by Bulldog Drummond
It’s been a while since we were above Manchester City in the table, and football is (I am told) a funny old game, so let’s celebrate the moment by looking at the league table.
|10||West Ham United||4||2||0||2||8||4||4||6|
Of course they have a game in hand, so in reality they might just be two points behind us, but even so, this makes a change.
In reality their results have not been that bad at least in the league (although their under 21s did miserably in the Football League Trophy early games).
|21 Sep 2020||Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City||W||1-3||Premier League|
|24 Sep 2020||Manchester City v AFC Bournemouth||W||2-1||League Cup|
|27 Sep 2020||Manchester City v Leicester City||L||2-5||Premier League|
|30 Sep 2020||Burnley v Manchester City||W||0-3||League Cup|
|03 Oct 2020||Leeds United v Manchester City||D||1-1||Premier League|
They also won their last five games in the league last season, but as we won’t forget, on 18 July we beat them in the semi-final of the FA Cup. However having defeated Real Madrid in the Champions League Leftover Games on 7 August, Manchester C lost to Olympique Lyonnais 1-3 which I think did surprise them.
But here’s a funny thing: they lost nine games last season, and we lost ten. The big difference was that we kept drawing games.
At home they were not invincible last time around
but not far off. And our away form was back to the level of 2018, which was very disappointing given that we seriously did improve the away form in 2019. It wasn’t that we were magnificent away, but it was an improvement which it would have been good to build on.
So there is no reason to think we’ve shaken the voodoo although overall our record is still way above theirs: we have won 98 against them, and they won 57 against us, with 45 drawn.
Their big time trophy haul started in 2011, with winning the FA Cup and since then they have won it once more. In terms of the Premier League they have won it four times, most recently in 2019.
But really the most remarkable day in the history of Manchester City and Arsenal together came on 7 May 1938 – the last day of the final season to be completed before the second world war.
For the final game, at the top of the league, quite simply if Wolverhampton Wanderers won their match they won the league – it was their’s for the taking. Otherwise if Arsenal did better than Wolverhampton (winning when Wolverhampton drew or lost, or drawing when Wolverhampton lost) the title was Arsenal’s for the fifth time in that one decade.
But attention was not just at the top of the league for the bottom of the table was also utterly fascinating. (Two points for a win, one for a draw and “Goal Average” was worked out by dividing goals scored by goals against. The bottom two went down.) Manchester City were still the champions having won the League the previous season, and although they had sunk down, no one expected them to be relegated.
|21||West Bromwich Albion||41||14||8||19||73||87||0.84||36|
Any two of those bottom seven could go down, although to be fair Huddersfield looked reasonably safe since for them to go down five of the six teams below them would all have to do better than Huddersfield.
Thus everyone wanted to know not just the results of their club but the results of the whole league, and then do the calculations.
On 7 May the results came out like this
|Home Team||Score||Away team|
|Charlton Athletic||0-0||Preston North End|
|Huddersfield Town||1-0||Manchester City|
|Leicester City||1-4||Birmingham City|
|Middlesbrough||4-1||West Bromwich Albion|
Amazingly not only did Arsenal win but Wolverhampton blew it at the last, against a team with nothing to play for. Arsenal had indeed won the league for the fifth time.
At the bottom Grimsby won, Portsmouth won, Birmingham won, Stoke won, but Manchester City and WBA lost. An amazing run of results for the teams at the bottom, meaning that most unlikely as it had seemed even at the start of play on the final day, last season’s champions, Manchester City had gone down.
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