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5 iconic Tottenham Hotspur goals that whiff up nostalgia

Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 30 Apr 2020, 23:49 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Tottenham Hotspur fans have felt disillusionment with the club in recent times. The ecstasy of Amsterdam seems like a lifetime ago, and all that Mauricio Pochettino built may be unravelling before their very eyes.

It's even harder to feel a connection with the club during a sustained break from any sort of football.

However, a quick trip down memory lane with these five iconic Spurs goals will surely bring those deep feelings of passion back to the surface.

#5. Paul Gascoigne (1991 FA Cup semifinal vs Arsenal)

Paul Gascoigne
Paul Gascoigne
'Is Gascoigne gonna have a crack? He is you know.'

These are the immortal words of commentator Barry Davies as Paul Gascoigne approached a 35-yard free-kick for possibly the most iconic Tottenham goal of all time. It simply had it all: the big occasion, the sublime technique, the glory and an Arsenal keeper picking the ball out of the net!

Gazza was on a one-man crusade to lift the FA Cup in '91. The midfield maestro had carried Spurs to the semi-finals and any red shirts on the field that afternoon were merely spectators.

There were just five minutes on the clock when Gazza ran up and connected with the ball like he had smuggled gelignite in his boots. A shell-shocked Arsenal couldn't muster much of a response as Spurs registered a surprise 3-1 victory over their North London rivals. 

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'It wasn't bad was it?' reflected Gazza in his post match interview. 'I'm now away to get my suit measured.'

But the goal evokes almost as much heartbreak as it does joy. A fired up Gazza broke his leg in a poor challenge against Nottingham Forest in the final. The semifinal protagonist watched from a hospital bed as his teammates climbed up the hallowed Wembley steps to collect the trophy that no one desired or deserved more than Gazza.

Gazza had more memorable moments for various clubs and his country but it was that day at Wembley when the genius of Paul Gascoigne was truly at its peak. 

#4. David Ginola (1999 FA Cup Quarterfinal vs Barnsley)

David Ginola
David Ginola

It wasn't the most glamorous Spurs side of all time but David Ginola certainly epitomised 'the Tottenham way.' The Frenchman was a beacon of light in the team. Ginola proved to be the match-winner as Spurs took on Barnsley in the '99 FA Cup quarter finals. Barnsley sought an upset and managed to keep things goalless until Ginola received the ball on the touch-line about 40 yards from the goal. The rest, as they say, is history. 

It took just ten sublime touches for Ginola to dance his way past the entire Barnsley defence and slot the ball into the bottom corner. Ginola beat four men on his way in an exquisite demonstration of sublime agility, skill, balance, close control and acceleration. Much to the delight of any females present that evening, the flamboyant Frenchman whipped off his shirt in celebration. 

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Tottenham didn't get any further in the FA Cup that year but they did go on to win the League Cup as Ginola also scooped the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards.

#3. Ricky Villa (1981 FA Cup Final vs Manchester City)

1981 FA Cup Final Replay Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City
1981 FA Cup Final Replay Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City

Ricky Villa's mazy run and finish did not just go down in Spurs folklore. The goal went down as one of the most iconic goals ever scored in the FA Cup

But the Argentinean was lucky to even be on the Wembley turf that day to contest the '81 final replay. Villa had a nightmare performance in the original final and reacted badly after being substituted by manager Keith Burkinshaw. However, Burkinshaw kept faith in the silky South American who certainly didn't let the manager down. 

Villa had opened the scoring after eight minutes. The game was evenly balanced at 2-2 when the Argentinian picked the ball up with less than a quarter of an hour to play. Villa bound towards the City goal and turned a couple of blue shirts inside and out to the extent that it looked like he had beaten about six men. 

Tommy Canton, one of the unfortunate City defenders, was so bamboozled by Villa's footwork that he might still have nightmares about the robust Argentinean to this day. Villa eventually slotted the ball past the onrushing Joe Corrigan in what proved to be the winner.

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Ricky Villa celebrated the victory with stars such as Glenn Hoddle, Steve Perryman and, of course, his compatriot Ossie Ardiles. The final may have been dubbed as 'Ossie's dream' but it will always be remembered for Villa's goal.

#2. Gareth Bale (2012-13 EPL vs West Ham)

Gareth Bale rejoices after scoring against West Ham (Pic courtesy PA)
Gareth Bale rejoices after scoring against West Ham (Pic courtesy PA)
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In a 2012-13 EPL game, Tottenham found themselves a goal down at Upton Park with fifteen minutes to go. But with Gareth Bale on the field, victory for the hosts was far from assured. And so it proved to be the case. 

The visitors drew level through Gylfi Sigurdsson and pushed for a late winner that would catapult them into third position in the league table. Bale surged forward in the 90th minute but was chopped down for the umpteenth time that evening. Referee Howard Webb waved play on. A relentless Bale channelled his frustration and demanded the ball from Tom Carroll as the seconds ticked away. 

The Welshman only needed a couple of touches to find a yard of space before pulling the trigger. With the precision of William Tell and the power of Thor, the Welshman's left boot unleashed a shot that only ever had one destination. Jussi Jaaskelainen, who had been phenomenal on the night, didn't even attempt to dive and watched on as the ball nestled in the top corner and Spurs took all three points.

Bale headed straight for the touch-line and wrapped his arms around manager Andre Villas-Boas. Gareth Bale put many in the top bin during his time at Spurs but none were quite as satisfying as this one.

#1. Jimmy Greaves (1965 League game vs Manchester United)

Spurs vs Man United
Spurs vs Man United

It's hard to single out just one Jimmy Greaves goal for Spurs. The player scored 266 but his dazzling effort against Manchester United in '65 was perhaps Jimmy Greaves at his best. Bill Nicholson's side were in the mood that afternoon and made a United team containing the likes of Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law look like amateurs. 

As if playing in a training game, Spurs casually knocked one-twos around the defence before Dave Mackay played the ball forward to Greaves who was stationed 30 yards away from goal. United centre-half Bill Foulkes must have mistook Greaves for a ladder, as was common in those days. Foakes attempted to climb the striker's back but with a deft touch with the outside of his boot and a turn of pace, Greaves left the former for dead. 

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The striker barely noticed John Fitzpatrick's desperate slide tackle or any of the chasing pack of red shirts as he glided towards the United goal. As was so often the case in Greaves' career, he took the ball around a hapless keeper before slotting it into an empty net.

The Sunday People wrote of how Greaves 'snatched the third after beating four men inside the space of his hall carpet'. The Tottenham Herald stated 'the memory of his lone-goal dash will stay with the 58000 crowd for many seasons to come.'

Many of Greaves' contemporaries claim the striker was as good a player as Messi and watching him in full flow at White Hart Lane that afternoon it was not hard to see why. 

Published 30 Apr 2020, 23:49 IST
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