On 22 April 1912, J.W. Grant scored a hat-trick as Woolwich Arsenal ran out 5-1 winners over Blackburn Rovers, with John Patrick Flanagan, commonly known as ‘Pat’, scoring a brace. Be that as it may, that was the only spark in an awful season for Woolwich Arsenal in the First Division, as the Highbury side ended the season rock bottom at 20th.
Having played 38 games – as is the case in modern day football – George Morrell’s side only managed to register a staggering 3 wins, 12 draws and 23 losses in a season that saw Sunderland crowned the Champions of England.
Fast forward to exactly 103 years later and Arsenal are 2nd in the Premier League standings with 66 points, 37 points ahead of The Black Cats who are 16th in the table. Arsenal have since won 13 League titles and 11 FA Cups against Sunderland’s 6 League titles and one FA Cup triumph.
Back to Arsenal and Blackburn, the two sides have produced some of the most exciting and high scoring fixtures in English football. The biggest victory by Arsenal was an 8-0 hammering in the 1932-1933 season while the most impressive win by Rovers was a 7-0 rout 1909-1910 season. The biggest draw between the two sides was however a 5-5 draw in 1962.
What a rivalry these two sides have had.