West Ham 1 Arsenal 1 (aet, 3-4 on penalties)

  • By: Martin Lipton, PA Sport Chief Soccer Writer
  • Last Updated: May 22 2012, 10:00 BST

Ten man Arsenal won a dramatic penalty shoot-out after playing for 87 minutes

without sent off Dennis Bergkamp in a nerve-shredding FA Cup quarter-final


It finally ended in heartbreak for West Ham as Samassi Abou's sudden death

spot-kick hit a post.

The Super-resilient Gunners looked dead and buried when Dutch ace Bergkamp was

shown the red card for the second time in his Highbury career after only 33


Bergkamp thrust an elbow into the face of Hammers captain Steve Lomas in

answer to a tug of his shirt inside the centre circle.

Arsenal's hopes of reaching the semi-finals - and a repeat meeting of their

1979 clash with Wolves at Villa Park next month - looked forlorn as they faced

up to the inevitable barrage from their London neighbours who had failed to beat

them on four previous occasions this season.

But before West Ham could find their winning stride, teenage French striker

Nicolas Anelka stunned Upton Park by firing Arsenal infront with almost the last

kick of the first half.

West Ham's frenzied efforts to rescue their Wembley hopes met a brick wall of

Arsenal resistance, with another teenager, Austrian goalkeeper Alex Manninger,

taking over the hero's role with a series of heart-stopping saves.

But even he was beaten six minutes from the end of normal time when ex-Gunner

John Hartson finally made his mark against the club who sold him to the Hammers

in a £5million deal a year ago.

But extra-time still did not weaken Arsenal's resolve and Hartson was to end

up with more disappointment when his effort in the penalty shoot-out came back

off a post.

A similar fate met Abou's effort after Arsenal skipper Tony Adams had potted

his team 4-3 infront in a climax that was as theatrical as all that went


Arsenal's leg-weary troops somehow found enough energy to dance jigs of joy at

the end but now they face the semi-final without 18-goal Bergkamp who also

misses key Premiership matches against Newcastle and Bolton for his second

sending off in two seasons. He has also collected nine yellow cards this


But after this momentous effort Arsenal will still believe that the league and

cup double is a growing possibility.

West Ham blew their Wembley chance by failing to cash in on Bergkamp's

dismissal. Their passing and team-work lacked the cohesion to break down the

Gunners' renowned powers of defence, with Adams and Martin Keown typifying their

effort once more in another against the odds triumph.

And West Ham could easily have been down to ten men themselves when Abou

appeared to butt Keown in trying to shake off his grip following a corner in the

52nd minute.

Referee Mike Reed who booked seven players and sent off Bergkamp, missed that

one and also what seemed a clear stamp by Hartson on Arsenal's Patrick Vieira.

Midfielder Vieira and his French pal Manu Petit ran miles and sweated buckets

to stem the tide of West Ham attacks.

But they couldn't have done it without the wonderful goalkeeping of Manninger

who time after time flung his frame across goal to keep out Hartson (twice),

Frank Lampard and Abou.

He was finally beaten just when Arsenal looked like holding on to the

advantage of Anelka's unstoppable 45th minute blast from Vieira's pass but it

took a goal of real quality by Hartson to do it.

After Lee Dixon gave the ball away, the non-stop Berkovic channelled it

through on the left and Hartson had only one aim in mind as he cut into the box,

stepped past Keown and delivered his drive just inside the near post before

Adams could get in a challenge.

Even in extra-time it looked odds on a Hammers win as exhausted Arsenal were

reduced to using two tiny substitutes, Portugal's Luis Boa Morte and Liberian

Christopher Wreh up-front after Anelka had run himself out.

West Ham just pumped the ball forward at will and congested the game almost

exclusively in and around the opposition penalty area and yet Manninger needed

only two more dashes of heroism smothering shots by substitutes John Moncur and

tireless Berkovic before it went to a penalty shoot-out.

Both teams had experienced one of these before in the cup runs but unlike at

Blackburn in the fifth round, West Ham lost their spot kick touch.

Substitute Steve Hughes easily buried the first for Arsenal and David Unsworth

equalised before Hartson hit a post.

Wreh's miss had given the Welshman the chance of glory again but just as in

the Coca-Cola Cup meeting between the teams in January he couldn't make it


Boa Morte put Arsenal 2-1 up, Lampard levelled and Hammers had another great

opportunity after Remi Garde was off target.

But then Manninger crowned his glorious performance with a flying save to keep

out Berkovic's penalty and although Lomas equalised the next Arsenal success by

Vieira it was finally left to Abou, the man from the Ivory Coast to throw it all

away after Adams had thrust Arsenal ahead again.

Abou kept his shot low and it would have beaten Manninger but Hammers held

their heads in anguish as the ball bounced back off the foot of a post.

West Ham: Lama, Potts, Unsworth, Hartson, Lomas, Ferdinand,

Lazaridis, Lampard, Pearce (Moncur 45), Abou, Berkovic.

Subs Not Used: Forrest, Bishop, Mean, Hodges.

Booked: Abou, Lomas.

Goals: Hartson 84.

Arsenal: Manninger, Dixon, Winterburn, Vieira, Adams,

Anelka (Wreh 82), Bergkamp, Overmars (Hughes 65), Keown,

Petit (Boa Morte 90), Garde.

Subs Not Used: Lukic, Grimandi.

Sent Off: Bergkamp (33).

Booked: Garde, Boa Morte, Hughes, Winterburn.

Goals: Anelka 45.

Att: 25,859

Ref: M D Reed (Birmingham).