Sunday, April 28, 2013

28 April 1970 - The Gunners Fire Back In Europe

On 28 April 1970, Arsenal rallied from a 3-1 first-leg deficit to win the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup over Anderlecht with an aggregate score of 3-4.

The tournament was an opportunity to salvage the seasons for the Gunners, who were almost done with a disappointing domestic campaign that would see them finish twelfth in the league after early exits in both the FA Cup and League Cup. For the first leg on 22 April, they visited Anderlecht, where the hosts dominated, taking a 3-0 lead before an 82nd-minute goal from Ray Kennedy brought the final margin to a slightly more respectable 3-1.

In London for the second leg, the situation was reversed. Arsenal went up 1-0 with a 25th-minute goal from Eddie Kelly, while their defense stymied the previously-prolific Belgian attack. Radford then struck in the 75th minute, followed by a goal from Jon Sammels one minute later. That was enough to push the final scoreline to 3-4 on aggregate, giving Arsenal their first European trophy.

The victory inspired the squad, who regained their domestic form the following season, winning both the league and the FA Cup.

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