ArsenalClubPremier League

Arsenal clinch their first Double

The 1970/71 season was a landmark period for Arsenal FC. Heading into the season, only one team, Tottenham Hotspur, had accomplished the admirable feat of “the Double” – winning the league title and the FA Cup in the same season in the 20th century. By the season’s end, Arsenal, managed by Bertie Mee, managed to replicate this milestone achievement.

In an intensely competitive league title race, Arsenal also maintained a promising path toward FA Cup glory, overcoming Stoke City in a thrilling semi-final replay. The first part of the Double was won on the enemy ground, as they seized the league title with a 1-0 triumph at Tottenham’s home ground, White Hart Lane.

A mere five days later, the stage was set at Wembley Stadium. Here, Arsenal would face off against Liverpool for the FA Cup and an opportunity to etch their names into the annals of football history.

Despite a stifling hot day and the exhaustion of a grueling season, Arsenal carved out several scoring chances in regular time, but the finishing touch eluded them. Players Ray Kennedy, George Graham, and Charlie George all had shots that failed to find the back of the net.

The tense match went into extra time, with Liverpool striking first just two minutes in, courtesy of Steve Heighway. It was a moment that demanded resilience from Arsenal. Captain Frank McLintock rallied his teammates, pushing them to dig deep and fight back.

Arsenal equalized through a quick-thinking goal from Eddie Kelly. George Graham claimed the plan, but replay footage suggested he hadn’t made contact with the ball. Regardless of who scored, Arsenal was back in the game.

The defining moment came when Charlie George unleashed a 20-yard shot past Liverpool’s goalkeeper Ray Clemence after receiving a pass from John Radford. This moment, sealed with George’s iconic celebration on the Wembley turf, remains etched in FA Cup history.

Thus, in a season of grit and glory, Arsenal clinched the coveted Double, securing their place in football history. The 1970/71 season is a testament to Arsenal’s tenacity, skill, and indomitable spirit.

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