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The 23rd anniversary: 26 May 1989. Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2

What can one say about this evening 23 years ago?

Liverpool were on a sensational run of league victories:

  • 1972–73,
  • 1975–76,
  • 1976–77,
  • 1978–79,
  • 1979–80,
  • 1981–82,
  • 1982–83,
  • 1983–84,
  • 1985–86,
  • 1987–88,
  • 1989–90

11 championships in two decades – and having won the league in 1988 they undoubtedly expected to win it again in 1989.

Compare this with Arsenal through the 70s and 80s

  • 1970–71,
  • 1988–89

And yet, amazingly despite only one championship through the whole period up to that night in 1989, we won the league at Liverpool by 0-2.

Perhaps what is also interesting is that after that defeat and Micky Thomas’ winner – followed by an attempted head stand, Liverpool only won the league once more – the following season.  Since 1990 they have failed to get their hands on the trophy – 22 years ago.

All we can do is think of what we remember from that night.  I remember George Graham trying to keep everyone calm.  A hopeless task.  I remember Perry Groves saying that Graham, when bringing him on as a substitute, had given him the instructions, “go on and run around a bit”.

I seem to remember Micky Thomas being back in defence just after scoring the second goal – mopping up a Liverpool attack.

I remember feeling so desperately sad with 10 minutes to go that we had come so close.

I remember phone calls into the night from friends saying thank goodness those Merseysiders had been beaten at last on a ground where they were renowned for the penalty in front of the Kop with five minutes to go.

And watching it on TV, the commentator doing all the usual rubbish about Arsenal “keeping their powder dry” and so on and so forth.

Oh and I remember how Arsenal also handed out flowers to the Liverpool fans before the match – yes I remember that bit too.

What a moment of history.  I know there’s no more one can say that hasn’t already been said 1000 times but even so, this day has to be recorded and noted each year.   There ought to be a statue to Micky Thomas – upside down trying to stand on his head.

And one to Alan Smith who scored the first of the two goals we needed.

They don’t write history like this any more.

———————-

The Updated Database of Arsenal Anniversaries

3 comments to The 23rd anniversary: 26 May 1989. Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2

  • spicy

    even thinking about that night makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and if i watch the micky thomas goal it makes my eyes glaze over with pride it was the first league championship win i had seen and i had been to most of the matches home and away i couldent get to anfield because of work commitments but on the way home that day i took a detour on my moped and stopped outside the marble halls and said a little prayer of course as we know it was answered not many people apart from us gooners (and a few of us had doubts) thought we could do it my main memory apart from the two goals is steve mcmanaman walking around the pitch while i think kevin richardson was getting treatmant wagging one finger up at the other liverpool players and telling them to boot the ball to the corners it always brings a smile to my face that one little gesture ive followed the gunners since 1967 and that is m proudest moment even now writeing this thinking of that night my eyes are welling up it was a great great night and should be remembered as such in our history

  • spicy

    just watched the link even seeing that makes me grin fron ear to ear and and eyes water over at the same time ive seen some great and important arsenal games over the years seen some fantastic results but that game is my greatest ever arsenal moment i have watched it over and over and the effect on me is still the same

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