Arsenal ended their 28-year league hoodoo in the Steel City following a convincing 3-0 victory at Sheffield United on Sunday evening.
Arsenal fans had to go back into the archives since they last recorded a Premier League victory in the city of Sheffield, when Ian Wright’s eighth-minute goal proved enough against Sheffield Wednesday in August 1993.
Alexandre Lacazette reached 50 Premier League goals after scoring in each half, while Gabriel Martinelli marked his return to the starting line-up with his first strike in 15 months to clinch three valuable points for Mikel Arteta’s side at Bramall Lane.
The Gunners still have an outside chance of qualifying for European football via the Premier League and will be buoyed ahead of their Europa League quarter-final second leg at Slavia Prague on Thursday.
Here, the PA news agency looks back at Arsenal’s previous struggles in south Yorkshire before Sunday’s triumph.
Arsenal began their poor streak in Sheffield with a draw at Bramall Lane. The relegation-battling hosts took the lead nine minutes after the restart through Paul Rogers but Arsenal earned a point through Kevin Campbell’s effort in the 69th minute. The Blades went down at the end of the season, while George Graham’s Gunners finished fourth.
Arsenal made a fast start at Hillsborough when Andy Linighan headed home in the third minute. But Wednesday were level five minutes later through Dan Petrescu before Klas Ingesson latched on to a deflected Chris Waddle shot to poke the hosts into the lead. Things got worse for Arsenal as captain Tony Adams and new signing John Hartson were both dismissed in the second half before Mark Bright sealed the Owls’ win.
Wednesday extended their fine home league record against Arsenal with a 1-0 win at Hillsborough thanks to Marc Degryse’s 61st-minute winner. Guy Whittingham jinked his way past the visitors’ defence from the right wing before laying off for the Belgian on the edge of the area.
David Pleat’s second season in charge saw Wednesday finish in seventh place, with this goalless draw coming during their terrific 12-match unbeaten league run. Arsenal went on to finish third.
Wednesday got off to a fine start under new boss Ron Atkinson, breaking the deadlock three minutes before half-time when Andy Booth capitalised on a slack pass to slot under David Seaman. Whittingham wrapped up the points when he sidefooted home Benito Carbone’s through-ball following a quick counter-attack.
This match is one of the most memorable in Premier League history for all the wrong reasons. Having been sent off alongside Martin Keown in the 43rd minute, Paolo Di Canio reacted by pushing referee Paul Alcock to the ground. Lee Briscoe scored a superb 89th-minute winner, but Di Canio’s actions – and the 11-match ban which followed – grabbed all the headlines.
Arsenal looked on their way to finally ending their poor run at Hillsborough when Thierry Henry set up Emmanuel Petit to prod home in the 40th minute, but Gerald Sibon earned the hosts a point with a towering header in the second half. It remains the most recent league clash in Sheffield between the two teams following Wednesday’s relegation at the end of the campaign.
Christian Nade grabbed the only goal of the match when he turned Kolo Toure inside the Arsenal half before sliding the ball past an onrushing Jens Lehmann. The drama did not stop there as home goalkeeper Paddy Kenny picked up a groin injury and, with no replacement on the bench, Phil Jagielka donned the gloves for the final 29 minutes and helped United hold on for a hard-earned three points.
Lys Mousset’s first-half finish proved enough to down Unai Emery’s Gunners as Chris Wilder’s side claimed victory on their impressive return to top-flight football. The Blades went on to finish ninth, just one place and two points behind Arsenal.