For the first time in three attempts, Arsenal defeated Newcastle United in the FA Cup final. The Magpies had made a habit of ending The Gunners cup dreams, winning the 1932 and 1952 finals, 1906 semi-final and knocking Arsenal out of the cup in 1902. Against that Arsenal had registered but one victory, needing a replay to progress in 1936.
From Christmas 1997, Arsenal’s form had been imperious and they had beaten Newcastle twice already that season, 1-0 at St James Park and 3-1 at Highbury. The latter came barely a month before this final.
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