Football: Cup Final: The final analysis: Player-by-player verdicts By Geoff Brown

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Arsenal

1 David Seaman

England's best keeper spent most of the first half toning his tan. He had just one accurate shot to save in the period. Only looked in trouble when Shearer's second-half shot hit the post.

7

2 Lee Dixon

With Ketsbaia favouring 's right, the full-back had few chances to get forward. But he defended comfortably and was rarely in difficulties.

7

14 Martin Keown

His one mistake, when he trod on the ball and let in Shearer, nearly gifted Newcastle an equaliser. That aside, he had a typically efficient game.

7

6 Tony Adams

The captain's duel with his England colleague Alan Shearer went his way. A tussle on the edge of the penalty area might have conceded a penalty, but instead cost Shearer a booking soon after.

7

3 Nigel Winterburn

Defensively sound on his 502nd appearance for the Gunners, with one outstanding tackle late in the second half denying Shearer, who was shaping to shoot from eight yards out.

7

15 Ray Parlour

Set up excellent first-half chance for Anelka; fired over when fed by Overmars. His second-half pass set Anelka free for 's second goal. Run and shot into side-netting capped a fine all-round game.

8

4 Patrick Vieira

Patrolled midfield with customary authority and composure. As usual, looked stronger the longer the game went on as he stifled Newcastle's late attempts to find a rhythm.

8

17 Emmanuel Petit

Provided the pass inside Pistone from which Overmars scored. Scarcely a misplaced pass all afternoon. Unflustered, impeccable first half and with Vieira won the midfield battle with Lee and Batty.

8

12 Christopher Wreh

Preferred to Ian Wright as Bergkamp's replacement, pulled down Parlour's pass and shot high just wide near half-time. But did not threaten often enough. Substituted after an hour.

6

9 Nicolas Anelka

Missed a header from six yards from 's third corner and missed another four minutes later from even closer in. But when he got a chance with his feet, the final was over as a contest.

6

11 Marc Overmars

Gave Pistone a torrid afternoon, beating him in the second minute and winning a corner and brushing him off to score in the 25th. Late on, an impudent long shot nearly caught out Given.

8

7 David Platt

On in the 63rd minute, for Wreh, as were pressed back, the midfielder bolstered the defence and then helped look dangerous as they caught Newcastle on the break.

6

Newcastle United

Rating

1 Shay Given

The busier keeper, the Republic of Ireland custodian might have done better with Overmars' goal, which went through his legs, but he had no chance with Anelka's shot.

6

23 Alessandro Pistone

Had his work cut out to police Overmars. Let the Dutch winger get on the wrong side of him to score. Distribution deteriorated thereafter. Fared no better when switched to left-back.

3

34 Nikos Dabizas

A success since arriving from Olympiakos, he was the third Magpie booked, a foul on Parlour, but hit the crossbar with a second half header as Newcastle strove for some reward on a difficult day.

5

6 Steve Howey

Compared with 's centre-backs, Howey and Dabizas were always busy and looked troubled by the pace of the Gunners' forwards. He might have been sent off when he pulled down Parlour.

5

12 Stuart Pearce

Newcastle's left-back had little opportunity to get forward and only one chance to let fly with the left-boot at a free-kick. Gave way to Watson.

5

2 Warren Barton

Could have done more to help Pistone deal with Overmars in the first half; booked early in the second for a foul on Petit. Perspired but rarely looked class.

5

7 Robert Lee

Had a typically busy game, breaking up 's patterns, but had scant time to get forward in the first half. Pushed on in the second but made little real impression on the Gunners' sure defences.

6

4 David Batty

Like Lee, the England midfielder worked tirelessly but in truth did not unsettle the French axis of Vieira-Petit.

6

11 Gary Speed

Had trouble getting into the game when Newcastle seemed unwilling to use width in the first half. Missed target when set up by Andersson a minute from the end.

5

14 Temur Ketsbaia

Given a rare start, revelled in Wembley's spaces and was Newcastle's danger man with shots in the 10th and 27th minutes. Had a less effective second half and was replaced late on by John Barnes.

7

9 Alan Shearer

Received little service in the first half, looking a tad petulant. A Keown error gave him a chance in the second, his shot hitting the post, but he reacted too slowly to a second chance. Not match sharp?

5

40 Andreas Andersson

Came on in the 72nd minute for Pearce when United were 2-0 down. Fashioned a good chance for Speed in the closing minutes but the Welsh midfielder spurned it.

5

19 Steve Watson

Replaced Barton with 13 minutes of normal time remaining and took over chasing after Overmars.

5

Comments