Football: Wembley man-for-man marking

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The Independent Online
Manchester United

1 Peter Schmeichel

Another clean sheet in his penultimate competitive match for United, which was largely trouble free. Most awkward moment: lost the ball 18 yards out but Ketsbaia hit the post.

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2 Gary Neville

When last at Wembley was exposed as Poland scored against England but Neville Snr had a much easier time as neither Solano nor Domi were able to really test his pace.

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4 David May

Having lately made more appearances on United's cable TV station than on their teamsheet, May coped ably on his return to the fray, helping to keep Shearer quiet.

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5 Ronny Johnsen

In because of Jaap Stam's Achilles heel injury, the centre-back proved to be a steady replacement. His legs were fresh enough to move into midfield when Stam came on.

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12 Phil Neville

Capable deputy for the suspended Denis Irwin and, like his elder brother on the opposite flank, was never consistently tested by Newcastle, who generally lacked width.

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7 David Beckham

Moved into central midfield when Keane was substituted and United missed the quality of his crosses from the right. But he kept the side's forward momentum going well.

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16 Roy Keane

How else could his week end? Jailed for a night and suspended for next Wednesday's European Cup final, he was injured in the second minute and substituted in the ninth.

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18 Paul Scholes

Scorer of a hat-trick on his last Wembley appearance, for England, Scholes' slide-rule pass set up United's first goal and he tucked away the second as United moved up a gear.

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11 Ryan Giggs

The Welsh winger, who drifted in and out of the first half, gave Griffin an increasingly torrid time in the second and set up several good chances, all spurned.

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9 Andy Cole

Always busy. His best first-half chance, a lob over Harper's advance, fell short and was easily cleared. Rested after an hour.

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20 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Chosen in preference to top-scorer Yorke, he moved to the right flank when Keane went off. Missed a header from six yards in 32nd minute but won the ball for United's second goal.

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10 Teddy Sheringham

Inspired substitution? On after nine minutes, scored 96 seconds later and went on to give a lesson in linking play and probing a weak central defence. Deserved a second goal.

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19 Dwight Yorke

Nice to have your leading scorer to bring on at 2-0 up with 30 minutes remaining. Within seconds he missed a header from five yards.

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6 Jaap Stam

On in 77th minute to test Achilles heel ahead of the European Cup final in Barcelona.

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Newcastle United

13 Steve Harper

Repeatedly exposed by his defence in his first FA Cup game for the Magpies, the goalkeeper looked increasingly nervous, and with good reason. The deficit could have been heavier.

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38 Andrew Griffin

Had a good battle with Giggs, one crunching tackle on the Welshman causing the former Stoke full-back a bloody nose, and stood up well under second-half pressure.

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16 Laurent Charvet

Like Ruud Gullit a former Chelsea player, the Frenchman looked comfortable on the ball but not under pressure. Marginally the better of the Magpies' vulnerable centre-backs.

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34 Nikos Dabizas

No need for the Reds to beware Greeks bearing gifts - the former Olympiakos player gave away the ball for United's second, and killer, goal. Did not resound with assurance.

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4 Didier Domi

Won the French Cup last season and looked good when moving forward on Newcastle's left flank. But threatened much more than he delivered. Defensively? The jury's still out.

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7 Robert Lee

After seven seasons, the Magpies' former skipper spent what was probably his last game for them ineffectually patrolling the right wing. Can remember only one cross.

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12 Dietmar Hamann

The first German to play in an FA Cup final since Bert Trautmann was the only player booked (six mins) and contributed best Newcastle shot (36 mins). Subbed at half-time.

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11 Gary Speed

In the vernacular, Newcastle's most-improved player "put himself about a bit", hence Keane's early departure. Influence waned badly in the second half.

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24 Nolberto Solano

The first Peruvian to play in an FA Cup final had the game's first shot, held at the second attempt, but tended to drift in and out of play.

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9 Alan Shearer

England's captain tussled with but could not get the better of May and Johnsen despite much Newcastle first -half possession. He looked a resistable force.

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14 Temuri Ketsbaia

The Georgian, Newcastle's best player in last year's final, was busy but ineffective, dropped into midfield when Ferguson came on, and was later substituted.

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20 Duncan Ferguson

Introduced at half-time, for Hamann, he won balls in the air, as expected, and caused some consternation for his first 15 minutes, but lack of match fitness meant he soon faded.

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10 Silvio Maric

On for Solano after 68 minutes, the Croatian was off target with his team's best chance, a one-on-one with Schmeichel from 16 yards.

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17 Stephen Glass

Came on for Ketsbaia after 79 minutes when the game was over as a contest.

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Referee: Peter Jones (Loughborough) Only one booking, you hardly knew he was on the pitch. In other words, good refereeing. 8

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