A week previously at Carrow Road, Arsenal had struggled to break down the Norwich City defence and had left the field with a point, a share of the spoils after a goalless draw. I remember the sinking feeling in the pit of our stomachs as news of Liverpool’s 7 – 1 drubbing of Derby County at The Baseball Ground had filtered through. Despite having won at Anfield three weeks earlier, Arsenal had dropped to second.
A quirk of the fixture lists meant that Arsenal visited the East Midlands the following game, a chance to measure themselves up to Liverpool, a chance to add to the goal difference. Except Derby were wounded and determined not to relax of allow their visitors the chance of another handsome victory.
It didn’t matter; two Alan Smith goals took Arsenal back to the top of the table and set fair for their second title in three seasons.