2003 FA Community Shield

The 2003 FA Community Shield (also known as The FA Community Shield in partnership with McDonald's for sponsorship reasons) was the 81st staging of the FA Community Shield, an annual football match contested by the reigning champions of the Premier League and the holders of the FA Cup. It was held at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium on 10 August 2003. The match pitted Manchester United, champions of the 2002–03 Premier League against Arsenal, who beat Southampton 1–0 in the 2003 FA Cup Final. Manchester United won the Shield 4–3 on penalties, as neither side could be separated after a 1–1 draw in 90 minutes.

This was Manchester United's 22nd Community Shield appearance and Arsenal's 17th. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson assessed before the match that his midfield was stronger than before, despite selling first-team players David Beckham and Juan Sebastián Verón. Arsène Wenger was optimistic of Arsenal's prospects in the upcoming season despite having only made minor changes to his squad, and Chelsea's emergence as a competitor following Roman Abramovich's takeover. Having been linked with a transfer away in the summer, Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira revealed before the game his intention to stay at the club.

Goalkeepers Tim Howard and Jens Lehmann made their competitive debuts for their respective clubs in the match. Ole Gunnar Solskjær started in midfield for Manchester United and Paul Scholes played behind the main striker, Ruud van Nistelrooy. For Arsenal, Kolo Touré partnered Sol Campbell in central defence as Martin Keown was absent. Mikaël Silvestre gave Manchester United the lead in the 15th minute from a corner, but Thierry Henry equalised for Arsenal five minutes later from a free-kick. In the second half, substitute Francis Jeffers was sent off for kicking out at Phil Neville. Neither team was able to score in the remaining time, so the match was decided by a penalty shoot-out. Howard saved the decisive spot-kick taken by Robert Pires.

Both managers were pleased with their teams' performances, in particular Ferguson, who felt his players coped well in the heat. The 2003 Community Shield brought its lowest crowd since 1995; Wenger reasoned there was "less and less appetite" for the event.

2003 FA Community Shield
2003 FA Community Shield programme
The match programme cover
Arsenal Manchester United
1 1
Manchester United won 4–3 on penalties
Date10 August 2003
VenueMillennium Stadium, Cardiff
Man of the MatchPaul Scholes (Manchester United)[1]
RefereeSteve Bennett (Kent)
24 °C (75 °F)[2]


Founded in 1908 as a successor to the Sheriff of London Charity Shield,[3] the FA Community Shield began as a contest between the respective champions of the Football League and Southern League, although in 1913, it was played between an Amateurs XI and a Professionals XI.[4] In 1921, it was played by the league champions of the top division and FA Cup winners for the first time.[5][a] Wembley Stadium acted as the host of the Shield from 1974.[7] Cardiff's Millennium Stadium was hosting the Shield for the third time; it took over as the venue for the event while Wembley Stadium underwent a six-year renovation between 2001 and 2006.[7]

Manchester United qualified for the 2003 FA Community Shield by winning the Premier League – their eighth championship in 11 years.[8] Despite making their worst start to a league campaign since the 1989–90 season, the team finished five points clear of second-placed Arsenal, the pre-season favourites.[8] Arsenal's campaign was compensated by an appearance in the 2003 FA Cup Final; the team beat Southampton 1–0 to retain the trophy and qualify for the Community Shield.[9][10]

Manchester United were appearing in the Community Shield for the 22nd time, having won 10 outright (1908, 1911, 1952, 1956, 1957, 1983, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997), sharing four (1965, 1967, 1977, 1990) and losing seven (1948, 1963, 1985, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001). In contrast, Arsenal appeared in 16 previous Shields, likewise winning 10 outright (1930, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1998, 1999, 2002), while sharing one (1991) and losing five (1935, 1936, 1979, 1989, 1993). This was the fifth meeting between the two clubs in the Community Shield; Arsenal won three of those meetings to Manchester United's one.[11]


Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said before the Community Shield that new signings Eric Djemba-Djemba and Kléberson had made his midfield stronger, in spite of selling first-team players David Beckham and Juan Sebastián Verón: "The two of them give us youth in that department and I think it's important to have young legs in there, particularly with the amount of games we play."[12]

Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira revealed his intention to stay at the club, despite interest from Chelsea, who had been acquired by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in the summer.[13] Manager Arsène Wenger used his press conference to look ahead to the new season and felt his team's chances were as good, if not better than Chelsea's: "I can understand that we look a little bit poor and out of shape but what is important is what happens on the pitch and you will see that we look good. To write us off just because we haven't spent £100 million is a bit easy."[13]

Neither United nor Arsenal made noticeable changes to their squad, but Ferguson believed both teams would remain the ones to beat in the Premier League: "There's only really ourselves and Arsenal who know what it takes to win the Premiership. It's not an easy thing to achieve. You need experience."[12]


Team selection

Goalkeeper Tim Howard started his first competitive match for Manchester United, replacing Fabien Barthez, while Quinton Fortune was selected at left-back ahead of John O'Shea.[14][15] They lined up in a 4–4–1–1 formation, with forward Ole Gunnar Solskjær positioned on the right wing and Paul Scholes playing just off the main striker, Ruud van Nistelrooy.[16] For Arsenal, Jens Lehmann made his first competitive appearance.[16] The team lined up in a 4–4–2 formation.[16] Kolo Touré was paired with defender Sol Campbell at centre-back in the absence of Martin Keown.[17]


The stadium observed a minute's silence in memory of Ray Harford and Manchester United reserve player Jimmy Davis, who both died on 9 August 2003.[15] Arsenal kicked off the match and within the first two minutes Phil Neville and Ashley Cole were booked for mistimed tackles.[18] The match settled into "a more sedate rhythm" soon after, and in the 13th minute, Scholes' long pass found Solskjær, who was subsequently tackled; the ball ran out for a corner.[15] It was delivered by Ryan Giggs and the ball was flicked on by Roy Keane at the near post – an unmarked Mikaël Silvestre headed it into the net, which gave United the lead.[18] It was short-lived, however; in the 18th minute, Nicky Butt conceded a free-kick for a foul on Vieira.[18] From "about 33 yards out", Henry shot the ball past United's wall and beat Howard in goal.[15] Arsenal's equaliser did not hand them the impetus, for United continued to control proceedings.[18] Silvestre's cross in the 28th minute fashioned a chance for Giggs, though Arsenal's defence prevented him from getting a shot.[18] Giggs came close to scoring five minutes later; a cross by Butt found the Welshman whose effort hit the post. United finished the half with two half-chances.[18]

Ray Parlour and Henry came off in the second half for Robert Pires and Sylvain Wiltord. United created an early chance, but Van Nistelrooy was unable to make the most of Giggs' delivery. The player went down in the penalty area under the challenge of Campbell, prompting United players to appeal for a penalty; however, referee Steve Bennett decided to let play continue.[15] Arsenal countered twice thereafter, but their attacks broke down on both counts. Vieira, Scholes and Quinton Fortune were booked for tackles during a 10-minute spell.[18] Both clubs made substitutions in the midway point of the second half: for Arsenal, Bergkamp, Gilberto and Ljungberg were replaced by Francis Jeffers, Edu and Giovanni van Bronckhorst, whereas for United, Butt and Fortune came off for Eric Djemba-Djemba and John O'Shea.[15] In the 72nd minute, Jeffers was shown a red card for kicking out at Neville.[15] Ferguson brought on striker Diego Forlán for Neville six minutes later.[15] Djemba-Djemba avoided a yellow card for his challenge on Campbell in the 80th minute; Bennett deemed it unintentional.[18]

The game descended into a scrappy affair in the last few minutes, with few clear cut chances for either side. With no further goals, it was decided by penalties. Scholes, Edu and Ferdinand converted their kicks, before Howard saved Van Bronkhorst's effort. Van Nistelrooy missed his and Wiltord scored to level the tally at 2–2 in the shoot-out. Solskjær, Lauren and Forlán scored, but Pires missed – his effort saved by Howard – which won United the Shield, 4–3 on penalties.[18]


Arsenal1–1Manchester United
Henry Goal 20' Report Silvestre Goal 15'
Edu Penalty scored
Van Bronckhorst Penalty missed
Wiltord Penalty scored
Lauren Penalty scored
Pires Penalty missed
3–4 Penalty scored Scholes
Penalty scored Ferdinand
Penalty missed Van Nistelrooy
Penalty scored Solskjær
Penalty scored Forlán
Manchester United
GK 1 Germany Jens Lehmann
RB 12 Cameroon Lauren
CB 28 Ivory Coast Kolo Touré
CB 23 England Sol Campbell
LB 3 England Ashley Cole Yellow card 2'
RM 15 England Ray Parlour Substituted off 45'
CM 4 France Patrick Vieira (c) Yellow card 52'
CM 19 Brazil Gilberto Silva Substituted off 60'
LM 8 Sweden Freddie Ljungberg Substituted off 65'
CF 10 Netherlands Dennis Bergkamp Substituted off 60'
CF 14 France Thierry Henry Substituted off 45'
GK 13 England Stuart Taylor
DF 18 France Pascal Cygan
MF 7 France Robert Pires Substituted in 45'
MF 16 Netherlands Giovanni van Bronckhorst Substituted in 65'
MF 17 Brazil Edu Substituted in 60'
FW 9 England Francis Jeffers Red card 72' Substituted in 60'
FW 11 France Sylvain Wiltord Substituted in 45'
France Arsène Wenger
Man Utd vs Arsenal 2003-08-10
GK 14 United States Tim Howard
RB 3 England Phil Neville Yellow card 1' Substituted off 78'
CB 5 England Rio Ferdinand
CB 27 France Mikaël Silvestre
LB 25 South Africa Quinton Fortune Yellow card 59' Substituted off 69'
RM 20 Norway Ole Gunnar Solskjær
CM 16 Republic of Ireland Roy Keane (c)
CM 8 England Nicky Butt Substituted off 61'
LM 11 Wales Ryan Giggs
SS 18 England Paul Scholes Yellow card 53'
CF 10 Netherlands Ruud van Nistelrooy
GK 13 Northern Ireland Roy Carroll
DF 22 Republic of Ireland John O'Shea Substituted in 69'
MF 19 Cameroon Eric Djemba-Djemba Substituted in 61'
MF 23 England Kieran Richardson
MF 24 Scotland Darren Fletcher
FW 12 France David Bellion
FW 21 Uruguay Diego Forlán Substituted in 78'
Scotland Sir Alex Ferguson

Match officials

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores level after 90 minutes.
  • Seven named substitutes.
  • Maximum of six substitutions.


Statistic Arsenal Manchester United
Goals scored 1 1
Possession 50% 50%
Shots on target 2 2
Shots off target 3 6
Blocked shots 4 3
Corner kicks 4 2
Fouls 12 14
Offsides 3 2
Yellow cards 2 3
Red cards 1 0


Alex Ferguson 02
Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted with his team's performance.

Henry Winter of The Daily Telegraph opined that, injuries to players aside, "The Community Shield itself experienced most damage".[19] Arsenal returned 8,000 of their ticket allocation, while transport problems meant spectators were unable to reach Cardiff in time. A crowd of 59,923 was the Shield's lowest in eight years.[20]

Ferguson was delighted in how his team coped with the pitchside temperatures: "You had to be down there to appreciate it. I was told it was 41 degrees on the pitch – I know I was roasting just watching them."[21] When asked about Howard's positioning for Arsenal's equaliser, he replied: "Tim wanted three in the wall and he will learn from that. This isn't America."[21] Silvestre denied suggestions that the win gave United a psychological edge over Arsenal: "This is still a pre-season game. We won the Premiership title with a strong run at the end of last season."[22] Howard was unsure whether he would displace Barthez in the first team for a prolonged run – "that's not my decision", though continued "We have four great goalkeepers and we're looking to have a good battle all season long."[22]

Wenger was content with his team's performance: "We are at only 80% fitness and still we got a draw with Manchester United," and thought his defence stood firm against United's attack.[23] He felt Jeffers' dismissal was "deserved" for overreacting, but added, "He's apologised. He realised he made a mistake. He's intelligent, he's young and he'll learn."[22] The performance of Lehmann encouraged the Arsenal manager; he noted that the goalkeeper was "amazed to see the referee wave play on after one aerial challenge."[23] Wenger made reference to Arsenal's low crowd turnout and suggested it meant there was "less and less appetite" for the Shield.[24]

See also


  1. ^ The Premier League replaced the Football League First Division at the top of the English football pyramid after its inception in 1992.[6]


  1. ^ a b McCarra, Kevin (11 August 2003). "Angry Arsenal lose the plot as Howard's way prevails". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. p. A2.
  2. ^ "History for Cardiff-Wales, United Kingdom". Weather Underground. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Abandonment of the Sheriff Shield". The Observer. London. 19 April 1908. p. 11.
  4. ^ "The F.A. Charity Shield". The Times. 7 October 1913. p. 10.
  5. ^ "The Shield: From the beginning". Manchester City F.C. 4 August 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  6. ^ Fynn, Alex (2 December 2001). "Continental or the full English?". The Observer. London. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  7. ^ a b "The FA Community Shield history". The Football Association. Archived from the original on 6 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  8. ^ a b Nurse, Howard (4 May 2003). "Ferguson's best yet". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  9. ^ Wilson, Paul (18 May 2003). "Pires aim is true for muted Gunners". The Observer. London: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  10. ^ "Bountiful game: Did the football season ever go away?". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. 9 August 2003. p. 24.
  11. ^ Ross, James (15 August 2013). "List of FA Charity/Community Shield Matches". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation (RSSSF). Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  12. ^ a b Kay, Oliver (9 August 2003). "United's star quality under scrutiny". The Times. p. 26.
  13. ^ a b Dickinson, Matt (9 August 2003). "Vieira prepares to keep faith with Arsenal". The Times. p. 27.
  14. ^ "Howard the hero for United". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 10 August 2003. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h "Clockwatch: Man Utd 1–1 Arsenal". BBC Sport. 10 August 2003. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  16. ^ a b c Jacob, Gary (11 August 2003). "Formations". The Times. p. S13.
  17. ^ Bradley, Nick (11 August 2003). "Howard's way is spot on as Reds lift Shield". Irish News. Dublin. p. 19.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i "How it happened". TheFA.com. The Football Association. 10 August 2003. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  19. ^ Winter, Henry (11 August 2003). "Scholes keeps United on top". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  20. ^ Dickinson, Matt (11 August 2003). "United remain ahead of pack". The Times. p. S15.
  21. ^ a b "Fergie happy in the heat". TheFA.com. The Football Association. 10 August 2003. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  22. ^ a b c "Wenger sees red over Jeffers". BBC Sport. 11 August 2003. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  23. ^ a b "How it happened". TheFA.com. The Football Association. 10 August 2003. Archived from the original on 7 September 2008. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  24. ^ Grant, Alistair (11 August 2003). "Less appetite for Shield – Wenger". Coventry Evening Telegraph. p. 47.
2003 FA Cup Final

The 2003 FA Cup Final was the 122nd final of the FA Cup, the world's oldest domestic football cup competition. The final took place on Saturday 17 May 2003 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, in front of a crowd of 73,726. It was the third consecutive year the final was played at the stadium, due to the ongoing reconstruction of Wembley Stadium, the final's usual venue. The 2003 final was the first to be played indoors; the roof was closed because of bad weather. The clubs contesting the final were Arsenal, the holders of the competition and Southampton. This was Arsenal's sixteenth appearance in a final to Southampton's fourth.

As Premier League clubs, Arsenal and Southampton entered the FA Cup in the third round, which meant each club needed to progress through five rounds to reach the final. Arsenal made a convincing start, they won their opening three rounds, but needed a sixth-round replay against Chelsea. By contrast, Southampton played one replay in the fourth round against Millwall. Arsenal entered the match as favourites and had beaten Southampton 6–1 nine days earlier in the league. Goalkeeper David Seaman captained Arsenal in the absence of the injured Patrick Vieira; it was to be Seaman's last appearance for the club. In defence for Southampton, Chris Baird made only his second competitive start. Chris Marsden captained the club in the absence of the injured club captain, Jason Dodd.

Arsenal began the match more effectively of the two and scored what proved to be the winning goal in the latter minutes of the first half – Freddie Ljungberg's rebounded goal effort was converted by Robert Pires. Midway through the second half, Southampton goalkeeper Antti Niemi was substituted, as he strained his calf muscle; he was replaced by Paul Jones. In stoppage time, striker James Beattie had his header cleared off the line by Ashley Cole, in what was the final chance for Southampton.

Arsenal's win marked the first time a team had retained the trophy since Tottenham Hotspur in 1982. They later played against league champions Manchester United in the 2003 FA Community Shield. Given Arsenal had already qualified for Europe via their league position, their UEFA Cup spot was awarded to runners-up Southampton.

2003–04 Manchester United F.C. season

The 2003–04 season was Manchester United's 12th season in the Premier League, and their 29th consecutive season in the top division of English football.United started the season by winning the 2003 FA Community Shield and then secured a record eleventh FA Cup with a 3–0 win over Millwall at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. However, the club surrendered the Premier League title to unbeaten champions Arsenal, with a second-half dip in league form coinciding with Rio Ferdinand starting an eight-month ban from football due to a missed drugs test and restricting United to a third-place finish.

New to the United side were Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo, Brazilian 2002 FIFA World Cup-winning midfielder Kléberson, American goalkeeper Tim Howard, Cameroonian midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba and French striker David Bellion.

United's UEFA Champions League and League Cup dreams ended in the last 16, with the European exit being particularly painful as a last minute goal by eventual champions Porto put them out of the competition and denied them an eighth successive Champions League quarter-final.

Arsenal F.C.–Manchester United F.C. rivalry

Although Arsenal and Manchester United have frequently been in the same division in English football since 1919, the rivalry between the two clubs only became a fierce one in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the teams regularly competed against each other for the Premier League title and FA Cup. There was also an enmity between the managers, Arsenal's Arsène Wenger (1996–2018) and United's Sir Alex Ferguson (1986–2013), and club captains Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane, and their contests often involved on-field trouble – seven red cards were shown in matches from February 1997 to February 2005. The league fixture in September 2003, known as the "Battle of Old Trafford", was marred by a mêlée instigated by Arsenal players, who felt striker Ruud van Nistelrooy had cheated to get Vieira sent off. A season later, Manchester United ended Arsenal's unbeaten run in controversial circumstances, which led to more disorder, this time in the tunnel.

The rivalry between Ferguson and Wenger ended at the 2005 FA Cup Final, and by 2008 former Arsenal player Lee Dixon noted that the rivalry had diminished. Ferguson also stated that the two teams' meetings had cooled from their previous "heated" exchanges. Other factors for the diminishing importance of the rivalry in the 2010s were the ascendancy of other clubs, including local rivals of both (Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City).Arsenal and Manchester United first played a competitive match in October 1894; as of March 2019, the two clubs have faced each other 231 times in total. United have won 97 to Arsenal's 83, and 51 matches have ended in a draw. Wayne Rooney has scored the most goals in the fixture with 12, while Ryan Giggs has made the highest number of appearances with 50. Several players have featured for both clubs at different stages of their career, including Brian Kidd, Andy Cole, David Platt, Robin van Persie, Danny Welbeck and former manager George Graham.

Francis Jeffers

Francis Jeffers (born 25 January 1981) is an English former professional footballer and coach who played as a striker.

In his career, Jeffers played for Premier League clubs Everton, Arsenal, Charlton Athletic and Blackburn Rovers, as well as clubs in Australia, Scotland and Malta. Jeffers is the joint top scorer for the England under-21 team with 13 goals in 16 appearances. He is a footballing coach at Everton's Academy.

Jimmy Davis (footballer)

James Roger William Davis (6 February 1982 – 9 August 2003) was a footballer who played for Manchester United, Royal Antwerp, Swindon Town and Watford, as well as the England youth teams, who was killed in a car crash on the M40 in Oxfordshire on 9 August 2003, aged 21, when twice over the drink-drive limit.

Tim Howard

Timothy Matthew Howard (born March 6, 1979) is an American soccer player who plays for and captains the MLS club Colorado Rapids as a goalkeeper.

Howard began his career with the North Jersey Imperials, before making a move to the MetroStars. His appearances soon attracted the attention of English Premier League club Manchester United, who signed him in 2003. He enjoyed relative success with the club, as they won the 2003 FA Community Shield, the 2003–04 FA Cup and the 2005–06 League Cup. After United signed goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, however, Howard went out on loan to Everton to play more first-team soccer, and eventually signed permanently with them in February 2007. On January 4, 2012, Howard scored a goal (his first as a professional) against Bolton Wanderers, making him only the fourth goalkeeper to score a goal in a Premier League match. In 2016 Howard made his return to MLS, this time playing for the Colorado Rapids as their starter keeper.

Howard is the most capped goalkeeper of all-time for the United States men's national team, with 121 caps since 2002 until his international retirement in 2017. He was an unused substitute for the 2006 World Cup but later established himself as first-choice keeper of the United States' international tournament games beginning with the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, in which the U.S. ended as runner-up against Brazil. Howard participated at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups, starting in all their matches. The team reached the Round of 16 on both occasions, and during the latter Howard set a World Cup record for most saves in a match, with 15 against Belgium.Howard's book, The Keeper, published in 2014, describes his career and his life with Tourette syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

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