A First League Title For Arsenal On This Day, 18th April 1931

Forty-five years after its’ formation, Arsenal Football Club were crowned Champions for the first time. This 3 – 1 victory over Liverpool left Arsenal five points clear of Aston Villa with two games left, an irretrievable lead.

As well as being the first triumph for the club, it was the first for a London club. Little did the northern teams realise that this signalled a power-shift for the rest of the 1930s to The Arsenal. That achievement warranted an effusive Leader article in The Times, reproduced below.

At this point, Arsenal had scored 119 goals in the league, a phenomenal achievement with 40 games played. Aston Villa in second place topped that with 124. By the season’s end, Villa were in the middle of a slump in goalscoring form with the final totals being 127 and 128 respectively.

Arsenal’s purple patch for goals came in winter with seven put past Blackpool and Leicester City (at Filbert Street), six past Derby at Highbury whilst the hapless Grimsby Town were trounced 9 – 1. They were not averse to conceding goals either; they only managed four clean sheets all season, the first of which arrived in a goalless draw with Huddersfield Town on 7th March 1931. Meetings between the top two were no less entertaining; Arsenal won 5 – 2 at Highbury whilst Villa triumphed 5 – 1 in the return.

The decisive factor at the time was Goal Average. Arsenal’s was 2.15, the highest in six seasons since Huddersfield Town’s 2.46 in 1924/25. Goal difference if it had been needed, would have made no difference with Arsenal’s ending at 68 to Villa’s 50.

The Times Leader

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