Two goals from Steve Perryman in the 1st leg of the UEFA Cup semi-final tie at White Hart Lane against AC Milan gave Tottenham a slender advantage ahead of the return game in Italy.
Tottenham on this Day
5th April, 1972
Perryman Comes to the Rescue
Tottenham Hotspur 2 AC Milan 1 UEFA Cup Semi-final (1st Leg)
Team: Jennings; Kinnear, Knowles; Mullery, England, Naylor; Gilzean, Perryman, Chivers, Peters, Coates (Neighbour)
Ten years earlier on this date, Bill Nicholson had seen his Tottenham team defeat Benfica in the European Cup semi-final 2nd leg tie at White Hart Lane, only to be knocked out on aggregate. Controversial refereeing decisions in both matches had gone against Tottenham but this time in the UEFA Cup semi-final Spurs took a step towards their second European Final.
Bill Nicholson recalled Alan Mullery from a loan spell at Fulham and restored him as captain for this important game. Fixture congestion over Easter had brought injury problems for the manager and when John Pratt broke his nose in the game on Easter Monday he decided to recall his captain.
Initially, AC Milan made it very difficult for Spurs and outplayed them. They took the lead after 25 minutes but then Spurs raised their game and equalised within ten minutes. Steve Perryman scored from 25 yards, after Martin Peters and Alan Gilzean combined to create the chance for him. The Italians played a very physical game and with half an hour left had a defender sent off.
Spurs took advantage and Perryman again scored from the same distance to give Spurs a narrow lead for the second leg. AC Milan celebrated for they were certain they would turn that around in Milan especially as they had the important away goal.
Also on this day:
Tottenham v Benfica (European Cup): Match report
Tottenham v Benfica (European Cup) – Old Photographs: Read more