‘I thought, ‘Come on Michael, be the man’’

Although stood at the opposite end of the pitch, David O’Leary had a clear view of Michael Thomas iconic goal at Anfield 1989.

Needing another goal as the game entered injury time, the midfielder kept his nerve to lift the ball over Bruce Grobbelaar to seal our first title in 18 years.

“For all my life I’ve been very lucky in football, it was just one of the greatest nights I’ve ever had, it was unique,” O’Leary told Arsenal Player.

 “I was looking straight down the pitch that night and I thought, ‘Come on Michael, be the man, go and beat him’.

“[In those days] the pitches were good, but nothing like the standard they are today. I had this fear of getting a bobble, the goal was a bit rough and [I was worried] it would get a bobble and trickle past instead of into the net.

“The ball took so long to get into the net, and my recollection is of thinking, ‘I don’t want some daredevil making a miraculous tackle to clear it off the line and deny us that goal’. I was so delighted when the ball crossed the line and hit the net.

“I had to fly to meet up with Ireland to following day… and I landed in Dublin and everybody had seemed to have watched that match - everything seemed to have stopped for it.”

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