Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal

First Division, May 26, 1989

The tightest title race for almost 100 years saw Arsenal travelling to Anfield for the final game needing to win by two clear goals to deny Liverpool the championship on goals scored. It truly was "up for grabs now"...

Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989
Pause Play
Left
Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 David O'Leary, Arsenal and Peter Beardsley, Liverpool, league campaign 1989 Nigel Winterburn, Arsenal v Liverpool, league campaign 1989 Steve Bould, Liverpool v Arsenal, league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989 Arsenal v Liverpool league campaign 1989
Right
View thumbnails View full screen Turn captions on/off

Liverpool
0-2
Arsenal
Alan Smith (52)
Michael Thomas (90)

First Division, May 26, 1989
Anfield, Referee: David Hutchinson, Att: 41,718

Arsenal gave their fans and the whole of English football a night to remember as they clinched the First Division Championship in the most dramatic circumstances possible, Michael Thomas scoring the priceless goal in the final moments of the match.

Key Figures

Alan Smith

Smith's 23 league goals that season were a crucial factor in Arsenal's eventual success. Controversy surrounded his goal at Anfield, however, with Liverpool's players protesting that referee David Hutchinson had awarded an indirect free-kick and that Smith had not got a touch before the ball went in. Despite the complaints, the goal stood.

Michael Thomas

Thomas never scored a more important goal in his career. The midfielder had earlier wasted a glorious chance, shooting straight at goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar from close range. But he made no mistake when he ran on to Smith's header in the final seconds to lift the ball over the keeper and end Arsenal's 18-year wait for a league title.

Kenny Dalglish

Bidding to become the first manager to win the Double twice, having already beaten Everton in the FA Cup final, Dalglish was pipped at the final hurdle to end a difficult season for him and Liverpool. Just six weeks prior to this game, 96 Liverpool fans died in the Hillsborough disaster during the FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

Did You Know...?

It was 90 years since two teams had last gone into the final game of the season with both still having a chance of winning the championship.

Arsenal had not scored two goals at Anfield since 1974, and they had lost their previous seven league games at the ground.

Liverpool had never previously lost a game that Ian Rush and John Aldridge had started together up front.

What Happened Next

Liverpool wasted no time making up for their title disappointment, claiming their 18th championship the next season, finishing nine points clear of second-placed Aston Villa.

Arsenal suffered a disappointing season in 1989-90 in comparison to the incredible highs of the previous campaign. They could finish only fourth in the First Division, a whopping 17 points behind champions Liverpool. To rub further salt into the wounds, they also finished behind Spurs, who were third.

We want your help to grow the MirrorFootball.co.uk archive! Leave your comments about this piece of football history by clicking on the 'Your Memories' tab above. Tell us who or what you'd like to see covered in the MirrorFootball.co.uk archive by emailing archive@mirror.co.uk

Your comments

From the back pages

We Can Silence The Kop Published: May 26, 1989

'We are relaxed' says Rocastle

Top Gun Published: May 27, 1989

Tears on the Kop as Arsenal nick the League title

Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal Published: May 27, 1989

First Division match report, back page

Liverpool 0-2 Arsenal Published: May 27, 1989

First Division match report

  • Mark Lawrenson

    Talks a good game, played an even better one

  • Herbert Chapman

    The Arsene Wenger of his day      

  • Stan Collymore

    He could have been the greatest striker of his generation

  • Peter Beardsley

    Black and white (and red) all over

  • Tommy Docherty

    More clubs than... you know the rest

  • John Barnes

    When he did his thing the crowd went bananas

  • Ted Drake

    Highbury hero, title-winning Bridge boss

  • Alan Ball

    Flame-haired midfield dynamo

  • Sir Matt Busby

    The original Red Devil and father to United's brightest Babes

  • Alan Hudson

    Flamboyant and talented midfield creator

  • Malcolm Macdonald

    Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No... it's Supermac!

  • Kenny Dalglish

    Hail King Kenny of the Kop

  • Graeme Souness

    You wouldn't have fancied a 50-50 with him

  • Bob Paisley

    He was there during the bad times as well. One year they came second

  • Tony Adams

    Mr Arsenal was no donkey really