Best of 2007: Tottenham Hotspur
Call me biased, but because I am a loyal Tottenham Hotspur fan, I couldn’t resist writing about them in an article about my best sports moment of 2007, which was, of course, the phenomenal 4-4 draw against Aston Villa.
This season marks the 125th anniversary of Tottenham Hotspur’s existence as a football club. On the Oct. 1, 2007, Aston Villa had a match against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Complacency overran the entire Tottenham team.
At half time Aston Villa were deservedly leading 3-1. Tottenham had the first goal after 19 minutes. A pin-point corner from midfielder Tom Huddlestone enabled striker Dimitar Berbatov to head it into the net and send flags waving all the way around the stadium.
However, Aston Villa returned the favour within just two minutes. A Gareth Barry corner caused a poorly attempted save by Robinson and the ball rolled to Laursen, then Chimbonda, who clumsily gave it away again, giving Laursen the chance to shoot into a virtually empty net.
More misery for the Tottenham fans followed as Laursen scored again after a few more minutes of play. To add insult to injury, Gabriel Agbonlahor managed to dribble past Dawson and slide another goal past Paul Robinson to make it 3-1.
I’m sure that Tottenham’s then-manager Martin Jol had a very effective half-time speech to make in the changing room.
The time for making substitutions was ASAP. Not long into the second half, Jol took off Teemu Tainio and replaced him with Jermain Defoe. Just five minutes after that, Aston Villa scored again via a free kick which Younes Kaboul gave away.
It looked like game over for Tottenham until the 68th minute of the match. Welsh full back Gareth Bale had made a run down the left wing and crossed the ball to an unmarked Defoe. He struck the ball against the post and it rebounded to Chimbonda who picked up the pieces by scoring.
Darren Bent came on to replace Berbatov and Tottenham were now playing with more urgency and determination to try and redeem themselves. Another cross by Gareth Bale nearly became a goal, but Laursen was there to clear the ball off of the goal line. A penalty was given to a desperate Tottenham team after Darren Bent was brought down by Villa substitute Marlon Harewood. Robbie Keane calmly tucked the penalty away and brought the score to 4-3 with just 10 minutes remaining.
Tottenham kept making chances and the closing seconds of injury time were upon them. Kaboul came all the way forward to the Aston Villa penalty box. Tottenham were scrambling to get a shot at goal, Kaboul scored the equaliser to make up for the foul which gave Villa a goal.
I think that somebody was watching Tottenham that night. A minute of applause as a tribute to the late great Bill Nicholson may have had something to do with it. Tottenham showed grit and passion in the second half which made this night one to remember for all Tottenham fans.
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