4th January, 2005
Manchester United 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0
(but there was Pedro Mendes’ goal that wasn’t)
On 4th January, 2005 Spurs took an understrength team to Old Trafford. Martin Jol’s tactics had worked splendidly and with only moments remaining Pendro Mendes scored with a shot from almost the half-way line. United’s goalkeeper, Roy Carroll, fumbled the ball which fell over his shoulder and into the net but he managed to scramble back and hook the ball out of the net with his hand. The ball had been at least a metre over the line and Sky television had immediately changed the scoreline on their screens but the assistant referee was out of position and slow to run back and he signalled play on, and the ‘Goal of the Season’ didn’t count.
Martin Jol Reacts with Dignity
Everyone in the ground knew it was a goal apart from Mark Clattenburg and his assistant, Ray Lewis, and Spurs had been deprived of the three points they deserved. Martin Jol was critical of the officials but reacted with dignity and restraint but little good it did Spurs. His comments are recorded by the BBC web-site, Jol said,
The referee is already wearing an earpiece so why can’t we just stop the game and get the decision right but at the end of the day it’s so obvious that Pedro’s shot was over the line it’s incredible. We feel robbed but it’s difficult for the linesman and referee to see it.
Jol’s reaction to the situation when a ‘goal’ was scored but disallowed is in stark contrast to the ranting of David Moyes after Wednesday’s evening’s game at Old Trafford. Moyes worked himself into quite a frenzy as he ranted about the officials in his post-match interview with BBC Sport, calling the decision on Lloris’ challenge on Young as “scandalous”. He went on to say,
It’s an incredible decision, in fact probably one of the worst I think I saw……I find it incredible, but the people who employ the referees are going to have to look at that and see if they get that right.
100th North London Derby
4th January, 1987
Tottenham Hotspur 1 Arsenal 2 (1st Division)
The 100th League match between the two clubs, saw Arsenal take an early lead and increase it before half-time. In a season where manager, David Pleat, was building a team which played exciting football with five in midfield and Clive Allen as the lone striker doing all the damage, it was full back Mitchell Thomas who scored Spurs consolation goal at the end of the first half.
Spurs who had climbed to fifth position after some poor results earlier in the season, were unable to score against the League leader’s tight defence who were on an undefeated run of eighteen games.
By the end of the season, however, Spurs had climbed to third and their North London rivals slipped to fourth. At least that would provide some consolation.