Memorable Matches: Sheffield United 6-0 Tottenham Hotspur (March 1993)

Goalscorers: Franz Carr 13, Andy Gray 21 OG, Ian Bryson 28, 29, Brian Deane 73, Paul Rogers 87

Teams:

Sheffield United: Alan Kelly, John Pemberton, Kevin Gage, Charlie Hartfield, David Barnes (Paul Rogers 70), Franz Carr, Ian Bryson (Alan Cork 80), Brian Gayle, Glyn Hodges, Brian Deane, Jamie Hoyland

Tottenham Hotspur: Erik Thorstvedt, Dean Austin, Gary Mabbutt, Pat Van den Hauwe, Jason Cundy, Andy Gray (Steve Sedgley 64), Paul Allen, Vinny Samways, Darren Anderton, Nayim (John Hendry 64), Teddy Sheringham

Referee: Joe Worrall, Attendance: 16,654

Tottenham Hotspur arrived at Bramwall Lane for a match against Sheffield United in the inaugural Premier League campaign in their best form of the season. Spurs had rolled off five successive victories and were starting to challenge for a top six finish, whilst the Blades were looking to move away from danger, starting the game in 17th spot.

On a cold Tuesday evening, few could predict the mauling the visitors’ were about to take from their hosts. 13 minutes had been played when Franz Carr fired Dave Bassett’s side into the lead. He turned a short corner into the roof of the net.

Seven minutes later, the lead was doubled. Brian Deane’s cross was turned into his own net by midfielder Andy Gray (no, not the former Everton player, another Andy Gray!) Norwegian goalkeeper Erik Thorstvedt was one of only two foreign players that started the match but he endured a nightmare evening. Within half an hour, the scoreline had widened from 2-0 to 4-0. Scottish midfielder Ian Bryson struck a quick-fire double. His first came as the Tottenham defence went walkabouts. The second saw him completely unmarked after another decisive cross from Deane.

There was little that Tottenham’s management team of Doug Livermore and Ray Clemence could do about their predicament and it got worse in the second half. Deane added his name to the scoresheet in the 73rd minute, capitalising on poor defending from Jason Cundy. Substitute Paul Rogers completed the rout in the closing minutes.

The result remains Tottenham’s joint-worst defeat in Premier League history and the biggest victory in the top-flight for the Yorkshire side. Spurs did still finish eighth in the table but with a goal difference of -6. Chairman Alan Sugar decided in June 1993 to dismiss both Livermore and Clemence and replace them with playing idol Ossie Ardiles. Bassett helped his team to an FA Cup semi-final and a creditable 14th-place finish although a heartbreaking relegation would follow one season later.

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