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Tottenham Avoid Relegation – Jurgen Klinsmann Scored Four at Wimbledon


It had been a traumatic season for Spurs. A change of manager and the return of Jurgen Klinsmann had brought little improvement and with two games to go Tottenham were still in danger of relegation. A match against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park was not going to be easy until Klinsmann scored 4 goals.

On This Day

2nd May, 1998

Wimbledon 2  Tottenham Hotspur 6

Scorers: Fear (2)             Ferdinand, Klinsmann (4), Saib

Team: Walker; Carr, Calderwood, Campbell, Neilsen; Fox (Saib), Berti, Anderton, Ginola; Ferdinand (Armstrong), Klinsmann  Subs: (unused) Grodas, Scales, Clemence

Jurgen Klinsmann, now manager of US team, saved Tottenham with 4 goals against Wimbledon. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Survival and what a way to do it! The penultimate game of the season and Spurs were not assured of Premiership football for the following season. It had been a long, difficult season and Spurs needed a fighting performance to retain their place in the top Division.

Christian Gross’ appointment in place of Gerry Francis, the previous November, had not been successful and there was discontent among the players over his style of management. The return of Jurgen Klinsmann in December had not brought about the hoped for revitalisation of the team. The German was trying to regain full fitness in order to play for his country in the World Cup Finals in France but he had struggled to make a major impact in his second spell at White Hart Lane.

Klinsmann, however, rectified that situation in just one game. Spurs had taken the lead against Wimbledon through Les Ferdinand after 18 minutes, Ginola having hit the post in the build up. The home team were level within three minutes and ahead after half an hour – Fear scoring twice.  As half time approached, Spurs equalised when Klinsmann scored his first goal of the afternoon, after some wizardry on the left and a beautiful low cross from Ginola.

In the second half Ben Thatcher was sent off after 52 minutes. Two minutes later Klinsmann scored his second. This time it was created by Nicola Berti and Klinnsman added two more inside six minutes. With half and hour to play, Spurs were coasting 5 – 2 ahead. Klinsmann then set up the sixth goal for Saib.

David Ginola was unplayable against Wimbledon [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]

Klinsmann scored the four goals to grab the headlines but it was the play of Ginola which destroyed the Dons defence and supplied the German with the goal scoring opportunities. That day David Ginola was simply unplayable – he ran the Wimbledon defence ragged, as Spurs guaranteed their place  in the Premiership for another year.

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#knowyourtottenhamhistory  1st May, 1963  Spurs Reach ECWC Final with Win over OFK Belgrade

More articles on Jurgen Klinsmann

Tottenham’s Transfer Coup in 1994: here

Klinsmann’s Debut v Sheffield Weddnesday: here

Home Debut v Everton August, 1994: here