FOOTBALL: HISTORY LESSON

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The Independent Online
If Arsenal are seeking encouragement that they can win the Premiership title despite not leading the table at this stage of the campaign they should look back to the 1992-93 season.

For the last four seasons the League leaders at Easter - Manchester United in 1994, 1996 and 1997, Blackburn in 1995 - have gone on to claim the title. Five years ago, however, United won the championship despite going into the Easter programme in second place behind Aston Villa.

At the end of March, with seven games remaining, United were in fact in third place behind both Villa and Norwich. A turning point came on 5 April when United won 3-1 at Norwich to go second behind Villa. United went on to beat Sheffield Wednesday on Easter Saturday and took over at the top from Villa, who could only draw with Coventry.

United ended the season with a run of seven successive victories, finishing with wins over Coventry, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Blackburn and Wimbledon. Norwich and Villa took only seven and 10 points respectively from their last seven games.

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