Tottenham 3-2 Manchester City
FA Cup final replay, May 14, 1981
The 100th FA Cup final had ended in deadlock, with Spurs and Manchester City drawing 1-1 after extra-time. Tottenham's Argentinian midfielder Ricky Villa had left the Wembley turf in tears after a poor display saw him substituted. Five days later, the teams came back to Wembley for the replay, but could Villa make amends for his under-par performance? You bet he could…
Ricky Villa (8, 76)
Garth Crooks (70)
Steve MacKenzie (11)
Kevin Reeves (50 (pen.))
FA Cup final replay,
14 May 1981
Wembley, Referee: Keith Hackett (Sheffield), Att: 92,000
Tottenham took the lead after just eight minutes when Ossie Ardiles embarked on an intricate run and set up Steve Archibald for a shot that Joe Corrigan could only parry, before Villa pounced on the rebound. City took just three minutes to equalise, Steve MacKenzie unleashing a piledriver from 20 yards, and took the lead just after the interval, Kevin Reeves converting a penalty. Garth Crooks put Spurs back in it, toe-poking the ball home from a corner. Then, with 14 minutes to go, Villa embarked on one of the most celebrated dribbles in football history, dancing past three City defenders before he casually slipping the ball under the advancing Joe Corrigan to make it 3-2 and ensure 'Ossie's Dream' came true.
The Argentinian suffered heartbreak when he was hauled off in the first game, but his canny manager Keith Burkinshaw immediately reassured him he'd be picked again for the replay, and Villa repaid his faith with a magnificent performance, scoring twice to claim a place in the FA Cup hall of fame.
Ricky Villa might have won all the headlines, but his compatriot Ardiles also played a lead role in 'Tottingham's victory. He shrugged off a crunching tackle from Gerry Gow in the first minute to pull the strings for Spurs, making the run that set up the first goal for Villa.
MacKenzie became the most expensive teenager in football when he joined City from Crystal Palace in 1979, before he had even played a League match. The midfielder's rocket shot past Milija Aleksic in the replay was good enough to win any Cup final, but was to be overshadowed by Villa's virtuoso solo.
Did You Know...?
The 1981 final would have been the first to go to penalties had the teams still been level after extra-time in the replay. Both clubs protested to FA secretary Ted Croker about the decision, but the FA insisted there was no room in the schedule for another replay.
The Tottenham players were on £6,000 a man to win the Cup. Manchester City were on £8,000 a man.
Keith Hackett refereed the game using the Italian police whistle he favoured, as it had a higher pitch making it easier to hear.
What Happened Next
Tottenham retained the Cup, beating Terry Venables' QPR 1-0 in another replay following a 1-1 draw, but both Villa and Ardiles were left out due to the war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands. In the Cup-Winners' Cup, they made it through to the semi-finals, but lost 2-1 on aggregate to eventual winners Barcelona.
Manchester City never quite hit the heights of 1981 again. Manager John Bond paid for the lack of success with the sack in February 1983, and they were relegated at the end of the season. Steve MacKenzie left City in August 1981 to join West Brom.
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