Video of the Day: West Bromwich Albion vs Arsenal, April 1971
As Arsenal prepare for an end of season fight to hang onto a Champions League place, this morning we turn our attention to a somewhat more successful season for the club. The 1960s was not a terribly kind decade to the Gunners, with the ten years from 1960 to 1970 seeing Arsenal finish in the top six in the First Division just once, in 1969. The 1970/71 season, however, would end an eighteen year wait for the league title to return to Highbury, and by April 1971 the club was powering clear at the top of the First Division table.
By the time of the last weekend of the month, Arsenal were two points clear of second placed Leeds United with a game in hand and a superior goal average. They’d won their previous nine consecutive league matches and also had an FA Cup final to look forward to against Liverpool. Still, a trip to the Black Country to play a West Bromwich Albion side who the previous Saturday had gone to Elland Road and beaten Leeds thanks to one of the most infamously controversial goals of the early 1970s was still a stern test, even though Albion were only sitting in sixteenth place in the table and three points above the relegation places at the time.
Arsenal might not have been able to win this match, but they did end the season by becoming only the second club – after Tottenham Hotspur, a decade earlier – to win the league and cup double. Furthermore, that league title win came with a victory at White Hart Lane in their last league match of the season, before wrapping it all up at Wembley against Liverpool five days later. How Arsenal supporters must wish that this season had been a little more like that season was. Commentary at The Hawthorns comes from Hugh Johns.