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Arsenal's Thierry Henry
"We had a lot of chances today"
 real 14k

Spurs boss Glenn Hoddle
"I'm disappointed for the fans"
 real 14k

BBC Sport's John Murray
"Then ten minutes before half-time, the turning point"
 real 14k

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
"Overall, the display was fantastic"
 real 14k

Arsenal's Lee Dixon
"Semi-finals are all about winning - it doesn't matter how you play"
 real 14k

Arsenal's Ray Parlour
"We showed our spirit"
 real 14k

banner Sunday, 8 April, 2001, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Arsenal sink rivals Spurs
Vieira
Patrick Vieira celebrates his goal for Arsenal
Arsenal 2-1 Spurs

Arsenal's French connection decided the battle of North London to sink Spurs and reach the FA Cup final in Cardiff.

Arsene Wenger's side were in a different class to their neighbours to make it a losing start for new Spurs boss Glenn Hoddle in a pulsating semi-final.

The narrow scoreline did no justice to the almost total domination Arsenal exerted over a Spurs side undermined by injuries to key duo Sol Campbell and Les Ferdinand at Old Trafford.

  Semi-final facts
14: Doherty's header gives Spurs the lead against the run of play
33: Vieira nods Arsenal back on level terms
74: After constant Arsenal pressure, Pires finally scores the winner
Spurs took a shock lead through Gary Doherty early on - but after that it was an unbroken tale of one-way traffic as Arsenal eventually wore Spurs down.

Neil Sullivan did his best to deny Arsenal single-handedly with a stunning display of goalkeeping, but it was all to no avail.


We are bitterly disappointed, because even though we were playing a very good side, we didn't pass the ball as well we would have liked
  Spurs manager Glenn Hoddle
Patrick Vieira headed Arsenal level before half time as Campbell was off the pitch receiving treatment for an ankle injury, althought it was not the same problem that made his selection a calculated risk.

And after a lengthy assault on the Spurs goal in the second half, Vieira's France team-mate Robert Pires tapped in a 72nd minute winner to deservedly send Arsenal to Cardiff.

New Spurs boss Hoddle had to give best to his former Monaco mentor Wenger, and he already knows he has much to do to close the gap with Arsenal.

Arsenal's victory capped a satifying week for the Gunners after their Champions League fightback against Valencia.

Gary Doherty
Spurs celebrate Doherty's goal
Spurs lynchpin Campbell was declared fit before kick-off - but Hoddle's admission that he was adopting a high-risk strategy was to prove ominously correct.

Arsenal were in scintillating form in the first half, and Spurs will wonder how they survived such a sustained barrage of high quality football to remain on level terms.

Spurs stunned their arch-rivals by scoring with their first - indeed only - serious attack of the first half after 13 minutes.

Ferdinand's close range shot was brilliantly saved by David Seaman, but it was only a brief reprieve for Arsenal.

Steffen Iversen's misdirected volley landed on the head of Doherty, who diverted the finish past the stranded Arsenal goalkeeper.


It means a lot to us to bring the FA Cup to Arsenal this season, and the quality of our performance shows how much we want to do it
  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal swiftly regained their composure, and Robert Pires was guilty of a glaring miss after 22 minutes.

He robbed the hesitant Stephen Clemence in midfield, but finished weakly and allowed Sullivan to block.

Sullivan came to Spurs' rescue again seven minutes later when Silvinho's cross found Lee Dixon unmarked, but he was again denied by the Scotland goalkeeper.

The turning point of the first half came after 31 minutes, when Campbell was deservedly booked by referee Graham Poll for a crude obstruction on Ray Parlour.

And Campbell added injury to the insult of a yellow card as it became clear he had sustained another ankle injury.

Glenn Hoddle
Hoddle salutes Spurs fans
Campbell's absence from the penalty area was vital as Arsenal took the free kick while the Spurs captain received touchline treatment.

Pires floated in an inviting cross and Vieira rose majestically to power a header past Sullivan.

Campbell made a brief return but was clearly struggling, and there was an inexplicable delay before he hobbled off to be replaced by Ledley King.

Arsenal were giving Spurs a mauling, and should have gone ahead seven minutes before half time, but Parlour shot wastefully across goal.

The tide continued to flow Arsenal's way after half time, and Sullivan was brave and brilliant again to save from Thierry Henry inside the penalty area.

Spurs suffered another injury blow after 55 minutes when Ferdinand limped off with a hamstring problem to be replaced by Oyvind Leonhardsen.

Patrick Vieira of Arsenal avoids the challenge of Tottenham's Chris Perry
Goalscorer Vieira skips past Perry
Sullivan was performing magnificently, and he added to his list of saves when Wiltord raced clear on to a pass from his French international colleague Pires only to fall against the familiar barrier.

George Graham's summer siging from Wimbledon was producing a virtuoso performance - and he halted Arsenal twice in the space of seconds just after the hour mark.

He dived to his right to clutch Parlour's header, then hurled himself at the feet of Pires as he seemed certain to score.

Pires displayed great sportsmanship in embracing Sullivan, but it was a time of growing frustration for Arsenal, despite their excellence.

The Arsenal midfield man finally found a way past Sullivan after 72 minutes. finishing off a move fashioned in France.

Vieira released Wiltord on the right flank, and he produced the perfect cross to give Pires the simplest of finishes at the far post.

It was Pires' final contribution. He suffered a hamstring injury, and came off as Wenger introduced Freddie Ljungberg.

But it was a job well done by Arsenal as Wenger's side reached another FA Cup Final.


Arsenal: Seaman, Silvinho, Adams, Keown, Dixon, Vieira, Parlour, Lauren, Pires, Wiltord, Henry. Subs: Ljungberg, Manninger, Luzhny, Kanu, Cole.

Tottenham: Sullivan, Young, Campbell, Perry, Carr, Sherwood, Clemence, Doherty, Ferdinand, Iversen, Rebrov. Subs: Walker, Korsten, Leonhardsen, King, Thelwell.

Referee: G Poll (Tring)

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