I hope everybody is staying safe? Because I usually report on the matches I go to, how the day went etc. (but now, no football), I’ve decided that I would reminisce about some of the great games I’ve seen over the years (since the double). I’ve opted to start with the Semi-Final of 1991. It wasn’t any old semi, but an exceptional one, and it went down in history. It was the first time that a semi-final of the FA Cup had been played at our national stadium. Gazza also scored one of the most celebrated goals in history. Best regards, Glenn.
Extracts from my blog;
I’ve decided that because there is no football, I will revisit some of the great matches and times I’ve had from my past. The game I decided to do first was held in 1991, and it was a special and unique occasion.
The 1991 semi-final between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur was the first to be played at Wembley, the traditional venue for the FA Cup Final. Before that, semi-finals have always been played at neutral sites. Since 2008, all semi-finals have been held at Wembley. In the past, any suitably large ground which was not the home ground of a team in that semi-final was used. Villa Park in Birmingham, Old Trafford in Manchester, and Hillsborough in Sheffield were customary hosts. All semi-finals between 1871 and 1881 were played at Kennington Oval. The first neutral semi-final match outside London took place in 1882 in Huddersfield. So, 1991 was a unique moment then.
I haven’t missed a home game since the late 70s. Away, since the 90s. In this particular year, I went to all the games (which is bloody obvious, considering what I’ve just previously said!). In January of 1991 (5th) I travelled to Blackpool, where we beat the Seasiders 1-0. Paul Stewart’s only goal decided the outcome. Twenty-one days later we were at home, this time against Oxford United. A goal from Mabbutt, two from Gazza and Linker got the fourth. They managed to put two past us, but we were through to the next round.
On the 16th February, I travelled to Portsmouth, where we beat them 2-1 (both goals were by Gazza). If I recall rightly Darren Anderton was playing for Portsmouth. In the 6th Rd, we were back at home where we faced Notts County (I remember it being televised for some reason). Goals from Nayim and Gazza put us through 2-1. We were through to the semi-finals (hurray!). The first time since… well… 1987. Once the excitement had died down, our thoughts turned to who we might get. We waited with bated breath. Finally, the names were drawn, and Low and behold we were going to face the scum… yes, Arsenal. They were favourites to win the double that year, and we were in their way. They had only been beaten three times that season. Once in the League, once in the FA Cup (by us) and were also knocked out of the League cup. So who better to knock that smug smile off their faces than us?
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