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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 May, 2003, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
FA Cup final as it happened
All the action from Arsenal's 1-0 win over Southampton.

Pre-match build-up:

1300: The roof at the Millennium Stadium is closed to protect the pitch from the heavy rain in Cardiff, making the match the first FA Cup final to be played indoors.

1330: The Southampton players are first onto the pitch to sample the atmosphere at the Millennium Stadium.

Saints fans were buoyant before kick-off...

1340: Arsenal's coach arrives, and the Gunners fans give their heroes a rapturous reception when they walk into the arena.

1445: The stadium is full to capacity and the crowd are making a fantastic noise as kick-off approaches.

1450: Both sets of fans join singer Tony Henry in the traditional pre-match renditiion of Abide With Me.

1455: The teams walk out.

1457: Newcastle boss Sir Bobby Robson is introduced to the teams and officials as the guest of honour.

1458: Players, fans and officials sing the National Anthem.


Goalflashes and major incidents:

Kick-off: Referee Graham Barber gets the 122nd FA Cup final under way.

20 seconds: Thierry Henry bursts clear and Claus Lundekvam is lucky to stay on the pitch after tugging the Arsenal striker's shirt. Henry powers on but is denied by Antti Niemi. What a start!

8 mins: Antti Niemi spills a Thierry Henry shot, but Saints youngster Chris Baird is on hand to clear off the line from Dennis Bergkamp.

10 mins: David Seaman easily saves a Michael Svensson header.

12 mins: Dennis Bergkamp releases Thierry Henry again, but Antti Niemi is able to hold his shot.

14 mins: Michael Svensson finds himself in the Arsenal box, but volleys over.

19 mins: Chris Baird, the youngster included at right-back for Southampton, works himself some space and tests David Seaman with a low, long-range curler.

21 mins: James Beattie slots the ball home, but the goal is rightly ruled out for offside.

23 mins: Anders Svensson wriggles through several weak Arsenal challenges - but can't find a decent shot at the end of a good run.

27 mins: Paul Telfer wins the ball aggressively from Gilberto, and unceremonously leaves the Arsenal midfielder on the ground. Gordon Strachan's side certainly mean business in Cardiff.

29 mins: The temperature is rising as Martin Keown receives the first yellow card of the final for bringing down Brett Ormerod.

31 mins: Another booking, this time for James Beattie after his lunge at Oleg Luzhny.

34 mins: David Seaman has to be alert to cut out a long through ball with his head.

Robert Pires scores for Arsenal
Pires kept cool to beat Niemi

GOAL - 38 mins: Arsenal 1-0 Southampton
Arsenal break clear, with Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Freddie Ljungberg all involved before the ball breaks to Robert Pires in the box.

The Frenchman, who missed last year's final because of injury, keeps cool to fire past the helpless Antti Niemi.

42 mins: Arsenal break again, and Southampton only survive thanks to another defensive scramble.

Half-time: Arsenal lead thanks to Robert Pires, and finish the first half much the stronger. Saints have battled well, but will need to chase the game after the interval.


46 mins: The second half kicks off, with no substitutions yet by either side.

48 mins: Michael Svensson is just unable to reach a James Beattie flick-on.

52 mins: Dennis Bergkamp spins on the edge of the box and curls a shot towards the far corner, which Antti Niemi does well to keep out. The ball falls to Freddie Ljungberg, but he smashes it into the side netting.

56 mins: David Seaman fails to reach a corner, but Paul Telfer's header goes over.

58 mins: Antti Niemi is at full stretch again, this time to deny Thierry Henry.

63 mins: Antti Niemi, who had only just recovered from injury to start in goal for Saints, collapses in a heap after taking a goal kick, and is stretchered off with a torn calf muscle, to be replaced by Paul Jones.

66 mins: Thierry Henry bursts into the Southampton box and falls under Michael Svensson's challenge. The result? A yellow card for the Arsenal striker.

75 mins: SUBSTITUTION: Jo Tessem comes on for Anders Svensson with just 15 minutes left for Saints to revive their Cup dreams.

76 mins: A yellow card for Chris Marsden.

77 mins: SUBSTITUTION: Arsenal bring on Sylvain Wiltord for Dennis Bergkamp.

81 mins: Chris Baird blazes over as Saints press, but they'll need more composure in front of goal if they are to find an equaliser.

83 mins: David Seaman does brilliantly to keep out a Brett Ormerod shot.

86 mins: SUBSTITUTION: Last throw of the dice for Southampton, as Fabrice Fernandes comes on for Chris Baird.

88 mins: Substitute keeper Paul Jones does well to keep out a deflected Thierry Henry shot.

89 mins: Arsenal string several passes together as Saints struggle to get the ball back.

90 mins: There will be four minutes of injury time.

90+4: James Beattie's header is cleared off the line by Ashley Cole as Saints throw everyone forward.

Full-time: Robert Pires is the hero as his goal seals a 1-0 win for Arsenal and FA Cup glory for the second year in a row.





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