GGM 33: Adams clinches Cup win over Spurs

FA Cup Semi-Finals are passionate affairs at the best of times.

Throw in a fierce local rivalry and one team's desire for revenge and the game becomes about much more than a shot at the trophy.

In 1993 both semis were held at Wembley for the first time, and Arsenal were pitted against arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Ironically, the other tie also threw up a derby as Sheffield Wednesday took on steel city neighbours Sheffield United.

For Arsenal and their fans, memories of a Semi-Final defeat to Spurs just two years earlier were still gnawing away. A 3-1 defeat that season had denied the Gunners a place in the Final, and a crack at the Double, and the sight of their North London counterparts going on to beat Nottingham Forest and parade the trophy had rubbed salt in the wounds.

This time Arsenal, who had already won the League Cup at the expense of Wednesday, were expected to triumph. Teddy Sheringham was playing as a lone striker for a Tottenham side who had dropped to mid-table having been off the pace all season.

Yet the game proved to be a tepid affair and with 11 minutes on the clock the two sides remained deadlocked.

That was all set to change though as the Gunners were awarded a free-kick out on the right. Paul Merson arrowed a pinpoint delivery towards the far post and it was captain Tony Adams who stormed in on the blind side to power a header past keeper Eric Thorstvedt.

The goal sparked joyous celebrations which were only eclipsed at the sound of the full-time whistle.

In the other Semi-Final Wednesday saw off the Blades to set up a repeat of the League Cup Final. For the second time that season Arsenal came out on top, winning a replay 2-1 courtesy of strikes from Ian Wright and Andy Linighan.

It was Tottenham's turn to wonder what could have been.

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