By Chris Harris

Late goals are doing a good job of keeping Arsenal in the title race - just as they have in the past.

Arsène Wenger's current side has scored 19 times in the last 15 minutes of their Premier League games this term, culminating in Nicklas Bendtner's last-gasp winner at Hull City on Saturday.

The Danish striker struck in stoppage time at the KC Stadium to keep Arsenal on the coat-tails of Manchester United and Chelsea. And if Wenger's team do go on to win the title, Bendtner's intervention will be seen as a decisive moment.

Arsenal are no strangers to late strikes which bring them glory - Michael Thomas scored probably the most famous stoppage-time goal at Anfield in 1989 and Ray Kennedy's header at Tottenham clinched part one of the 1971 Double. But how about those less-heralded moments which play an equally crucial part in successful title tilts?

We've trawled the archives for five late goals which brought Arsenal three priceless points en route to past championships.

John Radford
Arsenal 1-0 Manchester City
February 6, 1971

Arsenal's title challenge had faltered with back-to-back defeats at Liverpool and Huddersfield Town, but they got back on track when Manchester City visited Highbury. Bob Wilson made two acrobatic saves to deny Colin Bell at one end but his opposite number, Joe Corrigan, did not cover himself in glory at the other end. The City goalkeeper failed to hold Peter Simpson's speculative shot from 30 yards and John Radford nipped in to net the rebound five minutes from time. Joe Mercer, the City manager, summed the game up succinctly: "If we had swapped goalkeepers we would have won 2-1." It was the first time in 50 years that Arsenal had beaten both Manchester clubs home and away in the League and the Double would follow in May. 

John Radford

John Radford

Martin Hayes
Middlesbrough 0-1 Arsenal
May 6, 1989

Martin Hayes only scored one goal in the 1988/89 season, but what a crucial one it was. It came four games from the end of a titantic campaign which would end with the ultimate late goal - Michael Thomas' title clincher at Anfield. Hayes' less heralded but hugely important strike was hardly a thing of beauty but it brought three precious points in the closing stages of a tough, tense tussle at Middlesbrough. Hayes replaced Paul Merson in the 67th minute and got on the end of Alan Smith's flick-on from John Lukic's long goal-kick to toe-poke the ball past the onrushing Middlesbrough keeper five minutes from time. It was a brave finish to a 'route one' move and it kept Arsenal on course for a first title in 18 years.

Martin Hayes

Martin Hayes

Marc Overmars
Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal
March 14, 1998

The goal which swung the title pendulum towards Arsenal in 1998. Arsène Wenger's side still trailed Manchester United after this win at Old Trafford but they had three games in hand and their fate in their own hands too. Marc Overmars was a danger to United throughout with his searing pace and, after a handful of near-misses, he made the breakthrough with 11 minutes left. Martin Keown's long ball was won in the air by Dennis Bergkamp and then nodded into Overmars' path by Nicolas Anelka. The Dutchman headed down and scampered through on goal before slotting the ball between Peter Schmeichel's legs. 

Marc Overmars scores at Old Trafford in 1998

Marc Overmars scores at Old Trafford in 1998

Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
April 6, 2002

A real nerve-shredder. Arsenal appeared to have thrown away two points in a North London derby they dominated when Teddy Sheringham equalised from the spot. But four minutes from time Arsenal were awarded a penalty of their own. Only one problem: regular taker Thierry Henry was injured in the foul which led to the spot-kick. The delay for his treatment made a tense situation even tenser but Lauren didn't seem to mind. He took responsibility and nonchalantly rolled the ball into the centre of the goal while Spurs keeper Kasey Keller dived to his left. It was a brave penalty at a crucial moment and the celebrations were long and loud at Highbury.

Lauren scores against Spurs in 2002

Lauren scores his penalty against Tottenham Hotspur in 2002

Freddie Ljungberg
Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
November 8, 2003

Arsenal controlled much of this derby too but, with 20 minutes left, they were staring down the barrel of a defeat which would have cost them that 'Invincibles' tag. But Robert Pires equalised with a tap-in after Thierry Henry's shot was saved and the winner arrived 11 minutes from time. A slick, quick counter-attack saw Dennis Bergkamp find Kanu and the Nigerian picked out Freddie Ljungberg. He cut inside to make room for a shot which ballooned up off Stephen Carr and looped into the net. It was fortuitous to say the least but it kept Arsenal on course for their unbeaten season and five months later they collected the Premier League title - after a draw with Tottenham. 

Freddie Ljungberg scores against Spurs in 2004

Freddie Ljungberg scores against Tottenham Hotspur in 2003

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
17 Mar 2010