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Arsenal v Spurs - 09.01.08

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Full History of Cup results
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FA Cup

Season   Rd   H/A   Result   Scorers

48-49    3     A    0-3
81-82    3     H    1-0      Crooks
90-91   S/F    W    3-1      Lineker 2
92-93   S/F    W    0-1
00-01   S/F   OT*   1-2      Doherty
(*OT = Old Trafford)

Lge Cup

68-69   SF/1   A    0-1
68-69   SF/2   H    1-1      Greaves
80-81    4     H    1-0      Ardiles
83-84    3     H    1-2      Hoddle (p)
86-87   SF/1   A    1-0      C Allen
86-87   SF/2   H    1-2(aet) C Allen
86-87   SF/R   H    1-2      C Allen
06-07   SF/1   H    2-2      Berbatov, o.g
06-07   SF/2   A    1-3(aet) Mido
Bearing in mind the long history of the two clubs, it is perhaps strange that we have only ever met 5 times in the FA Cup. The last three such meetings were in semi-finals, and we have to go back to St. Gazza's Day in 1991 for a day of Cup glory over this opposition, who we have yet to beat this century.

Last year's semi-final reports:-

Dimitar Berbatov celebrates Spurs first goal in last year's home leg 24.01.07 - Spurs 2 Arsenal 2 - Beastly Baptista
31.01.07 - Arsenal 3 Spurs 1 - after extra time
31.01.07 - Bleeding Spurs!

My old friend Brian Judson used to write comprehensive previews for Spurs Odyssey, and this material remains worthy of publication. Many thanks to Brian for his work

Tottenham are two matches away from their first Cup Final in 6 years! Memories will stir of past encounters with the Gooners. This preview will look at past encounters between the two sides.

F.A Cup History

The first encounter was back in January 1949. Spurs were still in the Second Division, managed by ex-Gooner Joe Hulme. (Rowe did not become manager until 4th May 1949.) On that cold January 8th, 1949, Spurs had a promising side but had been unable to force themselves into the promotion race. Glory was still eight months from its starting blocks. On the other hand, Arsenal were the reigning champions, though they were destined to lose that title to Portsmouth. Spurs were outclassed that day. There was never any doubt as to who would win. Their goals were scored by Ian McPherson, Don Roper and Doug Lishman. Spurs had surprisingly dropped Eddie Baily for this match and played a reserve in the form of Harry Gilberg, who was making only his third appearance in the team.

Spurs had 33 years to wait before they could exact revenge upon Arsenal. Ironically, Spurs then profited from an extremely rare mistake by Pat Jennings, who had played for Spurs from 1964 to 1977 before moving to Arsenal. Crooks had twice threatened to score, one shot hitting the bar. This time he completely mis-hit the ball to the groans of the crowd as Jennings saved the shot. Unbelievably, Jennings then lost control of the ball and it bobbled over the goal-line before anyone else could re-act. Spurs were without Steve Archibald that day as he was injured but Mark Falco was able to return to the team after a four month absence through an ankle ligament injury. Stewart Robson was playing his third game for Arsenal.

The two teams did not meet again in the FA Cup until they clashed in the famous Semi-Final tie at Wembley on April 14th 1991. Spurs stamped their authority on the game from quite an early stage when Gazza thumped home a thirty-five yard free-kick that Seaman never saw until it was too late to do anything about it. It was the hard running Paul Allen who set up Lineker for the second goal with a typically close range prod. Captain Beaky, as Alan Smith was popularly known, reduced the arrears after Edinburgh had made a hash of a clearance to enable Lee Dixon to centre the ball for Smith to head home. But midway through the second half, Spurs ensured it was to be their day. Nayim came on to replace Gazza who had run himself to a standstill after recently having had an operation to relieve a long-standing double hernia problem. Two minutes after the substitution had been effected, Lineker picked up a loose ball, shaped to pass to the hovering Samways, and accelerated past a cumbersome Adams, who was uncharacteristically slow to respond to the threat posed by Lineker. As Lineker fired the ball goalwards, Seaman could only flap at the ball despairingly. Spurs were in the Final and there was nothing Arsenal could do about it. Indeed their fans quickly disappeared from Wembley, knowing the game was up.

Two years later, the two sides were paired at the same stage. But Lineker had retired and Gazza departed for Italy but Spurs were still formidable opposition. But this time the game was a niggling affair with scores to be paid off. Paul Allen was booked for fouling Linighan, Linighan for fouling Sheringham, and then Dixon and Nayim squared up to each other. Incredibly the referee did not book Parlour when he blatantly kicked Edinburgh. Thorstvedt flung himself about to continually deprive Wright of a goal but even Erik could do nothing when Adams soared above everyone else to head home a Merson free-kick. This time, the Spurs fans jammed the exits early.

The atmosphere at Old Trafford in April, 2001 was electric, and I well remember that the Spurs fans out-sung the gooners. As it turned out a certain centre half played his last game for Spurs that day, and then only lasted 38 minutes. As a matter of fact, Campbell's replacement was Ledley King.

Somehow, Spurs took the lead after 13 minutes. Following a failed elaborate free kick involving Sherwood and Clemence, Spurs retrieved the initiative, and Sherwood sent a long ball in from the left. Ferdinand shot, and Seaman saved. The ball reached Iversen on the right of the box, whose shot was well wide, but was intercepted by an instinctive header from Gary Doherty, to score his third FA Cup goal this season.

Inevitably, Arsenal got a 33rd minute equaliser through Vieira, and in the second half, Pires scored the winner to send the Spurs half of the crowd home disconsolate. Ledley King is the only survivor of the squads that featured that day. Read the full match report here

League Cup History

So to the Football League Cup matches. We should have beaten Arsenal over two matches in the Semi-Final in the 1968-69 competition. We had defied everything that Arsenal could throw at us in the First Leg. But as the referee looked at his watch, John Radford gained the slightest of advantages for Arsenal to take to White Hart Lane.

The match at White Hart Lane was a disgrace to both sides. Knowles was booked for a foul on Radford and England, playing as a striker, for a foul on Wilson. Greaves levelled the aggregate after 68 minutes when he scored from a chip by Pearce. Radford headed home the equaliser to send Arsenal to Wembley in the 87th minute. Spurs fans felt some compensation when Don Rogers and Swindon Town won the Final 3-1!

Spurs next met Arsenal in November 1980. Postponed from its original date due to international calls on Arsenal's Stapleton and Spurs' Chris Hughton, the two sides knew that West Ham were waiting for them in the next round. Neither side were at full strength. Arsenal had George Wood in goal and Walford, a former Spurs defender, replaced the injured O'Leary. The only goal of the game came in the 26th minute. Wood could only parry a shot from Crooks. The ball ran loose to Ardiles, who carefully picked his spot to score.

Arsenal had their revenge in November 1983 when they won 2-1. Charlie Nicholas put Arsenal ahead in the 34th minute when an error by Clemence left the Scot with an open goal. Woodcock scored the second after Gary Stevens failed to clear a loose ball from Sunderland. Woodcock ran for 30 yards before he let fly. Immediately from the re-start, Spurs won a corner which Hoddle took. An Arsenal defender handled the ball and Hoddle took the resulting penalty to reduce the arrears. But it was not enough to prevent Arsenal winning.

The next time these two clubs clashed in this competition was in 1986-87 and it required three matches to separate them. Clive Allen scored the only goal of the first match at Highbury. Allen had forced Lukic to concede a corner by tipping the ball over the bar. Davis tried to clear the ball but Gough and Mabbutt both fired shots at Lukic before Allen forced the ball home.

At Tottenham, extra time failed to separate the two teams after two hours. Allen increased Tottenham's aggregate lead early on when Lukic flapped at a ball from a free-kick under pressure from Mabbutt and Allen forced the ball home. But Arsenal fought back and reduced the aggregate when Anderson headed the ball home. They were level when Quinn forced the ball home from a Rocastle centre.

The replay at Tottenham saw Arsenal finally emerge as victors. Allen broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute when he got on the end of a flicked on ball from Gough to force Spurs ahead. But Allinson equalised in the 83rd minute and a very young David Rocastle snatched a very late winner to break Tottenham's hearts as extra time loomed. Let us remember that despite the hostile rivalry between both sets of fans, we did all stand together in immaculate silence when Rocastle's early passing was mourned at Higbury on 31st March, 2001.

Last year's games are still fresh in the memory. Spurs had the first leg at home, and took a two goal lead through Dimitar Berbatov and an own goal by Baptista. Sadly, the gooners were allowed a second half recovery, with Baptista scoring twice for his own team to ensure the second leg started on level terms. Adebayor started that second leg, and scored the first goal in the 77th minute. Mido (who replaced Malbranque with 10 minutes to go) levelled with 5 minutes left, and might have seized the tie with a late effort that passed narrowly by the post. The misery of Spurs fans was complete in extra time, with two more goals for the home team. Arsenal lost in the last English Senior Cup Final played at the Millennium Stadium to Chelsea.

Last Year's Arsenal League cup side against Tottenham featured Toure in both legs, but I believe he will have left for the African Cup of Nations. Eboue and Alexandre Song are also involved in that tournament. Song got rave reviews for his performance in Arsenal's 3-2 win at Ewood Park in the last round. Van Persie is definitely out for this week's game, but even though Arsenal will use their "League Cup side" we have to accept they have a lot of talent available. Maybe they won't play Adebayor, but there is still Bendtner (who scored in our league game with his first touch) and Eduardo up front. It is quite likely that the Arsenal side will be re-inforced with one or two first choice players.

Spurs have to view this competition as their current best chance of qualifying for Europe, especially after the away draw at Old Trafford (should they beat Reading) in the FA Cup. Zokora is our only absence because of the African Nations competition. but of course Huddlestone is suspended and I understand that Boateng is doubtful for the game. This could mean another game for Jamie O'Hara, who had an excellent game in the league match just before Christmas.

Indeed, Spurs gave a great performance, and deserved at least a point from that game. Maybe this game, Jermain Defoe will get a start. he will certainly get plenty of cheers for his published desire to fight for a place, in spite of Ramos's apparent willingness to let him go. Maybe this game Spurs will at last gain some glory against Arsenal. I hope we will at least manage a draw to enable us to battle for a win at our home in two weeks' time.

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