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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 March, 2004, 19:56 GMT
Portsmouth 1-5 Arsenal
Arsenal's Kolo Toure scores Arsenal's third goal in the win over Portsmouth
Arsenal reached the FA Cup semi-finals with an impressive win over Portsmouth.

Jose Antonio Reyes volleyed against the bar early on, before Thierry Henry pounced on a deflection and fired home.

Arsenal added two more in the closing stages of the first-half, as Fredrik Ljungberg curled the ball past Shaka Hislop and then Kolo Toure struck.

Henry and Ljungberg then each scored a second goal, before Ayegbeni Yakubu and Matthew Taylor rattled the woodwork and Teddy Sheringham's flick found the net.

Despite the slippery conditions, Arsenal quickly began to weave their intricate passing patterns.

Prominent in many of those eye-catching moves was Reyes, who almost gave Arsenal a second-minute lead when he rattled the crossbar with a wonderful left-footed half-volley.

The young Spaniard then almost got on to the end of Patrick Vieira's inswinging cross from the right.

Reyes also played a part in Henry's goal as he made a dangerous run into the Portsmouth box.

Petri Pasanen managed to block Ljungberg's pass to Reyes with a sliding tackle, but the ball broke kindly for Henry, who finished with aplomb.

KEY MOMENTS
25 mins: Henry puts ahead
43 mins: Ljungberg extends Arsenal's lead
45 mins: Kolo Toure pops up to triple Arsenal's
50 mins: Henry grabs his second of the match ahead
57 mins: Ljungberg also completes his brace
90 mins:Sheringham knocks the ball past Lehmann
Arsenal continued to open up the Portsmouth defence almost at will.

Ljungberg and Henry combined with a slick one-two allowing the Frenchman to cut the ball back for Edu, whose low shot was well saved by Hislop.

Vieira also went close, powering a header narrowly wide from a corner.

In the closing stages of the first half, Arsenal emphasised their superiority with two more goals.

First Edu slipped the ball between Pasanen and Linvoy Primus to Ljungberg, who calmly curled the ball past Hislop.

Kolo Toure then capitalised on some slack Portsmouth defending from a corner allowing the Arsenal defender to shoot low past Hislop.

Arsenal's finishing masterclass contrasted sharply with Portsmouth's lack of confidence in front of goal, notably when Ivica Mornar took too many touches and the danger passed.

The second half was only four minutes old when Henry scored his second with a clever goal that displayed his quick thinking as he sent a low curling shot through a thicket of players to surprise Hislop.

Ljungberg also claimed a second, when his deflected shot gave Hislop no chance.

As Arsenal eased up, Yakubu headed against the bar, Taylor hit the post with a low shot and then Sheringham, who had come on as a substitute, flicked the ball over Jens Lehmann.


Portsmouth: Hislop, Pasanen, Primus, De Zeeuw, Taylor, Smertin, Faye, Quashie (Hughes 70), Berkovic (Stone 45), Mornar (Sheringham 77), Yakubu.
Subs Not Used: Wapenaar, Harper.

Arsenal: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Ljungberg (Bentley 72), Vieira (Clichy 72), Edu, Silva, Reyes, Henry (Kanu 72).
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Cygan.

Attendance: 20,137.

Referee: J Winter (Cleveland).




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Jonathan Pearce
"Awesome Arsenal through to a record 24th semi-final"


Arsenal's Thierry Henry
"Their fans we're magnificent"




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