24.12.1932 - arsenal 9-2 sheffield united
football league division one
Arsenal gave there fans a Christmas cheer when they beat Sheffield United by nine goals to two in this Christmas Eve fixture at Highbury in 1932.
The Gunners where to go into this fixture with caution, as tradition the Christmas fixture lists would see them face Sheffield United and two more games with Leeds United in the matter of three days and where happily sat at top of the league five points ahead of Aston Villa at a time were only two points were rewarded for a victory and had hit fine form having lost just once in ten matches with no draws and raked up high scoring wins over Sunderland (6-1), Leicester City (8-2) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (7-1) but had lost 3-5 at Villa.
Meanwhile the Blades too were in fine form having won there previous five matches and had come into this Christmas Eve fixture with a fine 3-2 win over Everton but with seven defeats to there tally were laying twelfth in the table and six points behind third placed Sheffield Wednesday whom they had drawn 3-3 with earlier in the campaign. The newspapers of the day reflected on the victory by Arsenal but also remembered that although a 'massive' win was duly flattering as United gave as they got but were perhaps most unfortunate in front of goal, but United came into this match in London with anxiety and feared a defeat at a critical point in the season.
The Blades played well and on this performance would have defeated many teams, but not Arsenal on this day when they shipped nine goals past. For the first twenty minutes the visitors attacked with skill, especially on the left flank, however the half-backs - the engine room of the old formations were not at there best and at times seemed dysfunctional. Yet surprisingly it was United who scored the first goal after 18 minutes, both goals had seen dangerous play in front of goal but it was Oswald who opened the scoring from close range.
With a one goal lead United tried to play Arsenal at there own game, but failed as the hosts hit back - and hard. On 23 minutes, Lambert who was having a good game moved to the left-wing to collect the ball, he flicked to Bastin who ran in to score. That was just the start; James and Lambert combined and Bastin again scored, soon after, following a throwing Jack got possession and with his left boot hit a swift and true shot that nestled in under the bar to make the score now 3-1.
In the second half, things carried on as they left off, Jack Lambert netted twice with a few minutes, Bastin scored the sixth and Lambert finished the rout with a further three in succession. For Lambert, a Yorkshireman born in Greasbrough (nr Rotherham) it was a fine day for he was a regular in the reserves and had only been installed to fill for the injured Coleman. Dunne added a consolation for United but it wasn't to be there day but never gave up the ghost and persevered throughout.
On the final day of the season United beat the Gunners 3-1 at Bramall Lane but wasn't enough to prevent Arsenal from winning the league, who claimed the title by four clear points over Aston Villa, Wednesday finished third whilst United a respectable tenth. Bolton and Blackpool fell foul of the relegation trap door. Sadly for Lambert, aged just 38 he was killed in a car accident in Enfield in December 1940.