Tottenham and Arsenal have played on this day, 20th November, on two occasions – in 1968 in the League Cup and more recently in 2010 in the Premier League. Spurs were away in both games and while we want to forget one game, the other will be fondly remembered by every Tottenham supporter.
20th November, 1968
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Spurs and Arsenal had been drawn together in the semi-final of the League Cup. This was only the second occasion that Spurs had played Arsenal in a Cup competition. The previous time was in the FA Cup in 1949 when Spurs lost 0 – 3 at Highbury.
It was also only the second season in which Spurs had entered the League Cup and they had progressed to this stage with wins over Aston Villa, Exeter City, Peterborough United and Southampton.
The Arsenal winner in the 1st leg at Highbury came in injury time as Joe Kinnear attempted to head the ball back to Pat Jennings but his header was too weak and was cut out by the Arsenal striker, John Radford who scored the only goal of the game.
This set up an intriguing match for the second leg at White Hart Lane in a fortnight’s time but conceding the late goal made it that bit more difficult for Spurs.
20th November, 2010
Arsenal 2 Tottenham Hotspur 3
Scorers: Bale, Van der Vaart (pen), Kaboul
Team: Gomes; Hutton, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon (Defoe), Jenas, Modric, Bale; Van der Vaart (Palacios); Pavlyuchenko (Crouch)
This was Tottenham’s first win at the Emirates and their first success at Arsenal since the final match of the season in May, 1993 when they won 3 – 1.
When Spurs went two goals down with less than thirty minutes played, it looked as if it was going to be a familiar story of disappointment and defeat. At the interval, Harry Redknapp replaced Aaron Lennon with Jermain Defoe and switched to a 4–4–2 formation as Spurs demonstrated their true ability. Gareth Bale’s goal after fifty minutes brought them back into the game. Rafael Van der Vaart then coolly scored from the penalty spot with twenty three minutes remaining and Younes Kaboul completed the comeback by heading the winner from a Van der Vaart free-kick with five minutes left to record their first away win over Arsenal in seventeen years.
A day to be remembered.