Spurs 3 Arsenal 1
PROBABLY the most memorable game in recent years for Spurs supporters as champions-elect Arsenal were denied the opportunity to repeat a second double by Tottenham in this FA Cup semi-final played at Wembley.
With the demand for tickets so high, even the 80,000 seater stadium was not big enough to satisfy demand from supporters of both sides.
Arsenal went into this game having lost just one league game all season and were confident of brushing aside their fierce rivals who had been beset with financial irregularities and indifferent league form throughout the season.
Paul Gascoigne had been in irresistible form throughout the FA Cup run but going into this game he had played just 60 minutes of football in five weeks after undergoing a double hernia operation.
Gazza's midfield partner David Howells was also coming back from injury and the decision to select him alongside the brilliant Geordie after an 11-week absence was a huge gamble - but ultimately one which paid off in glorious fashion as Spurs' short passing game pulled apart Arsenal's game plan of trying to contain the ubiquitous Gascoigne.
Gascoigne, a player whose ability to rise to the big-match occasion makes him one of the modern-day great players in the English game, and once more he proved that to be the case in an encounter which will live in the memory of Spurs fans for years to come.
Indeed with five minutes played, it was Gascoigne who put his side in the lead with an amazing free-kick from fully 30 yards which beat David Seaman and flew into the top left-hand corner.
That goal settled any early nerves for Spurs and just five minutes after Gazza's wonder strike, Gary Lineker poked home from close range a second after Paul Allen's cross eluded the Arsenal defence.
Spurs were now firing on all cylinders with Gascoigne and Samways dominating in midfield and Allen and Howells negating the threat of Arsenal full-backs Lee Dixon and Nigel Winterburn.
On the stroke of half-time Arsenal pulled a goal back when Alan Smith profited from Dixon finally breaking forward and headed home a deep cross in front of Gary Mabbutt.
The sapping pitch at Wembley was beginning to take its toll on Gascoigne, and he left the field on 60 minutes to a standing ovation to be replaced by Nayim as Spurs desperately went in search for a third goal.
Arsenal, as expected, had the lion's share of the opening exchanges in the second half but Gary Mabbutt and Steve Sedgley at the heart of the defence were magnificent in containing the dangerous Smith and Kevin Campbell.
The elusive third goal finally arrived on 78 minutes when Vinny Samways combined with Mabbutt to release Lineker whose shot squirmed through Seaman's hands and into the net.
Arsenal hit the bar through Campbell and Merson late in the game but Tottenham were not to be denied a memorable victory on their route to their eighth FA Cup triumph.
April 14 1991