Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tottenham's Joy of Winning the Cup 5 (1972)

Tottenham have enjoyed success in Europe and Bill Nicholson is quoted, "It's magnificent to be in Europe, and this club - a club like Tottenham Hotspur - if we're not in Europe, we're nothing." The UEFA Cup campaign of 1971-72 was a long and tiring road but ultimately successful.

Tottenham won the League Cup in 1971 by defeating Aston Villa at Wembley.  They qualified to play in the first UEFA Cup competition which replaced the old Inter Cities Fairs Cup.  This was Spurs' first appearance in a European competition for five years since a rather brief and disappointing foray in the European Cup Winners' Cup.

The UEFA Cup, like all European competitions of the time was knock-out tournament over two legs with the Final also played on a home and away basis.  Tottenham played twelve games, visiting four different countries en-route to the joy of winning the Cup.

1971-72 UEFA Cup Final
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2 (1st Leg)
Tottenham Hotspur 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 (2nd Leg) 
                                                          [Tottenham Won 3 - 2 on aggregate]

Chivers the Inspiration for Tottenham

Martin Chivers
Martin Chivers showed all his power and goal scoring ability to give Tottenham the advantage in the first game at Molineux.  Captain, Alan Mullery, in what was to be his final match in a Spurs' shirt, scored the goal which ensured that Spurs became the first winners of the UEFA Cup and the first English team to win two European trophies.

Road to the Final:
1st Round (1st Leg) v Keflavik (Iceland) (a) Won 6 - 1 Mullery (2), Coates, Gilzean (3)
The anticipated routine win for Spurs with the main interest surrounding Ralph Coates who scored his first goal for Spurs since signing from Burnley during the summer.  The match was also significant as the only occasion when a young Graeme Souness played for Tottenham.  An exciting prospect in the mould of the great Dave Mackay, he came on as a substitute for Mullery.  Impatient for a place in the senior team Bill Nicholson reluctantly sold him to Middlesbrough in January, 1973.

1st Round (2nd Leg) v Keflavik (h) Won 9 - 0   
                                 Knowles, Coates, Perryman, Chivers (3), Holder, Gilzean (2)  (Agg. Won 15 - 1)
A full strength team played in the second game at White Hart Lane and gave Spurs an their highest ever aggregate success in European football.

2nd Round (1st Leg) v FC Nantes (France) (a) Draw 0 - 0
A much more difficult match saw Spurs relieved to return home with the tie in the balance but with home advantage in the next match making them slight favourites.

2nd Round (2nd Leg) v FC Nantes (h) Won 1 - 0 Peters  (Agg. Won 1 - 0)
In a close encounter Martin Peters scored the all important goal in what was a very tense, nervy evening for everyone at White Hart Lane.

3rd Round (1st Leg) v Rapid Bucharest (Romania) (h) Won 3 - 0 Chivers (2), Peters
An early goal set Spurs up to take a three goal advantage to Romania thanks to the two Martins whose understanding and link up play along with Alan Gilzean was a feature of the season. 

3rd Round (2nd Leg) v Rapid Bucharest (a) Won 2 - 0 Chivers, Pearce  (Agg. Won 5 - 0)
On paper, this result looks quite straightforward but Spurs had to deal with some of the most robust tackling and tactics that they had ever met in European football.  For the players, it was the survival of the fittest, many finishing the game with knocks and bruises, leaving Bill Nicholson so infuriated that he branded Rapid as the dirtiest team he had ever experienced.  Chivers and substitute, Jimmy Pearce scored.  Pearce replaced the injured Gilzean but was only on the pitch for  twelve minutes, just long enough to come on, score the first goal and get sent off.

4th Round (1st leg) v UT Arad (Romania) (a) Won 2 - 0 England, Morgan
After the previous round, the last thing Spurs wanted was a return trip to Romania but this time they recorded an uneventful but comfortable win with goals from Mike England and Roger Morgan who was trying to come back after being out through injury for eighteen months. 

4th Round (2nd Leg) v UT Arad (h) Draw 1 - 1 Gilzean  (Agg. Won 3 - 1)
The draw provided Spurs with a comfortable passage into the semi-finals - Gilzean getting the goal.

Semi-Final (1st Leg) v AC Milan (Italy) (h) Won 2 - 0 Perryman (2)
Alan Mullery and Steve Perryman were the names which made the headlines from this game.  Mullery had been out with injury earlier in the season and when fit had been unable to displace John Pratt.  Wanting to be playing he asked to go out on loan and joined Fulham.  However, an injury to Pratt just before the semi-final saw Nicholson unexpectedly recall his captain and instal him in the team.  

Steve Perryman produced a man of the match performance to give Spurs a slender advantage going into the second leg.  Spurs found themselves a goal down early on and being outplayed by the experienced Italian team.  Perryman showed industry and endeavour to drag Spurs back into the game, scoring from the edge of the box just before half-time and then repeated the exercise late in the second half.

Semi-Final (2nd Leg) v AC Milan (a) Draw 1 - 1 Mullery  (Agg. Won 3 - 2)
Spurs withstood Milan's expected early onslaught and on seven minutes mounted an attack from which Mullery scored.  Mullery was the inspiration as they then defended as if for their lives and although Milan scored with a penalty twenty minutes from time, they held out to reach the Final.

Final (1st Leg) v Wolverhampton Wanderers (a) Won 2 - 1 Chivers (2)
Tottenham's season started with a League game against Wolves and there was some disappointment that it was going to end there against an English team rather than in a glamorous European setting.  It was Martin Chivers and Pat Jennings who inspired Tottenham to grab the first leg initiative.  Jennings produced a series of outstanding saves to foil Wolves while Chivers scored two goals of amazing quality.  The first was a powerful header and although Wolves levelled, he then scored a late winner with a ferocious shot following a powerful run from halfway.

Final (2nd Leg) v Wolverhampton Wanderers (h) Draw 1 - 1 Mullery  (Agg. Won 3 - 2)
Alan Mullery played a captain's part in this game and led by example, putting Spurs ahead after half an hour, injuring himself as he dived to meet Peters' free-kick.  Wolves battled back to equalise before half-time but Spurs held on, exhausted after playing 68 matches during the season.  It was a night of triumph for Mullery - to score and lift the trophy in his last game for Tottenham.  During the summer he was transferred to Fulham.  Bill Nicholson was so disappointed with Tottenham's performance that he first went to commiserate with the Wolves players.

1972 UEFA Cup Winners - Tottenham Hotspur
At the end of a long, exhausting season Spurs had won a trophy - they missed out in returning to Wembley in the League Cup when Chelsea scored a very late equaliser, they lost in the 6th Round of the FA Cup to eventual winners Leeds United and finished 6th in the League.  A second European triumph was added to those 'Glory, Glory Nights' at White Hart Lane.


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