|Event||FA Cup 2000–01|
|Date||12 May 2001|
|Venue||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|Man of the Match||Michael Owen (Liverpool)|
|Referee||Steve Dunn (Gloucestershire)|
Liverpool came from behind to win 2–1, thus winning the FA Cup for the sixth time. It was the second trophy of their treble-winning season of 2000–01: they had won the Football League Cup in late February and would win the UEFA Cup four days later.
As well as being the first FA Cup Final to be staged outside of England, it was also the first in which the managers of both teams were from outside the British Isles – Liverpool's Gérard Houllier and Arsenal's Arsène Wenger both coming from France.
The match had an attendance of 72,500, while live coverage on ITV was watched by an average of around five million viewers.
Road to Cardiff
Third Round: Carlisle United 0–1 Arsenal
Fourth Round: Queens Park Rangers 0–6 Arsenal
Fifth Round: Arsenal 3–1 Chelsea
Sixth Round: Arsenal 3–0 Blackburn Rovers
Semi-final: Tottenham Hotspur 1–2 Arsenal
Third Round: Liverpool 3–0 Rotherham United
Fourth Round: Leeds United 0–2 Liverpool
Fifth Round: Liverpool 4–2 Manchester City
Sixth Round: Tranmere Rovers 2–4 Liverpool
Semi-final: Liverpool 2–1 Wycombe Wanderers
Liverpool were intent on adopting a counter-attacking approach, allowing Arsenal space and possession until they reached the danger area. Arsenal dominated the opening exchanges, but first half ended as a stalemate despite Arsenal's dominance. Liverpool's Emile Heskey was involved in the first contentious moment after six minutes, when he tumbled under a challenge from Gilles Grimandi, but referee Steve Dunn correctly waved away Liverpool's penalty appeals.
Ten minutes later, Arsenal had a much stronger claim for a penalty kick. Fredrik Ljungberg released Thierry Henry, who broke free of Liverpool's offside trap, skipped around goalkeeper Sander Westerveld and fired a shot which was blocked on the line by the arm of Liverpool defender Stéphane Henchoz. The officials failed to spot the offence, despite Henry's appeals.
Despite a couple of half-chances for Liverpool (a Michael Owen shot that was closed down by Martin Keown, and a Steven Gerrard effort from long range that went well wide) there were no other major goalmouth incidents of the first half.
Liverpool finally troubled Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman two minutes after the interval; Danny Murphy's free kick was met by Heskey's head, but he was only able to direct his effort straight at Seaman, who pushed it to safety with his left hand.
Arsenal had another serious scoring chance after 56 minutes. Thierry Henry juggled the ball and switched passes with compatriot Robert Pirès, but was denied by Westerveld; Ashley Cole got to the rebound first and fired goalwards, but Liverpool captain Sami Hyypiä cleared off the line. Hyypiä rescued Liverpool again after 67 minutes, when he headed a Ljungberg lob off the line.
With 19 minutes left, Arsenal finally scored. Arsenal latched onto a poor clearance by Westerveld, and Robert Pirès played Ljungberg clean through; the Swede rounded the Dutch goalkeeper and fired home to make it 1–0. Moments later Henry was given a chance to make it 2–0, but was denied by an excellent point-blank save by Westerveld.
Liverpool survived the Arsenal onslaught, and finally, having made some key attacking substitutions, these including their highest goalscorer Robbie Fowler, found a foothold in the game when Owen equalised with eight minutes left. Arsenal failed to clear substitute Gary McAllister's free kick, and Owen pounced with a right foot finish past Seaman from eight yards. Liverpool's comeback was completed five minutes later in the 88th minute with extra time looming; Owen was released down the left by a terrifically weighted long ball pass from substitute Patrik Berger, with the type of vision which had been earlier missing from their play, and he outpaced both Tony Adams and Lee Dixon before shooting low and accurately past Seaman, beating him at the far post. Liverpool held onto their lead for the few minutes remaining, and won the Cup.
|12 May 2001
|Arsenal||1–2||Liverpool||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
Referee: Steve Dunn (Gloucestershire)
|Ljungberg 72'||Report||Owen 83', 88'|