As you watch the clip from the Liverpool vs Arsenal match of 2001, you can practically experience the euphoria that flooded the crowd when Michael Owen scored two second-half goals to give Liverpool victory over Arsenal. This was no small feat. The last time these two English teams had met on in the FA cup final was in 1971, where Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1 in extra time. That meant that the Liverpool team was under pressure to deliver a win for the sake of their fans and their own personal pride.
So, why was this match was such an important moment in Michael Owen’s history? Michael Owen was a fantastic player and helped make Liverpool the successful football team that it is today. Read on to learn more about this historic football event!
The Historical Context: Arsenal vs Liverpool
As you can see from the image above, the rivalry between Arsenal and Liverpool was mostly because of how evenly matched they were. After all, they were only separated by one point in the final league table 1971. Arsenal finished second with seventy points and Liverpool finished third with sixty-nine points. Therefore, there was an innate desire to distinguish themselves from one another. Yes, they both had fantastic players that could work their magic on the pitch, but to be shown as similar in stature made the rivalry more intense. It was time for one team to claim ascendancy.
This was certainly shown in the 2001 match at the Millennium Stadium where Michael Owen showed the true stamina and power of Liverpool’s football team.
The build-up: Arsenal
Leading up to the finals, Arsenal had already a run of successes against strong teams like Blackburn and Chelsea. Their real challenge was their London rival, Tottenham, in the semi-final. Luckily enough for Liverpool, their route to the final was relatively easier with victories over teams like Rotherham and a struggling Man City. However, they did have to overcome the challenge of Leeds, beating them 2-0 at Elland Road, and the Wycombe Wanderers from the third tier of English football were on an incredible cup run. This meant they reached their first final since losing to Man UTD in 1996. It was time for them to play off against Arsenal.
The Match: Michael Owen’s triumph
Football greats Robbie Fowler and Dennis Bergkamp were benched for this game, Michael Owen and Emile Heskey were up front for Liverpool and Thierry Henry and Sylvain Wiltord for Arsenal. At the start of the match, Emille Heskey hit the ground after a tackle from Gilles Grimandi. However the penalty appeal was refused by the referee, Steve Dunn. Another penalty appeal was declined, this time from Arsenal, when Thierry Henrys’ effort on goal was stopped by Stephane Henchoz on the goal line. The footage did show that Stephane Henchoz was in contact with the ball with his arm, but the match still continued.
Arsenal were in possession of the ball more due to Liverpool’s unsuccessful counter-attack. However, the teams were well-matched and in deadlock by half-time. In the second half, Emille Heskey had a good early chance with a header but this was well stopped by David Seaman. The tight battle continued but eventually Arsenal took the lead through Freddie Ljungberg. Liverpool were now down one nil with only 20 minutes left on the clock.
This was when Michael Owen came into play.
With only 8 minutes left on the clock, Michael Owen with a flourish of skill, scored an equalizing goal. Arsenal failed to clear the substitute Gary McAllister’s free-kick, and Michael Owen was able to use his right foot to shoot past David Seaman from eight yards. A second goal was then scored with 2 minutes to go when Michael Owen moved onto a long ball from Patrick Berger. He managed to outpace Arsenal’s Tony Adams and Lee Dixon, and shoot accurately across David Seaman into the net.
Why was this an important event for Michael Owen?
For the majority of the game, Liverpool and Arsenal had been equal. With Arsenal scoring a goal in the second half, and with so little time left on the clock, it seemed impossible that Liverpool could do anything but tie with their competitor. However, Michael Owen smashed these odds. It may have been the adrenaline, or it could have been his natural ability as a sportsman, but he managed to outrun and outmaneuver great opposition players to bring home a win for Liverpool. In eight spectacular minutes, Micheal Owen had turned the Liverpool vs Arsenal game on its head and claimed Cup victory.
This showed his natural skill and impressive athletic ability. It shows us all that no matter how grim the odds look, there is always a chance to turn the game around. The same thing could be said for Michael Owen throughout his life, including his own battles with his injuries. No matter how badly he was hurt on the pitch, he always came back for more. Nowadays, Michael shares these stories to allow for a realistic glance into the life of a footballer. We do not just see a football legend. We see a real person who has a genuine love for the sport.
The Liverpool vs Arsenal match of 2001 made football history, and allowed Michael Owen to move forward in his career. It stands as a reminder of why we should all work hard to follow our dreams. This is so we can become the best of the best in any area that we choose to be. He truly is a role model for the next generation.
Michael Owen and Charity Work
Here at Gowing Law Solicitors, we have worked with Michael Owen for over 4 years. Not only has he visited our office, but he has also worked with us on charity projects. Michael has spearheaded our “Together in Football Foundation”. This is a charity that aims to bring together children and young people from all backgrounds. This is to enjoy a game of football. These games are held at professional stadiums and are great for building comradery and friendships that will never break.
If you are interested in learning more about our foundation, please click the link above. This will take you to our page where you can find out how you can get involved.
Gowing Law Solicitors: Excited to be partnering with Michael Owen and Communicorp!
It is Gowing Law’s aim to help as many as people as possible if they have been involved in accidents. We understand that these sort of events can be extremely traumatic. That’s why we have partnered with Michael Owen and Communicorp to bring you some advertisements. These can show you how Gowing Law can help you move forward with your case.
We wish you the best of luck with your case and hope you get in contact with us soon!