Millwall travel to White Hart Lane in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Sunday for what will be a rare match against Tottenham Hotspur. The two teams haven’t played each other since Millwall were in Division One for two season between 1988 and 1990 – and the Lions haven’t beaten Spurs since a 2-0 win at The Den in 1939.
The last time the two played at White Hart Lane was Boxing Day 1989. Spurs, who had put five past Millwall at The Den the previous season, went into the match in fifth position having just beaten Everton and Manchester United. Millwall, meanwhile, had climbed to 15th after a surprise 2-0 victory over title-challengers Aston Villa.
It didn’t take long for Spurs to show their quality, Vinny Samways picking the ball up on the left-hand corner of the Lions’ penalty area on eight minutes and sending a delightful chip over Millwall keeper Brian Horne. Ten minutes later it was 2-0, Alan McLeary diverting the ball into his own goal after Gary Lineker’s jinking run down the right. By half time Lineker had made it 3-0, controlling an incisive pass from Paul Allen and sliding the ball past a helpless Horne.
Spurs continued to press but Millwall did get a consolation goal, Tony Cascarino heading in after 71 minutes. However, Tottenham saw the game out and Millwall failed to win another league match all season, picking up just five more points – they also lost 1-0 to Spurs at The Den the following April. They finished bottom of the table, 17 points adrift of safety, and have yet to return to the top flight. Spurs, meanwhile, went on to finish third – a position they have not bettered since, though they did equal it last season.