Tottenham have been drawn away to Arsenal in the FA Cup 3rd Round at the beginning of January. This will be the third time that the two north London rivals have been drawn together in the 3rd Round. The outcome to those previous 3rd Round ties stands at one each. The clubs have met at the semi-final stage of the FA Cup on 3 previous occasions with Arsenal holding the upper hand in those clashes, winning 2 to Spurs 1.
The FA Cup 3rd Round tie at the Emirates will be in the weekend following Spurs match at Old Trafford on New Year’s Day so it will make it quite a start to 2014 for Andre Villas-Boas and the players – what a challenge!
Previous FA Cup Matches
- The first time Spurs played Arsenal in the FA Cup was in January, 1949. Spurs were then in the 2nd Division and lost 3 – 0 at Highbury. Spurs were managed by the former Arsenal winger from the 1930s, Joe Hulme.
- It was another 33 years before the two clubs clashed again in the FA Cup. This time it was at White Hart Lane and Spurs won 1 – 0 thanks to a goal from Garth Crooks as Tottenham set out to retain the FA Cup in season 1981-82. The match is remembered, not only for Spurs’ win over their greatest rivals but for a mistake by Arsenal keeper, Pat Jennings who was at fault for Crooks’ goal. Jennings had a miserable afternoon, having to go off injured.
- 1991 – no-one will ever forget Paul Gascoigne’s goal from the free-kick and his celebrations as he set Tottenham on their way to a 3 – 1 victory in the first FA Cup semi-final to be played at Wembley. Against the odds Spurs progressed to the Final with two more goals from Gary Lineker securing the victory.
- Two years later, Arsenal took revenge with a single goal win at Wembley from a late free-kick. Spurs fans still believe that they should have had a penalty in the first half when Darren Anderton was brought down in the penalty area with the defender duly sent off.
- In 2001 it was the first big game of Glenn Hoddle’s time as manager and was staged at Old Trafford. It started well for Spurs with Gary Doherty scoring an early goal but as Sol Campbell went off injured in what turned out to be his last game for Spurs so the game slipped away from Tottenham with Arsenal equalising from the free-kick awarded for his foul.
The previous matches have been full of drama and I’m sure that the match at the beginning of January will provide numerous points for debate whoever wins.
It could be quite a start to 2014 with the possibility of a two-legged Capital One Cup semi-final as well, if Spurs progress past West Ham next week.