THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

D1 280287 RESULTS28 February ~ Leaders Everton dropped to second the following week after a defeat at Watford. The decisive day in the title race came on March 28 when Liverpool lost 2-1 at home to Wimbledon while Everton won 1-0 at Arsenal, with a goal from Wayne Clarke, who scored five in ten games after signing from Birmingham at the start of March. Howard Kendall's team led the table for the rest of the season and clinched the title with a win at Norwich in their 40th fixture.

Arsenal, managed by George Graham, led the table from November until mid January after which they went on a run of ten games without a win and finished fourth, a point behind Spurs. The day after this round of fixtures Arsenal played Spurs in a League Cup semi-final second leg. Their 2-1 win led to a replay which they won by the same score, before going on to beat Liverpool in the final.

Manchester United were in 19th place when Alex Ferguson replaced Ron Atkinson as manager on November 6 and went on to finish 11th. Of the team that played Everton only captain Bryan Robson picked up a League title with Ferguson, though Gordon Strachan won a championship a year before him, with Leeds in 1991-92. Forward Terry Gibson, signed from Coventry by Atkinson, was the first in this team to depart, joining Wimbledon in the summer. His strike partner Peter Davenport lasted another year and a half before moving to Middlesbrough.

Nine members of the Coventry team that beat Charlton 2-1 went on to play in their FA Cup final victory over Spurs, winger Dave Bennett and midfielder Steve Sedgley being the missing players. It was Spurs' first defeat in eight Cup finals and remains Coventry's only major trophy.

In other games today, Nigel Spackman made his League debut for Liverpool after signing from Chelsea a week earlier; Andy Sayer got all three of Wimbledon's goals in their win over Newcastle; 19-year-old Paul Ince made only his seventh League appearance, as a sub for West Ham and Mike Phelan, Alex Ferguson's last assistant at Manchester United, scored Norwich's goal against Aston Villa.

Goalkeeper Nigel Spink was the only survivor of Villa's European Cup-winning team of five years earlier to play in the draw at Norwich, though three others were still at the club – full-back Gary Williams, centre-half Allan Evans and striker Gary Shaw. Villa were down after their penultimate fixture, a 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday on May 4. The other two relegation issue were settled on the final day. Charlton were saved by a home win over Queens Park Rangers, finishing two points ahead of Leicester, who drew at Oxford, and five above Manchester City, beaten at West Ham.

D1 280287 TABLE

Results & table from statto.com

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