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FA Cup final player ratings

Arsenal:

David Seaman: 7
Only had one save to make in the first 80 minutes. Stuck out his left arm to beat away Heskey's header, then reached for the pipe and slippers, only to be woken from his slumber by Owen's late double. No chance with the first and was caught out by superb finish for the winner.

Lee Dixon (withdrawn 89 mins): 6
Solid defending and some penetrating runs down the right. But his fading pace was exposed two minutes from time when he was outstripped by Owen for the winner.

Ashley Cole: 6
Like Dixon, made some lively raids down the flank. Was denied a goal when his snap-shot was cleared off the line by Hyypia. A striker's instinct could have made all the difference.

Tony Adams: 7
So cool in the heat as he defied his years in his battle with the spritely Owen. But, crucially, the skipper fluffed his header in a crowded penalty box to present Owen with his goal and failed to make up the ground for the winner.

Martin Keown: 8
A tower of strength at the heart of the Arsenal defence and superbly denied Owen as he homed in on goal with the score at 1-0. Failed to block the striker for his equaliser though.

Freddie Ljungberg (withdrawn 84 mins): 8
Pink hair, yellow card and red hot down the right wing. All in all a lively afternoon for the Swede before he was substituted six minutes from time. Saw a deft chip cleared off the line before bagging a brilliantly-taken first FA Cup goal.

Patrick Vieira: 9
A class act. Won his midfield duel with Gerrard and kept the Arsenal engine room ticking over smoothly. Tackled superbly and was at the heart of most of Arsenal's threats.

Gilles Grimandi: 6
Quietly effective at the heart of the Arsenal midfield. Some neat passing, but lacked the domination of his midfield partner Vieira and unable to plug gaps late on as Arsenal became stretched.

Robert Pires: 6
Lively and inventive, often switching flanks in a bid to open up Liverpool's massed ranks. Played perfectly-weighted pass for Ljungberg's goal but often looked frustrated.

Sylvain Wiltord (withdrawn 74 mins): 5
Few chances to shine, but saw a stinging volley blocked by Babbel early in the second half. Made way for Parlour after Ljungberg's opener.

Thierry Henry: 7
Always a threat but missed a string of chances to put game beyond Liverpool. Early shot handled on line by Henchoz and was later denied by stunning Westerveld stop before fluffing the follow-up.

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Substitutes:

Ray Parlour: 6
Came on for Wiltord as Arsenal looked to protect their lead but, agonisingly, was helpless to halt the Liverpool fightback. Needed more time to stamp his mark on the game.

Kanu: 6
The final six minutes represent his only FA Cup contribution this season and must have wished he had not bothered. No chance to make an impression on the game.

Dennis Bergkamp: 6
Four minutes (including stoppage time) to try and rescue Arsenal's wrecked dream. Never had a chance to shine as he added to the cup misery of three years ago, when he missed out through injury.

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Liverpool:
Sander Westerveld: 7
Woeful kick set up Arsenal's opener but the Liverpool keeper made up for his mistake with some crucial saves. First blocked from Henry with his feet, then brilliantly kept out a point-blank effort from the same player.

Marcus Babbel: 6
Confident and assured despite waves of Arsenal pressure. Made a vital block to deny Wiltord six minutes into the second half and rarely ruffled by Arsenal raids.

Stephane Henchoz: 7
Had a lucky escape early on when his handball on the line from Henry's shot went unnoticed. Booked for second-half foul on Henry but kept his cool in tense finale.

Sami Hyypia: 8
Outstanding season continued with a vital cup final hat-trick of clearances. Denied Cole first, then Henry twice to keep Liverpool in touch. A tower of strength despite heavy artillery from the Gunners.

Jamie Carragher: 6
Tackled tigerishly and stuck to his task well. Forward runs were limited as Liverpool adopted a safety-first approach but Carragher remained patient.

Danny Murphy (withdrawn 77 mins): 5
Never really got into the game and was substituted after Arsenal's opener as Berger was thrust into the action. Lack of forward ambition meant Murphy had little chance to shine early on.

Dietmar Hamann (withdrawn 60 mins): 5
Was outshone in midfield by the oustanding Vieira and when Hamann made way for McAllister on the hour, Liverpool looked a brighter force. Booked for a late tackle on Vieira.

Steven Gerrard: 6
Failed to get the better of Vieira in their eagerly-anticipated duel and was reduced to a bit part as a result. Worked hard and tackled well and saw an early long-range effort whistle over the bar.

Vladimir Smicer (withdrawn 77 mins): 5
Rarely in the game as Liverpool sat deep. Made way for Fowler with 13 minutes to go, capping a disappointing afternoon for the midfielder.

Emile Heskey: 6
Frustrating afternoon up front. Few chances to shine but saw a header superbly blocked by Seaman early in the second half. An outrageous dive failed to win an early penalty and spent too much time on the floor, but crucially broke up an Arsenal attack to set up move which led to Owen's winner.

Michael Owen: 9
Hungry and keen to impress after missing out on Liverpool's Worthington Cup win. Battled away patiently as Arsenal's defence held firm, but when age began to catch up with the Gunners, Owen came to the fore. Two brilliantly-taken late goals see his name etched in FA Cup folklore.

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Substitutes:

Gary McAllister: 6
On for Hamann with an hour on the clock and immediately breathed life into Liverpool. Positive thinking and late driving proved crucial in the end.

Patrick Berger: 6
On for Murphy with 13 minutes left and immediately looked more dangerous. Had a late shot blocked as Liverpool caught fire in the closing stages and played a superb ball over the top for Owen to run on to and crack the winner.

Robbie Fowler: 6
Had a face like thunder after being left out of the starting line-up but was smiling by 5pm. Squandered a late chance to bag a goal and probably should have set up Owen for his hat-trick chance instead.

Copyright - BBC

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