Friday, 3 June 2016

Top 4 on Friday - White Hart Lane European nights

Tottenham last week reached a deal to play European home games at Wembley from next season - ahead of a year-long switch to the national stadium. 

White Hart Lane has played an integral part in the club’s European adventures over the years and here we pay tribute with its Top 4 cameos in continental football...

4. Spurs 8 - 1 Gornik Zabrze - September 20, 1961

The first ever European Cup game played at White Hart Lane was a preliminary round the season after winning the double. 

Bill Nicholson’s side lost the away leg 4-2 and looked in danger of an early exit. But we hit back against accusations of being dirty in the away leg and blew the Polish side off the park - a Cliff Jones hat-trick amongst the eight goals.

This narrowly pipped the quarter-final home leg against Dukla Prague, a 4-1 victory in snowy conditions, where Dave Mackay and Bobby Smith helped themselves to two goals each - but Gornik was the game that started it all.

3. Spurs 3-1 Inter Milan - November 2, 2010

Gareth Bale just had to be in there! This was the night our Champions League debut hit top gear as Spurs proved they could mix it with the big names on our way to the quarter-final. 

Bale tore Brazilian full-back Maicon apart for the second time in a fortnight - after his late hat-trick in the 4-3 defeat at the San Siro - and attacking football won the day. 

White Hart Lane singing "When the Spurs go marching in" after Roman Pavlyuchenko got the third will live long in the memory.

2. Spurs 2-1 Benfica - April 5, 1962

This was the closest Tottenham have come to the ultimate prize - and a crowd of 65,000 were rammed into White Hart Lane to see us fall agonisingly short of the European Cup final.

Having lost the semi-final first leg 3-1 in Lisbon, a 2-0 win would have done it but an early goal from Jose Aguas left us needing three. 

Spurs were back in the tie ten minutes before the break when Bobby Smith chested down Cliff Jones’ looped ball into the box and turned to hammer a shot into the top corner. 

Three minutes after half-time we nicked another through Danny Blanchflower’s penalty but Dave Mackay’s header clipped the crossbar as Benfica held out and went on to win the final 5-3 against Real Madrid.

1. Spurs 1-1 Anderlecht - May 23, 1984

Not many teams get to win a European final in front of their own fans - Tottenham have done it twice! We also beat Wolves in the inaugural UEFA Cup final in 1972 but 1984 against Anderlecht was as dramatic as they come. Spurs won on penalties.

An English team winning a shootout? Surely not. Yes, it really happened. Spurs drew the first match 1-1 (when Euro finals were still two legs) and brought the Belgians back to White Hart Lane for the ultimate “glory glory” night. 

Tottenham conceded after 60 minutes and looked headed for defeat until Graham Roberts popped up six minutes from time with an equaliser.

The game headed towards pens and Spurs converted the first four kicks but a Danny Thomas miss had the fans' hearts in their mouths - until keeper Tony Parks saved the next one to win Spurs the UEFA Cup and give boss Keith Burkinshaw the perfect send-off.

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