Arsenal v Manchester United - Player ratings

Last updated : 23 May 2005 By Mike Bohndiek
We did not play well throughout the 120 minutes, but as the old cliché goes, if you don't take your chances you will be made to pay and that is exactly what happened. It went to penalties, and then it comes down to who has the most bottle, and that is where we edged them out. We had bottle in abundance. Nobody can argue that, you only have to look at the way we took our penalties to see that it is the case. Fittingly it was the skipper who put away the final kick, to send us mental and have the Mancs heading for the exits, not even waiting to see their team pick up their runners up medals. The season is over and it has been a good one on the whole, so bring on next season for what will be the closest league finish in recent memory. We have a trophy to defend and one to win back, so bring it on!

Key Incidents

Red Card (Arsenal) (120 + 3) –What an absolute joke! It was literally the last action of the game, and there was just no need for it. For Rob Styles to send him off was totally pointless, as he would not have taken a penalty anyway, and we will now get that decision over turned with ease.

Man Of The Match – Jens Lehmann

Player Ratings

Jens Lehmann - 9 - What a game he had! He made save after save as we came under increasing pressure in the second half and into extra time. A good save from Rooney and two from Scholes are few of many examples I could give. He swept the area well, beating Giggs to a through ball to clear our lines. His penalty save was superb, despite being at a good height for him, as the power put in it would have beaten most keepers.

Ashley Cole - 6.5 - He has come in for some criticism for his performance for this match, which I feel is quite unjust. He did not play as well as he can defensively, but he made good attacking runs, and helped stop Man United attacks at an early stage. When you are left alone to face Rooney he is always going to beat you on most occasions. Nowhere near worth the 3/10 that he was widely credited with. Put away a neat penalty which gave Carroll no chance.

Kolo Toure - 6.5 - Gave a good performance. Most notably, he mad one tremendous interception early in the second half, taking a certain goal away from the feet of Rooney.

Philippe Senderos - 8 - You can't help but love this guy. To see how happy he was after that match was really something to behold. He played well, with many clearances and interceptions helping us survive the United barrage.

Lauren - 6 - He, like Ash, came in for heavy criticism which was unfair on him. Due to Fabregas drifting in field, he was left exposed against Ronaldo, which was always going to be hard to deal with. However, people pointing to him conceding too many free kicks as a bad point to his game is utter rubbish, as Ronaldo went down whenever the wind changed direction! He also had the courage to step up and take our first spot kick, for which he deserves credit.

Robert Pires - 6 - He was good in spells, but lacked consistency. Having helped Ash out in the first half, he neglected his duties for the second allowing Rooney too much space.

Patrick Vieira - 7 - Got stuck right into the midfield, putting in many good challenges, making good forward runs and making sure that no Man U player had too much time on the ball. Stuck away the deciding penalty with confidence.

Gilberto - 6 - Misplaced one or two passes, but otherwise had his normal game.

Cesc Fabregas - 6 - He left Ralph too exposed for much of the game, but for him this is more understandable as he is a central midfielder by nature.

Dennis Bergkamp - 6 - Struggled to make a real impact on the game, as he was for the most part the furthest man forward, which is not his best position. However, his main input to the day was announcing that he will be staying for another year.

Jose Reyes - 6 - Had one early chance when he rounded Carroll, but he couldn't pick out that elusive ball and was (wrongfully) sent off late on.


Edu - 5 - Made little impact on the game.

Freddie Ljungberg - 6 - After an early flourish he faded away. However, his penalty was excellent.

Robin Van Persie - 7 - Nearly snatched the game in extra time with a bending free kick. Well played to him for having the bottle to step up and take a penalty. Incase you had not yet heard, that was the first penalty he had taken in his career!