Wenger completes his first Double

Double winners 1998

Eyebrows were raised when Arsenal appointed the relative unknown Arsène Wenger as manager in September 1996.

Yet just 10 months later the Frenchman had moulded a squad capable of challenging Manchester United's stranglehold on the Premiership.

Bolstered by shrewd signings such as Emmanuel Petit, Marc Overmars and Nicolas Anelka, Wenger and Arsenal were set for an all-out assault on the 1997/98 title.

"Arsenal were champions again. Just under a fortnight later, they made it a Double."

Success looked unlikely when the Gunners were plagued by inconsistency early on in the campaign. A 3-1 home defeat to Blackburn on December 13 was the nadir, but also the catalyst for a 18-match unbeaten run which brought the Premiership trophy to Highbury for the first time.

A Petit-inspired victory over Derby County on April 29 left the Gunners needing just three points from their remaining three games. But with tough trips to Anfield and Villa Park to follow, the visit of Everton to Highbury on May 3 was crucial.

Toffees defender Slaven Bilic headed into his own net early on before two Marc Overmars strikes all but secured the title. A carnival atmosphere began to spread but the season's most memorable moment was yet to come.

With seconds remaining on the clock, veteran centre-back Tony Adams burst forward from well inside the Arsenal half. Racing on to a pass from defensive partner Steve Bould, the captain chested the ball down and rammed an unstoppable left-foot shot into the corner. Four-nil.

Arsenal were champions again. Just under a fortnight later, they made it a Double.

The Gunners were short of their brilliant best but still had far too much for Newcastle as a goal in either half clinched the Club's seventh FA Cup.

The first arrived after 23 minutes. Neither side had created much in a cagey first quarter before Petit picked out Overmars' darting run on the blind side of Alessandro Pistone. The Dutch winger outstripped his marker and poked the ball past keeper Shay Given.

Newcastle threatened briefly after the break when Alan Shearer and Nikos Dabizas both went close to an equaliser. But their hopes were all but dashed with 21 minutes left. Anelka beat the offside trap to collect Ray Parlour's pass and, in acres of space, beat Given with an emphatic finish.

Parlour, named Man of the Match after a tireless performance in midfield, went close to a goal of his own but found the side-netting. Then Overmars almost caught Given off his line with an audacious chip from 40 yards.

The final whistle confirmed Arsenal's status as English football's finest and further vindicated the decision to appoint Wenger in 1996. After all, how could you doubt a Double winner?


See Full List

Fixtures & Results

UEFA Champions League
Ticket Info