Jon Spurling dishes the dirt on more than 50 years of classics between the Gunners and Reds...
Liverpool 3-2 Arsenal (Aug 1964)
It was a classic mid-'60s Anfield experience: Bill Shankly’s championship-winning team entered the fray with She Loves You blaring in the background on the opening day of the 1964/65 campaign.
The whole occasion was given extra spice by the fact that BBC cameras were present and correct to record the first-ever Match of the Day in front of 47,620 at “Beatleville” – as commentator Kenneth Wolstenhome described it. Viewers saw Roger Hunt and Gordon Wallace put the home side 2-0 up, before Joe Baker and Geoff Strong levelled up the scores for Billy Wright’s much-fancied team.
In the dying seconds, an own goal by future Gunners manager Don Howe gave the home side a deserved 3-2 victory, and Shankly’s army made a winning start to defending their title (though they would only finish seventh, some 17 points off Manchester United in the days of two for a win).
Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool (May 1971)
It was hardly a vintage FA Cup final, but the fulsome climax was memorable as Bill Shankly’s Liverpool and Bertie Mee’s Arsenal laboured for 90 minutes in the scorching sun at Wembley.
With extra-time reached, players from both sides writhed around with cramp. But the game then sparked into life as Steve Heighway fired Liverpool ahead, before Eddie Kelly poked home Arsenal’s equaliser.
With the match seemingly heading for a replay, an exhausted Charlie George collected John Radford’s pass, and his coruscating 20-yard drive flew past Ray Clemence to secure the league and cup Double for Arsenal, prompting one of Wembley’s most famous celebrations as the long-haired George lay prostrate on his back in a Jesus Christ-like pose. “Charlie George, superstar, walks like a woman and he wears a bra,” Liverpool fans sang at him next time the sides met. Doubt Charlie minded, though.