Glory, Glory Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs’ Greatest Nights In Europe

Glory, Glory Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs’ Greatest Nights In Europe
08:45, 31 May 2019

Should Tottenham pull off the unthinkable on Saturday night and deny Liverpool a sixth European Cup, it could well eclipse their double-winning achievements of 1960/61.

The very fact that the north Londoners are even in the Champions League on a regular basis is difficult for some of their own fans to comprehend.

Think back to that momentous night away at Manchester City in 2010, when Peter Crouch’s header catapulted them into the competition for the first time in the modern era.

It brought some of White Hart Lane’s most famous nights, against the Milan clubs, a quarter-final against Real Madrid, the sight of Rafa van der Vaart, Luka Modric, and Gareth Bale going toe-to-toe with the best Europe had to offer.

Yet that sense of being ‘just happy to be there’ is not one Mauricio Pochettino has encouraged. “Win, win, win” was the message from his press conference. For under the Argentine, those nights have been surpassed.

Spurs have thrashed Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. They have taken a point off Barcelona in the Nou Camp, beaten Manchester City over two legs.

When all hope was lost with a three-goal deficit against Ajax, Lucas Moura engineered the incomprehensible.  

In spite of all that, nobody will be under any illusions as to who the favourites are on June 1, especially given Liverpool’s glittering history in Europe.

However, Tottenham are not without prestige on the continent.

1963 Cup Winners’ Cup

Spurs became the first British team to win a European trophy in 1963, four years before Celtic’s Lisbon Lions. Jimmy Greaves and Terry Dyson scored a brace apiece, sandwiching a 35th-minute strike from John White as Bill Nicholson’s side thrashed Atletico Madrid. It was a vindication of their credentials, a year after they had fallen at the semi-final hurdle in the European Cup. It was a fitting end to an era too, proving to be the last trophy that great side would win together.

1972 UEFA Cup

Much like on Saturday, the inaugural UEFA Cup final was an all-English affair, with Wolverhampton Wanderers the opponents this time around. Spurs came out on top with an aggregate score of 3-2 over two legs, the second taking place at the Lane. Martin Chivers was decisive, netting twice in the first leg, including an 87th-minute winner. Alan Mullery opened the scoring in the return, to be cancelled out by David Wagstaffe.

1984 UEFA Cup

The sight of Graham Roberts lifting the trophy has become the image most synonymous with Spurs in Europe. The defender netted a crucial late equaliser in the second leg to take it to extra time, before a 4-3 triumph on penalties despite Danny Thomas’ miss. That Tottenham XI has gone down as one of their greatest ever sides, boasting the likes of Glenn Hoddle, Ossie Ardiles, Tony Parks and Micky Hazard.

Now Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Hugo Lloris are just 90 minutes away from transporting themselves into Tottenham folklore. Whatever the result, the current side’s achievement in reaching Madrid is right up there with the most notable feats in the club’s history.   

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