Alan Smith (52)
Michael Thomas (90)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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