Sheffield United Retro: Tottenham Hotspur losing heavily is nothing new ... how rampant Blades beat them 6-0, 26 years before their 7-2 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich
Tottenham Hotspur suffered a heavy Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich in midweek… but the concept of losing heavily isn’t a new one for Spurs.
In March 1993, over 26 years ago, United put six past them at Bramall Lane, although just 16,654 were there to actually witness it.
For those who weren't, The Star’s then-Blades writer Tony Pritchett summed it up this: “Don’t give much attention to that 6-0 scoreline. It gave a false impression of the match. It should have been 9-1!”
For the Bramall Lane club, it was a result and performance that returned attention to the pitch after disagreements between Board and fans about the distribution of FA Cup tickets for the forthcoming FA Cup quarter-final against Blackburn Rovers.
Not many people were talking about tickets at the end of the game, as they dismantled Spurs – who finished fifth in the Premier League at the end of the season.
In the aftermath of a disappointing 3-2 defeat at Southampton on the Saturday, United made seven changes for this Tuesday night clash including the return of Kevin Gage and David Barnes to the full-back spots and the selection of John Pemberton to partner Brian Gayle.
Glyn Hodges and Franz Carr returned and found Spurs lambs to the slaughter.
Briefly Teddy Sheringham and Darren Anderton lived up to their reputations, but a stunning individual goal from Carr in the 12th minute knocked the stuffing out of the visitors.
Carr seized onto a Hodges short corner, lost his marker with a clever turn and smashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner away from Eric Thorsvedt’s stretching left hand.
Brian Deane’s cross into the box was then headed into his own goal - off the bar and off the ‘keeper - by Andy Gray to make it 2-0 after 20 minutes.
Two goals in as many minutes by Ian Bryson had three sides of the ground in ecstasy, with the Tottenham faithful behind the goal stunned into disbelief.
Bryson took the first with a neat and accurate shot into the corner with the defence looking for offside. And while everyone was still discussing that goal, Bryson did it again. Deane put the ball into the box, Bryson embarrassed the already panicky Jason Cundy and turned the ball into the goal.
Twenty-nine minutes gone, and 4-0 to the Blades.
Alan Kelly saved well from Shringham’s header and then United could have gone to five and then six.
Hodges, too much to handle all night, saw his effort go just wide and Deane’s clever chip shot just failed to dip under the bar.
Briefly in the second half Tottenham threatened to salvage some respectability when Sheringham had a free header, Anderton hit the side netting and sub John Hendry hit a post.
But it was to be no more than a flourish as United, clearly enjoying themselves, turned on the party tricks. The crowd, naturally, wanted five and Deane obliged after 72 minutes, cashing in on more uncertainty by Cundy.
Gary Mabbutt, a forlorn figure amongst the rubble of the Spurs defence, was knocked senseless by Hodge’s irresistible volley, Bryson went off to an ovation and Alan Cork came on to a splendid welcome.
Cork, clearly keen to get in the action, had a goal disallowed for offside.
But the relief was brief as Deane set up Paul Rogers and his joy hammering it in was shared by the Kop on the night of the biggest win in Dave Bassett’s five years at the Lane.