Last Day Title Drama For Arsenal On This Day, 7th May 1938

The final day of the season and in its own way, as dramatic as the win at Anfield in 1989.

Going into the final Saturday, Wolverhampton Wanderers led the league table by one point from Arsenal. It seemed harsh on The Gunners, they had led the title race since a 4 – 0 win over Stoke City at Highbury on 5th March. Wolves though had a game in hand until they defeated West Bromwich Albion 2 – 1 at Molineux on 2nd May.

It set up a tense day for both sides. Wolves travelled to Sunderland who were in mid-table, their home form was a good as anyone above them but away from Roker Park the Wearsiders had only won twice (but drawn ten) of their matches. In the meantime, Arsenal were hosting Bolton Wanderers at Highbury. Wanderers were sitting seventh behind Brentford as the day began.

The complication for Wolves was that goal average was in Arsenal’s favour. For the uninitiated, goal average was calculated by dividing the number of goals scored with goals conceded.

Wolves needed to win by three goals and hope Arsenal lost by at least two in the most rudimentary calculations to swing the goal average back in their favour. Such was the complexity that The Times was compelled to point out that had Arsenal only beaten Wolverhampton by three goals instead of 5 – 0 at Highbury in the previous September, goal average would have been in the West Midlanders favour. Perhaps the biggest surprise in all of this is that football statisticians did not make more money from the game with this level of complexity.

It seemed the title was Wolves’ to lose. They duly did to a Raich Carter goal at Roker Park. The title headed to Arsenal for the fifth time in eight years following their five goal demolition of Bolton.

3 thoughts on “Last Day Title Drama For Arsenal On This Day, 7th May 1938

  1. Pingback: Third: Final League Placing And Rhyming Slang For The New Home Top. « A Cultured Left Foot

  2. Sorry to be pedantic, but if Wolves were 1 point ahead of Arsenal then surely any win for them would have clinched the title irrespective of how many each team scored?

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