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Smith We sensed the nerves in the Liverpool team

Alan Smith celebrates his goal at Anfield 89

'It's up for grabs now'

On May 26, 1989, Michael Thomas scored with seconds to spare as we beat Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield to secure arguably the most famous league title of them all.
 
Speaking exclusively to our 'In Lockdown' podcast, Alan Smith - who scored the opener that night - explained the team’s mindset before the match. 

"George Graham did ever so well," he said. "If you feel you've got to win by two goals, you're thinking, 'Where are these goals going to come from?' 
 
"George's main point of his team talks in the hotel and then the dressing room was the clean sheet. He said, 'Lads, don't worry about scoring, we will get the goals, but if we concede a goal then we've got to get three and you can forget it. As long as we keep a clean sheet, we're always in the game. We're always in the hunt.' 
 
"That kind of eased our minds a little bit, it took the pressure off to think, 'Okay, we know how to keep clean sheets’ with the back four, or the back five as it was that night. We had some terrific defenders. That sent us out with clear minds, we weren't constantly thinking about trying to get a goal. 
 
"I'll never forget, I was going for the Golden Boot before the game. This was maybe a sign of nerves in the Liverpool dressing room... John Aldridge was competing with me for the Golden Boot and the Adidas representative poked his head around our dressing room and asked if I'd do a presentation on the pitch with John beforehand. 
 
"I said, 'Yeah, yeah, I'll do it. No problem.' He came back and said, 'John doesn't want to do it, he's changed his mind.' So I said, 'OK, fair enough.' Then he came back five minutes later and said, 'No, no, actually John will do it.' Then he came back again and said, 'No, John definitely doesn't want to do it now'. I thought, 'Oh wow, maybe that's just a reflection of the Liverpool dressing room.'
 
“As you can imagine, you can win the league by losing 1-0. It's a strange old situation whereas our task was a lot clearer."

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'No one gave us a chance, but it was magnificent'

Kevin Campbell

After beating Standard Liege, Torino and Paris Saint-Germain, we faced Parma in the 1994 Cup Winners' Cup final in Denmark.

Speaking exclusively to our 'In Lockdown' podcast, Kevin Campbell recounted our journey to the final and how we came out on top with a weakened team.
 
"We knew it would be nip and tuck with [Paris Saint-Germain in the semi-final]," he said. "The quality they had, we felt we should have been ahead from the first leg and we were ahead, but they pegged us back. We knew if we could get ourselves ahead at Highbury then we could defend well enough to see it out.

 
"I wasn't even supposed to be playing, I think Merse got injured just before. He wasn't well before the game and I ended up playing and the football gods, that's the way they work, don't they? It comes up, Lee Dixon swings the cross in, I get a header on target and luckily it hits the back of the net and we end up winning the game 1-0.
 
"But again, Wrighty gets booked in that game, he can't play in the final, he has a little bit of a meltdown at half-time and he's going crazy. We have to calm him down, George Graham has to calm him down, but we go out there and do the business.
 
"[The final in] Copenhagen was magnificent for us, we had virtually half a team going out there. No one gave us a chance against a really, really top Parma team with some world-class talent, but that was what we were about.
 
“We were about defeating the odds and it was just typical Arsenal. We go there and I was so pleased for Alan Smith to not only play, but to get a goal like he did. That was a goal worthy of winning any cup final."

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