despite suffering from a recurring hamstring injury. In 2001, Liverpool won a cup treble of the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and Football League Cup, and Owen was the recipient of the Ballon d'Or. He went on to score 118 goals in 216 appearances in the Premier League for Liverpool, and 158 goals in 297 total appearances. Regarded as one of the greatest Liverpool players, Owen came 14th in the "100 Players Who Shook The Kop", an official Liverpool fan poll. In 2004, Owen was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.Owen moved to Real Madrid for £8 million in mid-2004; he was frequently used as a substitute. He scored 13 goals in La Liga before returning to England the following season where he joined Newcastle United for £16.8 million. After a promising start to the 2005–06 season, injuries largely ruled him out over the next 18 months. After his return, he became team captain and was the team's top scorer for the 2007–08 season. Newcastle were relegated in the 2008–09 season and Owen moved to Manchester United as a free agent. He spent three years at Old Trafford before joining Stoke City in September 2012. Owen is one of nine players to have scored 150 or more goals in the Premier League. He is also the youngest player to have reached 100 goals in the Premier League. On 19 March 2013, Owen announced his retirement from playing at the end of the 2012–13 season.

Internationally, Owen first played for the senior England team in 1998, becoming England's youngest player and youngest goalscorer at the time. His performance at the 1998 FIFA World Cup brought him to national and international prominence and he went on to score in UEFA Euro 2000, the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004. He is the only player to have scored in four consecutive major tournaments for England. He played at the 2006 World Cup, but suffered an injury which took him a year to recover from. Occasionally playing as captain, he is England's 11th-most-capped player and has scored a former national record (since overtaken by Wayne Rooney) of 26 competitive goals, with 40 in total from 89 appearances, most recently in 2008.

Patrik Berger

Patrik Berger (Czech pronunciation: [ˈpatrɪk ˈbɛrɡr̩]; born 10 November 1973) is a Czech former footballer who played as a midfielder. He started his career in his own country with Slavia Prague and spent a season in Germany playing for Borussia Dortmund. He moved to England in 1996, where he spent seven years with Liverpool, winning six trophies in his time there. This was followed by spells at Portsmouth, Aston Villa and Stoke City. He spent the last two years of his career back in his native Czech Republic playing for Sparta Prague.

Internationally, Berger played in two major tournaments for the Czech Republic. He played an important part in his nation's Euro 1996 campaign, scoring in the final as the Czech Republic finished runners-up to Germany. He took a 17-month break from the national team between 1997 and 1998 after a dispute with manager Dušan Uhrin, returning to the setup following Uhrin's departure from the post. His second and final major tournament was Euro 2000, but due to suspension and his country's early exit, he only played one match. He retired from the national team in 2002 at the age of 28 with a total of 44 senior international caps and 18 goals.

Capable of occupying midfield and forward positions, Berger became noted for his powerful strikes, surging runs, and strong left foot. Berger was beset with injuries throughout his career and received specialist treatment in the United States. He retired on 6 January 2010 due to knee injuries.

Robbie Fowler

Robert Bernard Fowler (born 9 April 1975) is an English former professional footballer and manager who played as a striker from 1993 to 2012. Fowler was known for being a natural scorer with an instinctive goal-poaching ability. He is currently the Head coach of Australian A-League club Brisbane Roar.

Fowler is best remembered for his time at Liverpool and is the sixth-highest goalscorer in the history of the Premier League. He scored 183 goals in total for Liverpool, 128 of which were scored in the Premier League (162 Premier League goals in total). He earned the nickname "God" from the Anfield crowd, becoming a club legend due to his ruthlessness in front of goal. He subsequently played for Leeds United and Manchester City, before returning to Liverpool in January 2006.

He moved clubs 18 months later to sign for Cardiff City. He refused a one-year "pay as you play" contract extension and signed with Blackburn Rovers on a three-month deal on the same terms instead. In December 2008, he departed Blackburn and forged a career in Australia with North Queensland Fury and Perth Glory. In 2011, he joined Thai side Muangthong United as a player, but later was appointed player-manager which he remained until his retirement in 2012.

He was capped for England 26 times, scoring 7 goals. Fowler was included in England's squads for Euro 1996, Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup. Socially aware, Fowler showed support for the Liverpool dockers' strike during a goal celebration in 1997 where he unveiled a t-shirt which incorporated the Calvin Klein "CK" into the word doCKer.

Steve Dunn (referee)

Stephen W. Dunn is an English former FA Premier League football referee. He was born on 24 October 1957. He resides in his birthplace of Bristol, England with his wife.

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