Aston Villa 1981

1981 saw Ron Saunders guide Aston Villa to their seventh League Title, albeit their first for 71 years. The race for the championship was a two horse race between Villa and Bobby Robson’s Ipswich Town. The teams met at Villa Park on 14 April, with Villa three points ahead, having played a game more and with Ipswich having the superior goal difference. The Tractor Boys 2-1 win saw them close the gap to just one point. However, this was to be as close as they got, as on 18 April, Villa beat Nottm Forest 2-0 at home as Ipswich suffered a 2-0 home reversal to Arsenal.

Villa edged further ahead on 20 April with a vital away point in a derby match with Stoke City. Ipswich lost in their own derby, 2-1 at Carrow Road. Both teams won on 25 April, Villa 3-0 at home to Middlesbro and Ipswich 1-0 at home to Manchester City. Then, in a vaguely underwhelming end to the race, Ipswich’s 2-1 reversal at Ayresome Park meant that Villa’s 2-0 loss at Highbury was academic. Villa had won the league, their first since 1910.

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