English league · Football history · Records & statistics

1972 – Another Close Finish


Continuing from here, 1972 saw another close finish in the top flight in England.

At the end of March 1972, Manchester City led the table by 1 point from Leeds United and Derby County:

Pos Club P W D L GF GA Pts
1 Manchester City 35 20 10 5 66 36 50
2 Leeds United 35 20 9 6 63 25 49
3 Derby County 35 20 9 6 59 30 49
4 Liverpool 35 19 8 8 52 28 46

Just 7 points from the last 7 games saw Manchester City finish fourth, only one point behind champions, Derby County.

Pos Club P W D L GF GA Pts
1 Derby County 42 24 10 8 69 33 58
2 Leeds United 42 24 9 9 73 31 57
3 Liverpool 42 24 9 9 64 30 57
4 Manchester City 42 23 11 8 77 45 57

On 1 April 1972, Derby had beaten Leeds 2-0 at home.  With each of the top four having played 36 games, Derby were top with 51 points, Manchester City second on 50 points, Leeds third on 49 points, and Liverpool fourth on 48 points.

On 22 April 1972, Manchester City beat Derby 2-0 at home in their final league game of the season. Leeds and Liverpool both won that day. Derby still had one game to play while Liverpool and Leeds each had two games to play.  The table stood as follows:

Pos Club P W D L GF GA Pts
1 Manchester City 42 23 11 8 77 45 57
2 Liverpool 40 24 8 8 64 29 56
3 Derby County 41 23 10 8 68 33 56
4 Leeds United 40 23 9 8 70 29 55

On 1 May 1972, Derby beat Liverpool 1-0 at home, while Leeds beat Chelsea 2-0 at home.  Derby were now top on 58 points, having completed their fixtures, while Leeds on 57 points and Liverpool on 56 points had a game in hand.  Liverpool had to win their last game by 5 goals or more to finish above Derby County on goal average, while Leeds only needed a point from their last game to win the title.

On 6 May 1972, Leeds United beat Arsenal 1-0 in the FA Cup Final.  Leeds were just one point away from a league and cup double, a feat achieved by Arsenal the season before.

On 8 May 1972, Liverpool drew 0-0 away to Arsenal, while Leeds lost 1-2 away to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Derby County won the title while on holiday.

[see at 5 mins 15 secs]

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