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Sunday, 16 February, 2003, 23:43 GMT
Arsenal cruise past Man Utd
Arsenal celebrate their win at Old Trafford
Edu put Arsenal in command against Man Utd
Manchester United 0-2 Arsenal

Arsenal won the battle of the heavyweights with an impressive FA Cup fifth round win against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was able to afford the luxury of resting Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp - and still stay on course for another league and FA Cup double against their fiercest rivals.

Arsenal delivered the knock-out blows with goals from Edu and Sylvain Wiltord either side of half-time.

But a tempestuous tie turned on an astonishing miss by Ryan Giggs just minutes before Edu scored Arsenal's opener.

Giggs somehow fired over an open goal, leaving Arsenal to deflate Sir Alex Ferguson's side in emphatic style.

The game opened in explosive fashion - with three bookings inside the first seven minutes.

Man Utd's Roy Keane leaves the field after the defeat by Arsenal
Roy Keane's efforts proved to be in vain

Paul Scholes and Ruud van Nistelrooy were booked for fouls, while Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira was shown the yellow card for dissent.

United's opening salvo was so physical referee Jeff Winter was forced to call the captains Vieira and Roy Keane together to call for calm.

It was a lecture that did not prevent Keane picking up a yellow card himself later in the first half for a foul on Robert Pires.

We controlled the game and gave a brilliant performance

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck the outside of the post for United - but the match turned on what will surely rank as the worst miss of Giggs' career on the half hour.

He had what looked a simple tap-in after rounding Arsenal goalkeeer David Seaman and Sol Campbell, but left Old Trafford aghast by firing over the bar.

It was a moment laced with heavy irony as Giggs was the man whose sensational winner sunk Arsenal in the 1999 FA Cup semi-final.

Arsenal responded by striking a vicious pyschological blow to add insult to injury when they took the lead four minutes later.

Arsenal's players bullied the referee and got away with it

Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Edu's 25-yard free-kick took a wicked deflection off David Beckham's shoulder and wrong-footed Fabien Barthez.

And Arsenal were in the clear seven minutes after the interval with a delightfully created goal from Wiltord.

Edu turned creator with a delicate pass to Wiltord, who evaded Wes Brown before side-footing past Barthez.

It was another sweet Old Trafford moment for Wiltord, whose goal won the double for Arsenal on enemy territory at Manchester United last season.

United attempted to turn the tide, but Arsenal were more resolute and stylish and deserved their place in the last eight.


Man Utd: Barthez, Gary Neville, Ferdinand, Brown, Silvestre, Beckham (Butt 83), Scholes, Keane, Giggs (Forlan 71), van Nistelrooy, Solskjaer.
Subs Not Used: Ricardo, Phil Neville, O'Shea.

Booked: Scholes, van Nistelrooy, Keane.

Arsenal: Seaman, Lauren, Keown, Campbell, Cole, Parlour, Vieira, Edu, Pires (van Bronckhorst 84), Jeffers (Henry 73), Wiltord (Toure 90).
Subs Not Used: Warmuz, Cygan.

Booked: Vieira.

Attendance: 67,209

Referee: J Winter (Cleveland).

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"We felt we were always dominating"
Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"We wanted a good cup run"

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15 Feb 03 | Football
15 Feb 03 | FA Cup
Links to more FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.


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