Arsenal's Cup in safe hands

One-nil to the Arsenal: Captain Seaman lifts the trophy as big decision on his future awaits

Having lost the League title to the Red Devils, Arsenal yesterday defeated the Saints in the 122nd FA Cup final in what was probably David Seaman's last appearance for them. In doing so Arsenal also become only the third club since the 19th century to retain the Cup. That they matched the achievement of their north London neighbours Tottenham (1981 and 1982) will have made it even more satisfying.

The other team to have accomplished the feat is Newcastle United in the 1950s and it was their present manager, Sir Bobby Robson, who handed the trophy to Seaman. The 39-year-old goalkeeper, captain in the absence of Patrick Vieira, will have to decide today whether to accept Arsenal's offer to become a coach or seek another Premiership club. "We were under big pressure to get this trophy and we got it," Seaman said later. "We were so determined to win it. We believe in ourselves." As for his own future he claimed: "It is out of my hands, so to speak." The trophy, however, was not.

It was a deserved victory, achieved with the passion that deserted them in the League. The goal, in the 38th minute, provided some recompense for Robert Pires who missed last year's final, and the World Cup, due to a cruciate knee injury.

Southampton were fortunate not to earn the dubious distinction of suffering the quickest dismissal in the competition's history. Claus Lundekvam went unpunished for a clear pull on the outstanding man of the match, Thierry Henry, as he headed for goal after just 20 seconds.

It was Arsenal's ninth victory in their 16th appearance with Seaman and Ray Parlour equalling Mark Hughes' record of four winners' medals. For Southampton their sole trophy success, in a 118-year history, is still that famous FA Cup victory over Manchester United in 1976. Yesterday they never threatened to reach the same heights in the third final to be played at the Millennium Stadium. The closest they came was in added time when James Beattie's header was diverted off the line.

After a morning of heavy rain it was also the first final to be played under a roof and the slick conditions, before a crowd of 73,726, appeared to suit Arsenal. The win means that they have salvaged something from a season that had promised greater riches. Their manager, Arsène Wenger, said: "The team were under immense pressure because they were scared to finish without a trophy." There was more good news for Arsenal with Henry confirming that he had signed a new contract. "I wanted to make people aware of what I want to do and of my desire for the club." Yesterday that desire ran through all the Arsenal shirts.

Sport
football This was Kane’s night, even if he played just a small part of it
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss