21 May 2005: winning the FA Cup on penalties

21 May 2005

On this day Arsenal won the FA Cup beating Manchester United on penalties.

In the game, there was no Henry – he was injured, so we had Bergkamp up front on his own with Gilberto Silva, Reyes and Pires playing behind.  Sol Campbell was not used although fit – Senderos playing instead.

During the game Bergkamp was replaced by Ljungberg,  Robin van Persie came on in place of Cesc Fàbregas, and Edu replaced Pirès for the last 15 minutes.

Much of the game involved Man U appealing for handball every time the ball hit any part of an Arsenal player while Keene got ever more fractious.

Reyes had got his first yellow card for a marginally late tackle on Silvestre,  In the second half he did it again and got a warning.  Scholes then attempted to get Reyes carried off with a horrible tackle, but he too just got a yellow card.  Quinton Fortune assaulted Ljungberg in the face with his arm but got no card, and so feeling himself immune to the laws of the game committed an awful high tackle on Edu.  The ref lost control.

At the very end Ronaldo ran towards the goal but was stopped by Reyes, and the ref, having let an awful lot go desperately tried to salvage his reputation with a second yellow for Reyes seconds before the final whistle.

In the shoot out Scholes took the second penalty and it was saved by Lehmann.  The other penalties were scored so Vieira walked up and scored the final penalty – his last kick before leaving Arsenal for Juve and the ignominy of having a championship removed by the courts for repeated match fixing by his new club.