2002-03 season was shaping to be a glorious season. Achieving the double in 2001-02 was always going to be a difficult task but the squad set about retaining both trophies with determination. Having topped the Premier League for a considerable amount of the season, it went wrong with a 2 – 2 draw at home to eventual champions, Manchester United in March 2003.
The FA Cup was a different matter. The road to Cardiff was dealt with effectively. Oxford United and Farnborough Town were comfortably beaten at Highbury – even if the latter was an away game – before a trip to Old Trafford more noted for the cut to David Beckham’s head than Ryan Giggs astonishing open goal miss. Arsenal needed no second invitation and duly won 2 – 0. Chelsea provided the next opposition and forced a replay at Stamford Bridge. It looked a tricky assignment with Chelsea beginning their revolution but Arsenal made light work, winning 3 – 1.
Which led to Old Trafford and Sheffield United. Freddie Ljunberg scored the winner, often forgotten is the controversy at the time with this possibly being the last time that a referee did Arsenal a favour.
Was this David Seaman’s best save? It is certainly one that sticks in the mind but much of that is down to the fact that he was so unfussy in his work, undemonstrative and positionally sound, with the odd exception. How a good a goalkeeper he was is defined by how easy he made his art seem.