Video of the Day: Leicester City vs Arsenal, August 1997
It may not be the one that they expected, but with a little jiggery-pokery the broadcasters have got their hearts’ desire. At the expense of the travelling supporters of Leicester City, who had their trip to London moved to a Sunday lunchtime, they got their Super Sunday. So, on this Sunday that will may – or, quite conceivably, may not – come to decide this most remarkable of Premier League seasons, it’s only right that we go back in time to a memorable time in the past of these two clubs.
The 1996/97 Premier League season had finished with Manchester United winning the Premier League title comfortably. Arsenal, meanwhile, had finished in third place in the table in their first season under their then-unknown new manager Arsene Wenger, whilst Leicester City, who’d only been promoted through the play-offs at the end of the 1995/96 season, had surprised many who had tipped them for relegation before the start of the season by finishing in ninth place in the table, one point ahead of Tottenham Hotspur. Feel free to stop me if this is all starting to sound weirdly familiar.
Both teams had started the 1997/98 season strongly, with two wins and a draw each (with Leicester’s having, somewhat impressively, come from wins against Aston Villa and a draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United), when the clubs came to meet at Filbert Street. By the end of the season Arsenal had won the domestic double, whilst Leicester City had completed their Premier League season by finishing in tenth place in the table. Nine months earlier and with everything still up in the air, however, this turned out to be an eventful late summer’s night in the East Midlands. Commentary for this match comes from Jon Champion.
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