Nearly 39 years ago, Spurs squared up to AC Milan in the semi final of the UEFA Cup. Tottenham had largely breezed through the 1971/72 tournament, starting with a demolition of Keflavik and taking out Nantes, Rapid Bucarest and UT Arad along the way.
Milan were likely to prove a tougher test if Spurs were to progress and contest the first ever UEFA Cup final. The first leg was played at White Hart Lane in front of a crowd of over 40,000. Alan Mullery came back from a loan period with Fulham and he captained the side. The signs weren’t looking good as we went a goal down before half time, but Steve Perryman smacked in an equaliser before the break.
Perryman, the unlikely goal machine hit a spectacular winner in the second half, but a slender lead didn’t look to be enough, particularly as Milan held the important away goal.
In the return, skipper Mullery hit a long range shot past one Fabio Cudicini, father of Carlo and despite a Milan penalty, Spurs held on, before ultimately beating Wolves in the final.
No-one will be looking for omens from this game, but it’s nice to look back sometimes with fond memories. Whatever the circumstances of Mullery’s loan, his return was timely to say the least. He scored the crucial goal in the final and the winner at Arsenal in our final league game for good measure.
Here’s the highlights of that 2-1 home win.