Spurs’ Greatest Comebacks of All Time
Recently, we produced an article covering Tottenham’s greatest comebacks of the Premier League era. Little did we know that just around the corner, the team would produce what many consider to be the most stunning return of all.
Down and out against Ajax, Spurs somehow turned things around in 51 crazy second half minutes and a first Champions League final now beckons. With that in mind, it seems a good time to produce a sequel to that original article and to consider the greatest ever Tottenham comebacks of all time.
Ajax 2 Spurs 3: 2018/19
There’s really only one place to start: We all look to support our team no matter what and we are always hopeful of victory even when we lack confidence. However, with just 45 minutes to go of that Champions League semi final, did any of us really expect to progress?
The away goals ruling helps to make anything possible but Lucas Moura’s first goal of the night offered hope rather than expectation. At 2-2 however, we were very much on the front foot before the impossible became just another routine night in our incredible UCL campaign.
The events are well documented and most of us still like to head back to social media in order to relive the best moments. Personally, I think it’s the reaction to the third goal and the final whistle that underlines this game as our greatest ever comeback. Yes there was jubilation but there was also stunned disbelief that still exists a week after the event. This sort of thing just doesn’t happen to us – does it?
Spurs 2 Nottingham Forest 1: 1990/91
We’ve chosen the 1991 FA Cup final as the second game on this list and while we only needed to come back from a single goal down, the match was a remarkable one for a number of reasons.
For much of that FA Cup campaign, it seemed as though our name was ‘on the cup’ but that feeling was largely due to one man alone. Paul Gascoigne kept us going throughout many of the earlier rounds with crucial goals at times when we looked to be on our way out.
Gazza returned from injury to score that spectacular free kick against Arsenal in the semis so, when he departed the FA Cup Final after just a few minutes, there was a sense of foreboding. Having taken out Garry Parker and Gary Charles, Gascoigne was, indeed, lucky to escape without a red card but there were two quick bouts of punishment.
Firstly, Stuart Pearce’s free kick gave Forest the lead before Gazza was stretchered off, surrounded by photographers ahead of a year’s injury absence from the game.
We seemed doomed in that first half and although Brian Clough’s side failed to add to their lead, Gary Lineker missed a penalty and had a goal ruled out (incorrectly) through offside in that opening 45 minutes.
We were nervous fans at the second half and, had the game gone deep into that second period, panic would have set in on the Wembley terraces. Fortunately, parity was restored fairly early when Paul Stewart’s low drive saw us level on 55 minutes.
From there, the game was evenly balanced but Spurs always seemed to have the edge before Des Walker’s own goal sealed our eighth FA Cup win. As we said, we were only a goal down but the circumstances of the game, and the lack of our best player, makes this a worthy inclusion on the list.
Spurs 1 Anderlecht 1 1983/84 UEFA Cup Final (Spurs win 4-3 on penalties)
Once again, there was only a one goal deficit to climb but the importance of the game and the circumstances leading up to it see this make the cut. We’re talking about the 1984 UEFA Cup Final second leg at White Hart Lane at the very end of the 1984 season.
The first game in Belgium had largely gone to plan as the club took back a 1-1 draw from Brussels. A rare goal from Paul Miller saw the sides finish level and that would have seemed to have given us the advantage going into the second leg at home.
Unfortunately, suspension robbed us of our skipper Steve Perryman for the return while injuries had already robbed us of key players in Glenn Hoddle and Ray Clemence. We were still confident but started to fear the worst when Alex Czerniatynksi put the Belgians ahead on the hour. With the away goals ruling threatening to act in Anderlecht’s favour, we had to keep things tight at the back while needing at least one goal to pull it back.
It all became a little desperate as Spurs threw the proverbial ‘kitchen sink’ at the game until, the calmest head in the ground levelled on 84 minutes. Calm wasn’t a word that was always associated with Graham Roberts but the stand in skipper was a true captain that night and his strike guided us into extra time.
There was no further addition to the score so it all came down to penalties and typically, Robbo took responsibility and put us ahead with the first spot kick. Morten Olsen couldn’t reply so it was down to Danny Thomas to seal glory. Sadly he missed but as the right back’s tears started to flow, Tony Parkes produced that unforgettable save from Arnor Gudjohnsen to send the White Hart Lane crowd into ecstasy.
Arsenal 4 Spurs 4: 2008/09
I thought long and hard about putting this in the original list of Premier League comebacks because, after all, it was only a draw. However, it was arguably the greatest and certainly the funniest draw in the history of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
We were mostly chasing the game with the only highlight of the first half from our point of view coming from David Bentley’s spectacular opening goal. Darren Bent kept us in with a sniff in the second period before Jermaine Jenas and Aaron Lennon struck late to end the game with a very unfair, but hilarious 4-4 scoreline.
We remained in the bottom three and it was only a point but it was about as memorable a point as they get.