Tuesday, February 15, 2011

English Leagues the 70s: Arsenal Liverpool FA Cup 1970 1971

Wembley Stadium, London
8 May 1971

Attendance: 100,000
Referee: Norman Burtenshaw

  On a bright summer's day at Wembley in May 1971 Arsenal became only the second team this century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double when they defeated Liverpool by two goals to one in extra time. Their triumph had begun on the Mondfcy before the final with a 1-0 win over north London rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane that clinched the first division championship. Watched by 52,000 with as many locked outside, Tottenham - the only other twentieth-century Double-winners - fell to a late goal from striker Ray Kennedy. At one stage during the season Arsenal had been seven points adrift of leaders Leeds, but a late unstoppable surge left them needing to win their final two games of the season to lift both trophies.

It was a sterling effort and whereas many teams might have faltered in their final run-in, Arsenal seemed to gather strength. Manager Bertie Mee had built his side around the defensive skills of skipper Frank McLintock who was sternly supported by Rice, McNab and Storey, while upfront the attacking force of Kennedy, Radford and the ubiquitous Charlie George made them aggressive and formidable challengers. Their rivals in the final had already won two league championships since their return to the first division in 1962, but Arsenal were not their luckiest team and memories of the 1950 final when Arsenal had beaten them were still vivid with many of their supporters. The first 90 minutes ended goalless as the two tightest defences in the league stubbornly resisted all challenges. But as extra time kicked off, the game dramatically swung into life. After only two minutes, Steve Heigh way skipped down the left wing to send a thundering shot past Bob Wilson and put Liverpool a goal ahead. But Arsenal battled back, and Eddie Kelly found himself in the right spot at the right moment to poke home an equaliser. The two teams turned around to face another gruelling 15 minutes in the sunbaked heat of Wembley and Charlie George with his socks dangling casually around his ankles seized the ball on the left and spurted towards goal, cutting in before arrogantly slamming a low shot beyond the flailing Ray Clemence, Arsenal had the Cup and with it the Double.

'King George' yelled the News of the World's front page headline as it celebrated a London victory inspired by the 20-year-old Islington boy who had shot from obscurity to fame in just one season. But there was an alternative view. Many regarded Arsenal's football as dull and undeserving of the crown that Tottenham had so gloriously worn ten years previously. They could be negative, often winning by a single goal and the Final itself had hardly lived up to its pre-match hype. Maurice Smith in the People was scathing. 'Arsenal and Liverpool ... Cup Final of the decade, the clash of giants? The match worth £90 a blackmarket seat? Not on your flippin' nelly,' he wrote in an article certain not to win him many friends at Highbury. Nevertheless, Arsenal had achieved the Double and emulated Tottenham and nobody could take that away from them.

Arsenal: Wilson, Rice, McNab, Storey (Kelly), Mclintock, Simpson, Armstrong, Graham, Radford, Kennedy, George
Liverpool: Clemence, Lawler, Lindsay, Smith, Lloyd, Huges, Callaghan, Evans (Thompson), Heighway, Toshack, Hall

Codec H264, Mkv
Dvdrip, Bitrate 1300
New Encode with Extras
English Comments
Sound 160 Kps
Chaptered ends

First Half

Second half


Bus Parade in London

Cover scan


Kids Party

Actual Interviews


Liverpool spent most of the first half well up in their opponents 'half, but rarely did they prompt Wilson in the Arsenal goal to sharp action, and Arsenal, counter‑punching, looked more dangerous on the break.
Three times in the second half Arsenal went close to settling the matter within the ninety minutes. Kennedy flicked Radford's pass wide from five yards and Graham first headed against the bar and then had another header blocked on the line by Lindsay.

Liverpool scored two minutes into extra time, Heighway surprisingly beating Wilson at the near post, and that, it seemed, must be the end of Arsenal's 'double' hopes.
After Wilson’s critical one‑handed save from Hall's volley, Arsenal found the heart to fight back, and, with eleven minutes of extra time gone, they drew level. Radford's overhead kick into the Liverpool goalmouth was rolled gently goalwards by substitute Kelly, and Graham appeared to run the ball over the line. The goal was later credited to Kelly.

Now the scene was set for George's magnificent winner ‑ an unstoppable twenty‑five yard drive, shoulder‑high, to Clemence's right.

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