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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 May, 2003, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
Arsenal were worthy winners

By Alan Hansen
BBC Sport football expert

Arsenal were the better side and fully deserved to beat Southampton.

It would have been a travesty for Arsenal not to win something after the way they have enthralled and delighted us this season.

At times we have sat back in complete awe at the way they have played.

I cannot think of any team in the last 25 or 30 years who have moved the ball quicker.

I've never seen a player go past defenders as effortlessly as Henry does

They didn't kill Southampton off and as along as it is 1-0 the opposition have always got a chance.

But if you look at the game as a whole Arsenal were far superior.

The FA Cup final always throws up a story and perhaps it was David Seaman making a fantastic save late on. But I don't think we have seen his last game.

Thierry Henry was man-of-the-match and is simply awesome when he picks it up.

When the ball is played into his feet he is always dangerous. I've never seen a player go past defenders as effortlessly as he does.

The best team in the country are Manchester United because the best team always wins the championship, but Arsenal fully deserved to win something.


By Peter Schmeichel
Retired goalkeeper and BBC Sport pundit

Arsenal absolutely deserved it - there was only one team in it for me and the scoreline doesn't really tell the full story.

They made hard work of it and should have had more goals - especially in the second half when Henry might have scored one or two.

For some reason, it seems Arsenal have not got the ability to totally kill teams off.

Robert Pires
Pires was the match-winner

But they have had a good season. They really wanted to win something - you could see that by their efforts in the game and at full-time what it meant to them, so this was totally deserved.

Robert Pires, apart from one or two occasions when he dived in my opinion, was fantastic.

People talk about Henry but the things Pires does on the pitch are outstanding.

He has great control and the goal was well deserved as he had the instincts to be in the right place at the right time.

The few chances Southampton had Seaman was always there and that is the sort of goalkeeper that Arsenal needs because they dominate so much.

We expected him to be there when they needed him and he was. He has had a good season and has been fantastic in the last few games when he showed his class.


By Mark Hughes
Wales manager

I think Southampton will concede that maybe they did not quite have enough on the day.

They found it hard to get support to the two front lads and resorted to too many long balls.

David Seaman and Martin Keown (left)
Keown and Seaman won their fourth cup

It was difficult for them, but they showed a lot of effort and a great spirit.

I think Southampton expended so much energy trying to stay in the game and restrict Arsenal that they did not have enough to produce that bit extra at the end.

Arsenal are a great side and deserve something for the season they have had.

I am really pleased for David Seaman, who I think has answered a few critics, and Martin Keown for matching my record of cup wins.

It is fantastic for those two because they understand the importance of the day as it is something very special to win the Cup final.




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