Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith recalls 1990 Battle of Old Trafford in United Review



“Arsenal took what had happened at Old Trafford in 1990 very seriously and handed out two-week fines to a number of players – Nigel, Anders, David Rocastle and Paul Davis, as well as the manager [George Graham]. We had a meeting about the incident afterwards and George reminded us of our responsibilities to the club. We thought it was a bit harsh that we were docked two points by the FA while United were only docked one, but that deduction spurred us on and we went on to win the league by some distance.

“We won 1-0 at Old Trafford in the game in question with a goal from Anders that we were quite lucky to get… I say that having had quite a good view of the goal line as Les Sealey got his hands to the ball! [Referee Keith Hackett adjudged that the ball had crossed the line before Sealey palmed it clear.] Maybe that was one we got away with.

“Despite what happened, there were no grudges held between the two sets of players. It had just been a case of two ultra-competitive teams playing against each other and things getting out of hand in a split-second. When I saw the likes of Bryan Robson on England duty, we’d just have a bit of a laugh over what happened.



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