WEDNESDAY 24th FEBRUARY, 1999
FA CUP 5TH ROUND REPLAY
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2 (0) LEEDS UTD 0 (0)
Referee:- N. Barry
Spurs (4-4-2):- Walker; Carr, Vega ( sub Young, 78 ), Campbell, Edinburgh; Anderton, Freund, Sherwood, Ginola ( sub Sinton, 90 ); Ferdinand ( sub Armstrong, 24 ) Iversen
Subs not used:- Baardsen; Nielsen
Booked:- Edinburgh, Freund
Leeds(3-5-2):- Martyn; Woodgate, Wetherall ( sub Halle, 24 ), Radebe; Haaland, Hopkin, Bowyer, Korsten ( sub Smith, 70 ), Harte; Kewell, Hasselbaink
Subs not used:- Robinson (GK); Granville; Jones
Booked:- Radebe, Hopkin, Smith
The "MAX" airship hovering above the ground was brightly coloured, and lit up; the moon shone as much as the floodlights; but there were two dazzling beacons that outshone them all tonight, and they were the two magnificent goals by Anderton, and Ginola that won this exciting, and entertaining tie for the Spurs, who now maintain their twin-pronged attack upon Wembley.
Sky Sports figures may well indicate that the visitors dominated possession, but Spurs won this game through some stunning play in the early part of the second half, and some terrier-like defending throughout the game. Walker, Vega, and Campbell were solid as rocks. Carr and Edinburgh were not far behind, only being found wanting on the wings occasionally, and every member of the team assisted in the defensive role, as we now expect from a George Graham side. Vega was replaced late in the game, as he started to struggle with the pace of Hasselbaink, but Ramon will have been heartened by the deserved applause he received upon his departure from the field. Steffen Freund harried away, and even found time to gee up the home crowd when battling for possession near the opponents corner flag, winning "Yiddo" chants in return. The main plaudits were reserved for David Ginola; more of whom later.
This game was so fast and furious throughout that the officials genuinely struggled to keep up with the play at times. For much of the first half, it was the Leeds midfield that showed the most flair, as they managed to close down the Tottenham ball players, and yet still spray the ball about to good effect. Kewell was pushed up front with Hasselbaink, and the pair were a thorn in Spurs' side for the whole game. Leeds had the first real threat, as Haaland was allowed too much space on the right, and got a dangerous cross in.
The first Spurs attack of note came from the right, after Anderton passed to Carr, and made it into the penalty area to receive Carr's cross, and strike towards goal, but just over. On a counter attack, Kewell was in the clear and through the middle, and fired a useful shot just wide of the mark. After 10 minutes, Bowyer shot from outside the area, and the deflection from a defender forced a save from Ian Walker, who has obviously gained confidence from the praise lavished upon him by George Graham over the last few days. Ginola reached the bye line, and his cross was punched clear by Martyn. The ball was returned into the box by Carr, and Anderton, in space had a rare header towards the target. After 16 minutes, Iversen won a free kick on the right; Anderton took; and Sol Campbell headed just wide.
Shortly after there was a serious clash of heads between Les Ferdinand and David Wetherall, which led to a prolonged delay. Ferdinand was stretchered off, and Wetherall had to succumb soon after. Both are being detained overnight in hospital for observation.
On the half hour mark, following a well worked corner, Hopkin was in space for Leeds on the right edge of the penalty area. His cross led to a goal mouth scramble, when Ian Walker saved well at the feet of Haaland whose shot was on target. Spurs then enjoyed some good pressure, during which Iversen had a cracking 25 yard shot saved by Martyn at full stretch with both arms.
Another counter attack followed, when Haaland broke clear, and Hasselbaink put in a dangerous low cross from the left side of goal. Sol Campbell got a crucial touch to clear. During the first half injury time, Ginola and Anderton combined well on the right wing. Armstrong should have done better with the clear header he had from Ginola's cross.
The pace of the game was maintained in the second half. Walker confidently held any crosses that came his way. After 54 minutes, Spurs won a couple of corners on the right. Following the second of these, and a throw, Ginola carried the ball from right to left across the park, and then cut in sharply when reaching the left edge of the area. His magnificent left foot shot across goal, was touched onto the post by Martyn. The ball rebounded agonisingly across the goal again. George Graham was leaping and celebrating a goal that wasn't, and so were most of the crowd! Once again Ginola's name rang around the stadium.
Five minutes later, Ginola won a free kick on the left. He took the kick quickly, and sent a long ball across to Anderton, who had time to measure and strike a stunning right foot drive from fully 30 yards, that arrowed into the net on the outstretched goalkeeper's right. This is a genuine contender for goal of the season in anybody's books. Naturally the crowd erupted!
After 66 minutes, Ginola ran at the defence,and hit a cracking shot that hit the left post so hard that the rebound was too fast for Armstrong to react to with any effect. Shortly after this however, Ginola got his just reward. Sherwood crossed from the right, and Woodgate got a foot to the ball that looped into the air. The ball was met solidly by Ginola on the volley as the ball fell, and his powerful right foot shot from 25 yards, bounced just in front of Martyn, who was well beaten.
Leeds responded positively, and Kewell forced a diving save from Walker. David O'Leary put striker Smith on for Korsten, and Leeds gave it their all, to try and get on the score sheet, and back into the game. Hasselbaink forced another fine save from the goalkeeper when he hit a powerful lifting drive from 20 yards on the left of the area. Walker tipped this one over the bar. Soon after this Kewell set up Hasselbaink again, for a shot that beat Walker, but rebounded off the left post. Young slotted into the defence well, and Justin Edinburgh had to make a clearance from just in front of goal, as the minutes ticked away. Ginola was allowed to milk the applause just before the end, and justifiably received the man of the match award.
I haven't really mentioned Tim Sherwood, but he really does add a lot of quality in the middle of the park. He is a quality box-to-box player, and showed the most flair of any Spurs player in the first half. Ginola and Anderton became more prominent in the second,and the Spurs passing in general became sharper. The front runners were just that really. I have heard that George Graham says he is "building a house", and that he now needs to "build a roof". An effective striker would appear to be at the top of his shopping list right now.
On current form, Spurs can justifiably feel confident about the quarter final at Barnsley. The quality of the teams left in the premier cup competition suggest that the closing stages will be the most exciting for several years. Hey - that includes us!!
· Brian Judson reports on this game
· Brian Judson's preview
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