Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Arsenal

FA Cup Semi-Final, April 14, 1991

Arch-rivals Spurs and Arsenal contested the first ever FA Cup semi-final to be staged at Wembley, although the game will be most remembered for one special kick.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Paul Gascoigne (5)
Gary Lineker (10, 78)
3-1
Arsenal
Alan Smith (45)

1991 FA Cup Semi-Final, 14th April 1991
Wembley, Att: 77,893

Spurs fans will never forget Paul Gascoigne's spectacular free kick, which opened the scoring after only five minutes. Gazza's proudest moment, leaving David Seaman stunned from 35 yards, is still regarded as one of the finest free-kicks ever to grace Wembley.

Gary Lineker made it 2-0 inside ten minutes with a typical poacher's goal that was scrambled over the line after some confusion in the Gunner's penalty box. Arsenal fought back with a headed goal from Alan Smith before half-time but, despite having most of the ball in the second half, never truly looked like scoring again.

Lineker made sure of a return ticket to Wembley for the Final with a surprising solo effort - practically running straight at goal from the half-way line and ignoring his team mates before unleashing a powerful shot that sealed a famous win.

Key Figures

Paul Gascoigne

Gazza almost single-handedly took Spurs to the FA Cup Final that season with a succession of impressive performances. However, an over enthusiastic tackle on Gary Charles early in the Final saw him leave the field with ruptured knee ligaments - and some claim he was never quite the same player again.

Gary Lineker

Bagged his customary poachers goal to put Spurs 2-0 up, but added a classy second to prove he wasn't just a goal-hanger. Didn't score in the Final, but he did have a goal disallowed for offside and had a penalty saved by Forest's Mark Crossley.

David Seaman

The usually assured Seaman had a rare off-day. Still a relative new boy in the Arsenal rearguard, he had only joined from QPR the year before. Blamed himself for conceding Gazza's free-kick, and for Lineker's second, a shot from outside of the area which slipped through his normally safe hands.

Did You Know...?

Just like many of Spurs' trophy successes, this one came in a year ending with a '1' - they won the League in 1951 and 1961, the FA Cup in 1901, 1921, 1961, 1981 and 1991, and the League Cup in 1971.

Gascoigne wasn't even a certain starter on the day as he was still recovering from a hernia operation. He dedicated the win to his grandfather Fred who had passed away 48 hours earlier.

When Gazza went off exhausted after an hour, he was replaced by Nayim, who would come back to haunt Arsenal four years later when he lobbed Seaman in the last minute of extra time to win the Cup Winners' Cup for Real Zaragoza.

What Happened Next

Tottenham went on to win the FA Cup Final by beating Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest 2-1 back at Wembley. The goals came from Paul Stewart and an extra-time own goal from Des Walker.

Under George Graham, Arsenal won the League that season - losing only one match during the entire campaign. His team would later taste FA Cup glory when they completed a domestic cup double in 1993.

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From the back pages

FA Cup semi-final preview Published: April 13, 1991

Gazza's Crack Up

FA Cup semi-final preview Published: April 13, 1991

George Graham declares war on best pal Terry Venables

FA Cup semi-final match report Published: April 15, 1991

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