On April 14 1991, Arsenal’s hopes of advancing into the FA Cup Final were shattered when they suffered a humiliating 3-1 defeat in the hands of fierce North London rivals Tottenham. Midfield maestro and England international Paul Gascoigne inspired his side with a dominant display that was pioneered with a goal five minutes into the game. Gazza sent a very strong message to George Graham’s side with the famous 35 yard free-kick that gave Spurs the lead.
Gary Lineker doubled the lead five minutes later but it was game on again after Alan Smith got one back for the Gunners – with a powerful far-post header – right before the break to make it 2-1. Lineker rubbed salt in the wound when he scored in the 78th minute to relinquish Arsenal’s hopes of making it to Wembley. The defeat was more disappointing because the clash was the first ever FA Cup semi-final to be played at Wembley.
Tottenham’s fairytale season was to be after they came from behind to beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 in the final. The victory saw them lift their 8th FA Cup title in 9 finals.
However after receiving a shot in the arm, Arsenal were back again in the 1993 FA Cup semis when they once again faced their eternal rivals Tottenham. Having learnt it the hard way two seasons earlier, the Gunners had their much awaited revenge when they beat Spurs courtesy of a solitary goal by Tony Adams.
And so at the end of the season Arsenal went on to lift the FA Cup and topped it all off with the Coca Cola Cup to boot. Talk about revenge being served best in a cold dish.
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