Michael's Magic Moment

(Posted on 24/08/17)

On the day he turns 50, we celebrate one of the greatest moments in the career of former Liverpool and Arsenal legend, Michael Thomas...

In May 2012 Manchester City pulled off perhaps the greatest title win of them all as Sergio Aguero scored the winning goal to beat QPR and snatch the title away from city rivals Manchester United. This is seen as one of the greatest - if not the greatest - matches in English football history.However, a certain generation can recall a match that will blow City's heroics out of the water, as Arsenal met Liverpool at Anfield weeks following the end of the season for the rest of the sides in the division.

 

Liverpool 1989

Following the Hillsborough Disaster, the Red Men's matches were knocked back meaning their final game against Arsenal was played after the FA Cup Final. In that final, the Anfield side beat city rivals Everton in an emotionally charged game at Wembley.

Now they were looking to complete a famous double, and went into the game three points ahead of the Gunners with +39 goal difference compared to Arsenal's +35. If the visitors wanted to win the league, they would have to do so by winning at least 2-0, which wouldn't come easy against the likes of John Barnes, John Aldridge and co at the fortress that Anfield is.

However, things began brightly for Arsenal, as Alan Smith headed home to give the visitors the lead early in the second half, leaving just one more goal to be scored.

Arsenal 1988

The clock ticked over 90 minutes and it looked like a brilliant double for Liverpool who came close to equalising in stoppage time. However, football works in mysterious ways and the soon to be Anfield hero Thomas broke through one-on-one with Bruce Grobbelaar, he kept his cool and in slow motion the ball crossed the line in front of the Anfield Road Stand, cue jubilant celebration from the thousands who travelled up from North London, the Gunners had their first top flight title in 18 years.

With so much surrounding the match, it's hard to believe there has been a better title decider, certainly pre-Premier League. Thomas went on to sign for Liverpool two years later where he remained until 1998. He went on to play for Middlesbrough, Benfica and Wimbledon, as well as having a loan spell with Portsmouth earlier in his career and represented England on two occasions. In 2008, Thomas was voted the 37th greatest Arsenal player in an online poll and is fondly remembered by both Arsenal and Liverpool. 

   

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