Tottenham On This Day: Spurs 5 Chelsea 1 Worthington Cup Semi-Final


Teddy Sheringham scored for Spurs [Photo: Logan Holmes]Tottenham On This Day

23rd January, 2002

Tottenham Hotspur 5 Chelsea 1 (Worthington Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg)

Scorers: Iversen, Sherwood, Sheringham, Davies, Rebrov

Team: Sullivan, Taricco, Davies, Perry, Gardner, King, Sherwood, Poyet (Leonhardsen), Anderton, Sheringham, Iversen (Rebrov)


A goal down from the first leg of this League Cup semi-final clash, Tottenham set about overcoming Chelsea with a style and determination, often missing from Spurs teams.

In the first game Les Ferdinand had scored a second half equaliser with 25 minutes to play but Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored his second with 14 minutes to play to restore Chelsea’s advantage.

An early goal at White Hart, within two minutes, from Steffen Iversen brought the tie level and set Spurs on their way. Tim Sherwood scored a second after 33 minutes and in the second half, Teddy Sheringham made it three in the 50th minute.

Chelsea were reduced to 10 men when Hasselbaink was sent off, a case of mistaken identity by the referee but Spurs added further goals from Simon Davies (76 minutes) and substitute, Sergei Rebrov (87 minutes), to ensure they were in the Worthington Cup Final, before Chelsea’s late consolation goal in the final minute.

This was Spurs’ best performance of the season and the best result of Glenn Hoddle’s time as Tottenham manager. What a way to overcome the Chelsea jinx who hadn’t lost at White Hart Lane since 1987.

Unfortunately, the euphoria of this result was not carried forward to the Final in Cardiff where Spurs lost to Blackburn Rovers. Christian Ziege equalised for Spurs, scoring against future Tottenham goalkeeper, Brad Friedel. Rovers later ended Spurs hopes with a winning goal following an error by Ledley King.

The ‘Arfa Arfa’ Game

In his book, ‘The Glory of Spurs’, Jim Duggan describes this match in the section, ‘Being There: 11 Unmissable Terrace Moments’.

‘There have been plenty of big games with great atmosphere over the years, but having gone more than 10 years without a win against Chelsea, Spurs’ League Cup semi-final second leg against the Blues in 2002 was very special. Led by the spurs drummer, the fans did their bit before the game and once Iversen had levelled the scores on aggregate in the opening minutes, the intensity went even higher as the crowd began to dare to dream. In a brilliant display of skill and desire, Spurs never looked backand scored at regular intervals to not only win the tie but to end the bad run in spectacular style. Coming out of the ground Spurs sang ‘Who put the ball in the Chelsea net? Half of Tottenham!’ to give the game its name and seal one of the greatest nights at White Hart Lane.’

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