[Including: Merlin’s Premier League Stickers of the Week: Arsenal Legends… 1988/89]
With Premier League leaders Man United set to face second place Man City on Monday night in a match that could decide the fate of the title this season it seems like a good time to look back at another title deciding bout from the season I was born. In 1988/89 however, due to the Hillsborough disaster the meeting between the top two clubs was postponed until the very end of the season.
Anything other than an Arsenal win by at least two clear goals would see Liverpool clinch the title, the problem for the Gunners was that Liverpool had not lost by two or more goals at Anfield in three years, Arsenal hadn’t beaten them there since 1974/75 and Liverpool had never lost a match with both John Aldridge and Ian Rush up front!
“Now I’ve heard of Liverpool. They’re famous for being good, aren’t they? Gary Lineker, Peter Shilton, all that lot.”
– Jo in Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch
Despite Lineker and Shilton never having played for Liverpool, Jo had it about right.
Over to Mr George Graham…
“Arsenal come streaming forward now in surely what will be their last attack. A good ball by Dixon, finding Smith, for Thomas, charging through the midfield… it’s up for grabs now… Thomas, right at the end!!!”
– Brian Moore
Level on points, level on Goal Difference, Arsenal had won the league on goals scored:
Which brings us to the Premier League Stickers of the Week: the Arsenal team that started that day and brought the Division One trophy back to Highbury (although O’Leary features as an 80’s Panini because I somehow failed to collect him as either a player or a manager!)
From 1993/94: John Lukic (Leeds United), Lee Dixon, Tony Adams, Nigel Winterburn, David Rocastle (Leeds United), Kevin Richardson (Aston Villa), Alan Smith (repeat)
From 1994/95: Steve Bould
From 1995/96: Michael Thomas (Liverpool!!!)
From 1996/97: Paul Merson
[Panini 1987/88: David O’Leary]
[All these (and more…) can be found in the Sticker Archive]