Competition: First Division.
Tottenham Hotspur: Thorstvedt; Bergsson, Van den Hauwe; Sedgley, Howells, Mabbutt; Stewart, Gascoigne, Nayim, Lineker, Allen.
Referee: Mr R. Hart (
players like Paul Gascoigne and England Skipper and striker Gary Lineker in their line-up, Tottenham
Hotspur presented a formidable challenge for any side. That was certainly the
case for a team newly back in the top flight, as was the case when Spurs
Striker Paul Stewart had recovered from illness and Tottenham boss Terry Venables was able to select his side from full strength. That proved to be too great for United as the harsh reality of First Division football was brought home to them by an accomplished and uncompromising Spurs performance. Hard as United tried, they could not muster that little bit of something special needed to topple a side such as Spurs in a game that was won and lost in a dramatic two minute period in the second-half when Spurs scored twice and United were somewhat unfortunate to have a ‘goal’ disallowed. Darlington referee Robert Hart was hardly flavour of the month with United supporters, or for that matter Imre Varadi, when he ruled out the striker’s instant reply to David Howell’s fifty-sixth minute opener.
The visitors had rocked United when Howells, running from midfield took up possession from the tireless Stewart to beat John Lukic with a hard low shot. United, however, felt that they had made the ideal response when Imre Varadi appeared to turn Gary Mabbutt well to knock the ball into the Spurs net. United hardly had time to digest the referee’s ‘no goal’ decision than Spurs were back at the other end scoring their second goal through the lively Lineker, again after Stewart had done the spadework. “These are little twists of fortune you cannot do much about unless you are so superior that you can ride them, but on the day we weren’t and once Spurs knocked in their second goal it was Goodnight Vienna for us,” said the United manager.
Paul Gascoigne showed he was only human by missing the simplest of scoring opportunities late in the game but had he been successful it would have been hard on David Batty, who delighted his manager by keeping soccer’s man-of-the-moment relatively quiet.
Imre Varadi scores the ‘goal’ which was disallowed
Gary Lineker wins a heading duel with Mike Whitlow David Batty beats Paul Gascoigne
Lee Chapman beats Gary Mabbutt to header as David Howells watches Gordon Strachan is all over David Howells
Leeds considered Imre Varadi unlucky but David Howells and Gary Lineker scored for Spurs
not to have scored
David Batty kept a tight hold on Paul Gascoigne Erik Thorstvedt kept a clean sheet Gudni Borgsson and Pat Van Den Hauwe were the full-backs
Gary Mabbutt was in central defence with Steve Sedgeley Paul Stewart partnered Gary Lineker upfront
Paul Gascoigne, Nayim and Paul Allen were in midfield with David Howells