Norwich City

Premier League
April 1, 1995

Arsenal 5 Norwich 1? That's a scoreline we'd all take on Saturday as Arsène Wenger's team chase a third-place finish in the Premier League.

Anything less than a win will not do and that was the situation back in April 1995 too when one of Wenger's predecessors chased top-flight points for a very different purpose.

Arsenal were flying high in Europe and were in the process of booking their second straight appearance in the Cup Winners' Cup final, but they had struggled badly at home.

George Graham's departure left Stewart Houston in temporary charge but he presided over a dismal March as Arsenal lost four consecutive games in the Premier League.

West Ham, Blackburn, Newcastle and Manchester United all inflicted defeats as Arsenal were dragged into a relegation battle. 

They desperately needed to stop the rot against Norwich and did so emphatically thanks largely to a John Hartson double.

The big Welshman - one of Graham's last signings - led the line superbly. His brace was augmented by a rare Lee Dixon goal, a not so rare Paul Merson strike and Rob Newman's own goal. Jamie Cureton scored Norwich's consolation.

Arsenal slipped to two more defeats in the wake of this big win but further victories over Ipswich Town and Aston Villa kept them safe.

A 12th-place finish was very un-Arsenal like, indeed this was the last season they finished below their local rivals Tottenham.

A win over Norwich this weekend would stave off the prospect of that happening again.

Arsenal: Bartram, Dixon, Winterburn, Bould, Adams, Morrow (Keown), Hillier, Merson, Helder, Wright, Hartson (Kiwomya)

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4 May 2012