THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Arsenal beat Manchester United but Norwich storm ahead

PL 281192 RESULTS28 November ~ With the decisive third goal scored by midfielder Daryl Sutch, Norwich inflicted Aston Villa's first defeat in 13 games. Mike Walker's side were top until February when a 3-0 defeat at Southampton pushed them down to third, where they finished. They were relegated two years later and are currently competing in only their fifth Premier League season since.

Aston Villa, managed by Ron Atkinson, also had a spell at the top in the spring but ended as runners-up, ten points behind champions Manchester United. This was the first season for their strike partnership of Dean Saunders and Dalian Atkinson, which lasted until 1995 when the latter left for Fenerbahce. His goal in a 3-2 win at Wimbledon a month earlier went on to win the BBC’s Goal of the Season competition.

The decisive moment in Manchester United's season came two days before these fixtures when they spent £1.2 million on Eric Cantona from reigning champions Leeds. He was to score nine goals in 21 games. Mark Hughes, who got the winner at Arsenal, was top scorer with 15. Peter Schmeichel and Steve Bruce were ever-presents in a side in which another five players missed either one or two games. 

Nigel Clough scored Forest's goal in their defeat by Southampton. They finished bottom, their cause not having been helped by selling Teddy Sheringham to Spurs in late August. That deal, later mentioned in a court case between Terry Venables and Alan Sugar, popularised "bung" as a football expression. Brian Clough retired at the end of the season while Roy Keane left for Manchester United. 

Oldham were five points behind 17th-placed Palace with three games left but stayed up on goal difference after a trio of victories, culminating in a 4-3 defeat of Southampton on the final day. Palace were relegated at Highbury where their former player Ian Wright scored in a 3-0 win.

Alan Shearer scored Blackburn's goal in their defeat of QPR; they were to finish fourth and fifth respectively. QPR's Les Ferdinand was second top scorer with 20 league goals, two behind Sheringham. Arsenal went on to defeat Sheffield Wednesday in both cup finals, clinching the FA Cup with Andy Linighan’s last-minute goal in the replay.

PL 281192 TABLE

Results & table taken from Statto.com

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