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The 2001 FA Cup Final: Liverpool v. Arsenal

The first FA Cup final held outside England saw two of the competition's most successful clubs square off at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff, as Liverpool and Arsenal, both near the top of all-time FA Cup winners, met in Wales in 2001. After the League Cup victory over Birmingham in February, and with a UEFA Cup Final date set just four days later, it was a chance for Liverpool to achieve something remarkable.

It wouldn't come easy, as Arsenal took the lead in the 72nd minute through Freddie Ljungberg after dominating for most of the opening. Liverpool found chances few and far between, but started to piece things together in the second half and were kept in the match by Sander Westerveld, who'd made a number of important saves and was responsible for keeping the deficit at only one goal when he denied Thierry Henry shortly after Ljungberg put Arsenal ahead.

That would prove vital, with Liverpool completely taking over for the final ten minutes and Michael Owen equalizing in the 83rd with a well-taken volley. He'd give his club the win five minutes later when he latched onto Patrik Berger's long pass, racing past Lee Dixon and Tony Adams to slot past David Seaman with his left foot. That version of Michael Owen is long forgotten now, but that was him at his best---phenomenal pace and terrific technique, which couldn't even be overshadowed by his terrible carthweel/flip celebration.

It couldn't quite match the finish five years later, but to that point it was one of Liverpool's most enthralling victories in the competition.

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