THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

D1 RESULTS 23039123 March ~ Defending champions Liverpool, managed by Kenny Dalglish, returned to the top with John Barnes and Steve Nicol both scoring twice in a demolition of Derby, while Jan Molby got one of his eight penalties. Molby scored from the spot in the next match, but his side lost 3-1 at home to QPR. It was the start of a three-game winless run that allowed rivals Arsenal to open up an unassailable lead; they took the title by seven points. Crystal Palace finished in their highest ever league position in third place.

Arsenal's Alan Smith was the division's top scorer with 23 goals, two ahead of Lee Chapman of Leeds. Skipper Tony Adams missed eight games after being jailed for drink-driving but his defensive colleagues Steve Bould, Nigel Winterburn and Lee Dixon were ever-present along with goalkeeper David Seaman.

George Graham's team lost only one league match, 2-1 at Chelsea in February, though they were thrashed 6-2 at home by Manchester United in the League Cup. A mass brawl in a league match between the two sides at Old Trafford in October led to Arsenal having two points deducted, United one.

The defeat by Liverpool was part of a then club record 20 games without a win for Derby, who finished bottom by ten points. (Their most recent appearance at the top level, in 2007-08, involved a winless run of 32 games.) Derby regulars included 41-year-old Peter Shilton in goal plus centre-back Mark Wright and striker Dean Saunders, both of whom moved to Liverpool in the summer. Sunderland took the other relegation place in a division that was being increased to 22 clubs (it went back to 20 in 1995-96).

Spurs beat Forest 2-1 in the FA Cup final despite the early loss of Paul Gascoigne who injured himself in making a reckless challenge and was out of action for a year. Ron Atkinson's Sheffield Wednesday beat Manchester United in the League Cup final; they also won promotion from Division Two after one season away.

Among the scorers this week was the 20-year-old Alan Shearer who got Southampton's first in their win at Chelsea. Steve Bruce scored twice for Manchester United against Luton and finished alongside Brian McClair as their joint top marksman on 13 goals, seven of them penalties.

D1 TABLE 230391

Results & table from statto.com

Related articles

Graeme Souness – Football: my life, my passion
by Graeme SounessHeadline, £9.99Reviewed by Peter BrooksbankFrom WSC 378, September 2018Buy the book To football supporters of a certain...
Vince: The autobiography of Vince Hilaire
by Vince HilaireBiteback Publishing, £12.99Reviewed by Matthew BarkerFrom WSC 376, June 2018Buy the book In a recent interview, Vince...
Klopp: Bring the noise by Raphael Honigstein
Yellow Jersey Press, £12.99Reviewed by Huw RichardsFrom WSC 375, April 2018Buy the book Some managers seem destined for certain clubs....