When Arsenal beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final by stinking the place out

  • Arsenal faced Manchester United in the 2005 FA Cup final in Cardiff.
  • Arsenal played 4-5-1 and won on penalties.
  • They did so wearing this pretty smart shirt.
  • Grab your vintage Arsenal and Manchester United in our sale and get 20% off.  Ends tonight.

In 2004-05 Arsenal and Manchester United battled out a dour FA cup final in Cardiff. A match Arsenal won on penalties in a rare glimpse of pragmatism from Arsene Wenger.

Both teams had a pretty straight forward route to the final.  Arsenal faced Blackburn in the semi finals and United faced Newcastle United.  With Chelsea dominating the Premier League, the FA cup provided a good opportunity at trophies for both teams.


Thierry Henry was out for Arsenal and Arsene didn’t take any chances playing a 4-5-1 with Bergkamp as the lone front man.  They soaked up pressure from United and in particular Rooney who was the Man of the Match.

With no goals in the 90 minutes and extra time the match went to penalties.

  • Van Nistelrooy was up first.  No messing.  GOAL.
  • Then Lauren.  The coolest Cameroonian from 12 yards.  GOAL.
  • Up next Scholes.  Bottom right.  MISS.
  • Freddie.  Shaved head and lovely cheekbones.  GOAL.
  • Ronaldo.  Don’t even need to write it.  GOAL.
  • Baby faced Van Persie.  Left foot.  GOAL.
  • Baby faced Wazza with lots of hair.  Head down.  GOAL.
  • Oh a surprise.  Ashley Cole.  Why him?  Doesn’t matter.  GOAL.
  • Angry Roy Keane.  Not going to miss is he.  No.  GOAL.
  • To win it.  Vieira.  Roy Carroll has no chance.  GOAL.

After the game Robert Pires (who didn’t take a penalty as he was subbed off) said that Arsene chose to be more pragmatic.

The coach decided to change the system to 4–5–1. It was different. We used to win by scoring lots of goals, but this time we won by being strong mentally and defensively. The only way we were going to win this final was on penalties.

And it paid off.  Arsenal wore this lovely Nike shirt on the day.  Central crest with O2 sponsor and yellow trim.

Grab your vintage Arsenal and Manchester United in our sale and get 20% off.  Ends tonight.


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