The 35-year title fact we want to change on Sunday

Arsenal 1989

On Sunday, we’ll kick-off against Everton still in with a chance of lifting the Premier League title a couple of hours later, as we hope results go our way.

We may sit second in the table behind Manchester City going into the final day, but if our players and supporters need belief that we produce some late heroics, history shows we could yet end the afternoon on top of the pile.

That’s because the last club to to win England’s top-flight starting the final day off the top of was ourselves in 1988/89, when we famously beat Liverpool at Anfield.

City may have had their own dramatic last-gasp championship clinchers in recent years, but our title shootout with the Reds has to be the most dramatic finale in English league history, as the two top battled it out in their final fixture with the league on the line.

Needing a two-goal win to pip Kenny Dalglish’s side to the crown, Alan Smith put us in front on 53 minutes, and in the final seconds of not only the match, but the season, Michael Thomas broke through and prodded the ball into the net to ensure the First Division trophy returned with us to north London.

Since that famous night 35 years ago, no team has managed to overhaul the league leaders on the final day. To have any chance of doing so on Sunday, we’ll need to firstly beat Everton - and if you’re looking for omens there are plenty to choose from.

We have lost just one of our last 27 league home games against the Toffees, and have beaten them three times on the final day of the season in this spell.

In terms of finishing strongly, no team has won their final Premier League game of the season more often than us, which we’ve achieved on 22 occasions, including the last 12 in a row. In contrast, no side have lost their final game in the competition more often than Everton’s 14 defeats.

Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta boasts the joint-best final day win rate in the competition’s history, having won all four of his fixtures, along with Chris Coleman. Should he make that a handful on Sunday, he has a chance of emulating George Graham by hitting top spot when it matters most - just before the curtain comes down on season to remember.

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