Discussion in 'Arsenal Talk' started by Rex Banner, Jan 17, 2019.
This is my favourite game to look back on, but watching it live was a terrible feeling
I remember being at a family wedding when I was a kid, I was so desperate to see the match me and my dad ended up watching it on a tiny TV meant for the staff in their area. I couldn’t look during the penalties
First 70 mins of the CL final . Then I pretend it's ended there and turn it off .
Most of the games have been mentioned already. One thought, I was always a Wenger fan and never turned against him but I do have one grouse: for a few years Thierry Henry really was the best player in the world, we really should have won the CL whilst he was in that kind of form.
Actually, not sure anyone's mentioned the 98 win at Utd? That Overmars goal?
Yes mate, we got absolutely battered but that moment that good old Ruud missed that penalty was amazing I think the fact that we got turned over for 120 minutes made that win so much more sweeter. Plus all my mates are United fans
Thought about it and there’s only one winner:
Inter Milan 1 - 5 Arsenal
- European fixture against a top side (Inter were arguably the best team in the world at the time)
- Away from home and against the odds
- Thierry Henry 10/10 masterclass performance
- Iconic commentary
“Will the real Arsenal please stand up”
“You’ve always got a chance when you’ve got Thierry Henry”
“Zanetti trying to catch up with him ... Henry steps inside ... Henry will have to do it alone ... AHHH”
“Steve Bruce said at the weekend that he is the best player in the world. Anybody arguing?”
Just a random niche one that sticks in my mind was a 2-0 win against Napoli in 2013. The first 20 minutes were some of the best football I've seen us play. Proper Wengerball at it's best!
I was at the first 5-2 versus Sp**s. If we'd lost we'd be 10 points behind them.Mike Dean gave them the soft peno for Bales dive then Sagna and Van Persie got two back. We destroyed them then in the second half. Such a great atmosphere then because it goes from anger, resentment, acceptance, hope and finally ecstasy.
The win at Anfield in 89 will always have a special place in my heart. I was 8 and dallying with who to support. Liverpool were the obvious choice at the time. My uncle got two jerseys for me and bro as Christmas presents. One was Liverpool and one was Arsenal. It turns out my grandad was a Gooner and asked him to get me the jersey. So I started supporting them at the start of that season and I'll never forget watching the game as Michael Thomas scored that goal. Even though you put up with a lot as a Gooner I wouldn't change for any club. The good moments outweigh the bad no matter what!
I can still see the ball being cleared off the line by Ljungberg...
Winning the title at Sp**s was magical.
Surprised it took 6 posts to get to this one. This is my all time favourite, along with the entire 2001/02 season, especially the way we finished it. An amazing run of games.
Another personal fave was the 2015/16 FA Cup for sentimental reasons, I was in London at the time by chance and got to catch up with some ex co workers from Australia who were living in London at the time, we went to one of the local Islington pubs, although the game itself was a cake walk, having never been to London before, experiencing the game in the heart of North London with 1,000s of other die hard Gooners was fantastic. Every goal we smashed in was followed up by a volley of plastic cups full of beer going all over the place.
Would love to go to an actual game one day.
I'll never forget Henry smoking one of the greatest full backs of the generation (Zanetti) - how did this guy not win a Ballon D'Or? Criminal
I'm really showing my age - Anfield 26th May 1989, Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2 (although here in New Zealand it was actually the morning of 27th May).
This is my own slightly shorter version of Fever Pitch, please forgive my self indulgence - or just don't read it!!
It was a perfect storm of emotion. I was at uni in Wellington 400 kms from home in Napier and earlier in the year I'd broken up with my first proper girlfriend and I was in a very fragile emotional state.
But first some history.
I'd come to NZ with my parents when I was 2 years old, Dad and his mother's side of the family had been Arsenal supporters forever (my great grand parents had a house in Gillespe road). My Grandad was actually a Sp**s supporter (as is my Mum's side of the family - in 1991 I was over in England and watched us lose to Tottenham in the FA Cup semifinal at my great uncle's house while he was cheering on Sp**s - but this was probably karma for Dad and I cheering on Coventry in the 1987 cup final and leaving Mum distraught as Coventry won it in extra-time), but he was not as passionate and was a lone voice against my Gran and her brothers as Dad grew up.
I had a solid indoctrination into Arsenal through my formative years. Football coverage in NZ wasn't great through the 1970s and 1980s, we used to get "The Big Match" a week after it happened so I didn't even see much of Arsenal on the TV growing up - a highlight of the week was listening to the football results being read out on the radio on Sunday mornings. But we did always get the FA Cup final live and I believe the three appearances in 1978, 79 and 80 reinforced and locked in the passion. Over here the final kicked off at 2.30 am so staying up for it and watching it with Dad and a couple of his mates was a massive thing for a small boy.
Fast forward to 1988/89.
Like I said earlier I was at Uni in Wellington and through the season I'd been writing Arsenal's results into a fixture list in the back pages of a match programme. The season offered so much promise as it progressed, but as my love life fell apart Arsenal began to stutter and Liverpool gradually pulled us in then overtook us to top the table deep into May and after all the other First Division games had been played - Liverpool's FA Cup run and Hillsborough meant that for the first time the league would be decided after the FA Cup final.
Because it was such an unusual event, the last league match of the season being played out between the top two sides, almost a week after the FA Cup final, it was screened live on TV in NZ around 7 am on a Saturday morning. The previous day I'd hitch-hiked back to Napier to watch the game with Dad and my 12 year old brother. We got up to watch the build up, tense with expectation, but also knowing that the result we wanted was unlikely - we needed to win by two goals, away from home against the club that had dominated English football for almost two decades.
I can vividly recall watching the game from the armchair next to the couch where Dad and my brother were sitting, we had the curtains pulled and the sound up higher than I'd ever had it watching TV before.
The first half was a stalemate, I remember a header early on from Steve Bould and a half chance from Rush for them. There wasn't much else action but at least we were still in it at half time - the big fear had been to concede an early goal.
Then a few minutes into the second half the ball was in the net after a Winterburn freekick which Alan Smith looked to have glanced in, but the Liverpool players were surrounding the referee claiming a foul or that Smith hadn't touched the ball, and the ref went over to talk to the linesman. As Brian Moore reviewed the replay (and he was an incredibly biased Liverpool supporting commentator) we were sick with worry but we couldn't see anything wrong with the goal, so when the ref confirmed it we were up off our seats shouting and punching the air.
With injury time there would be about another 40 minutes to go and for us to get the second goal, and as the second half progressed Liverpool sat further and further back and we pressed forward - even if we might not win the league we were going down fighting.
15 minutes from time and suddenly Michael Thomas was put in but he poked his shot straight at Grobbelaar - so close!!
For the rest of the game I sat with my legs tucked under me, not wanting to move in case I jinxed the team who were still fighting to the end.
As the clock ticked down past the 90 there was an injury to Kevin Richardson which stopped play and Brian Moore and David Pleat began delivering Arsenal's eulogy. I remember the camera focusing on Steve McMahon walking round the pitch as Richardson was being treated shouting "one f****** minute" to his team mates. I felt numb and sick, my girlfriend had dumped me and even though it had been against the odds Arsenal were going to fall short in this one last chance.
I was resigned to defeat (even though technically we were winning) as the last few minutes of injury time played out, but then came 20 seconds that have been burned into my psyche through repeated watching of the recording on VHS (I still have the tape but not a player!!).
Richardson ("a moment ago, down and injured") made a tackle and passed the ball back to Lukic, who threw it out to Dixon ("Arsenal come streaming forward in surely what must be their last attack"). Dixon hit it up the right "(a good ball by Dixon, finding Smith"), Smith controlled it then flicked it into center just outside the Liverpool penalty area to Thomas ("charging through the midfield!!"), the ball ricocheted off Nicol but suddenly Thomas was through ("it's up for grabs now!!") and he stabbed it wide of Grobbelaar into the net.
I leapt up screaming and Dad lifted me up off the floor in a hug like I was 5 years old - it was the most intense emotional high of my life.
There was almost another minute played after Liverpool kicked off and even though they had a token effort the ref blew for time and we'd won the league. The phone rang and it was my Gran (they'd moved to NZ a few years before and lived a few minutes away from Mum and Dad), but by then I was crying uncontrollably and couldn't really talk.
Everything has been gravy since then - Arsenal don't owe me anything more than that one magical moment and I know nothing will ever come close to topping it.
We've had quite a bit of great results the past decade or two to look back on (as well as an equal amount of forgettable nights and heartbreak, unfortunately), with most having been mentioned. Obviously, Barca at home, winning the title at Old Trafford and White Hart Lane, Michael Thomas vs Liverpool, etc... immediately come to mind. The wins in Madrid at the Bernabeu, Milan and Inter at the San Siro, Dortmund at Signal Iduna, and Bayern at the Allianz have also been mentioned to no surprise, being the first English team to win at those venues.
One I didn't see mentioned was the win over Liverpool at Highbury during our Invincibles' season where Titi scored a hat trick. It'd be easy to overlook that match looking back. On the surface it looks like just another win over Liverpool, during a time where we had their number for the most part.
However, that couldn't be further from the truth, as it was coming off, possibly, one of the worst weeks of football I can remember, where we were knocked out of the FA Cup SF to United and the Champions League QF to Chelsea (still have flashbacks to Bridge's goal, still fuming about that result), absolute nightmare of a week.
We went down twice in that match, and morale was pretty toast. I'm almost certain we would have blown the title had we lost that match. But we showed great resiliency, fighting back in the face of adversity, and when Henry got on the ball during that goal to go 3-2 up, you can see the North Bank stand up in anticipation of what was to come. Once the ball struck the back of the net, the relief and energy that roared back into Highbury was palpable. I believe that victory gave us the second wind to finish off the job that season.
Was able to find both the commentaries on Sky and Peter Drury:
Nothing will ever beat Anfield 89. I'd say Jens saving the Riquelme pen in thlast minute to secure our place in the CL final is after that. We were in the CL final ffs! I shouted non stop for about 20 minutes after and didnt sleep at all that night.
As much as I loved them as players, I’d say Nedved, Cannavaro and Shevchenko winning over him is very dubious.
For young uns who didn’t experience it, Anfield '89 was the original “last min Aguero moment” PLUS we were away at Anfield and monumental underdogs. Its difficult to find words that can even come close to describing it.
It's very hard to do it justice what a MASSIVE achievement it was. Anfield was a fortress back then. To win by a single goal would have been a great achievement. To get a chance like Michael Thomas did in the last minute and for him to tuck it away like that. Surreal and the stuff of legend. If it was the final chapter in a book you'd roll your eyes. Actually it was... Fever Pitch... Great read...what a piece of history to have attached to our great club.
Dubious? It was a scandal IMO
It's really unfortunate I was only three years and a bit old when '89 happened. Wish I could go back in time and experience it as an adult. I've been lucky enough to go through x3 PL titles and countless FA Cups, however I feel like if we won the PL title ever again it would be so much more special, given I am fully grown and a mature adult (hah!), was only mid-to-late teens when we were winning things with AW
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