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Monday, March 22, 1999 Published at 09:21 GMT


Sport: Football

Nielsen nicks it for Spurs

Nielsen scored in the last minute of injury time

Leicester 0-1 Spurs


Alan Green reports for BBC Radio 5 Live
An Allan Nielsen goal in injury time gave Tottenham the Worthington Cup and George Graham a trophy in his first season as Spurs manager.

The Dane reacted sharply to poach a headed goal and take the Cup back to North London and book their place in the UEFA Cup next season.


Alan Green describes the moment when Spurs lifted the trophy
Tottenham earned their victory, having played the last 30 minutes with just ten men, after Justin Edinburgh had been sent off for violent conduct.

But the game will be remembered as one of the dullest in recent Wembley history, with little in the way of goalscoring opportunities or flair.

Bright start


[ image: A good game for Ginola]
A good game for Ginola
Spurs started brightly, immediately looking for David Ginola, and the Frenchman looked to play in Les Ferdinand, but Leicester's defence dealt comfortably with the ball.

The opening ten minutes were competitive, but not incisive, Leicester being aware of the threat being posed by Ginola, with Robert Ullathorne detailed to prevent any threat from the left wing.

Leicester manager Martin O'Neill had clearly worked out a gameplan to deal with Ginola, using Robbie Savage and Muzzy Izzet to cover for whenever Ullathorne was out of position.


Allan Nielsen: "I'm enjoying the moment"
But Leicester's problem seemed to be Emile Heskey, who did not appear fully recovered from his recent back injury and was operating at less than 100%.

It was Heskey who came closest to breaking the deadlock on 21 minutes, receiving a ball from Neil Lennon which seemingly had him through on goal, but Swiss international Ramon Vega came back to make a vital tackle before the burly Leicester centre forward could hit his shot.

Leicester escape

The game's first talking point came on the half hour, when Nielsen seemed to be tripped by Ullathorne inside the penalty area as the Dane tried to get on the end of Les Ferdinand's right wing cross. But the referee allowed play to continue.


[ image: Ramon Vega and Gerry Taggert: Defenders ruled the day at Wembley]
Ramon Vega and Gerry Taggert: Defenders ruled the day at Wembley
The best chance of the half came from a set piece, Stefan Iversen meeting Darren Anderton's free kick and heading straight into Kasey Keller's arms.

The first half finished tamely, with much of the play being compressed into the midfield, with the likes of Ginola, Ferdinand, Heskey and Izzet all struggling to make any kind of impact.

Tottenham's German international Stefan Freund had the first chance of the second half, volleying high and wide after Justin Edinburgh's throw had caused minor confusion in the Leicester penalty area.


George Graham: "I'm pleased for the club, and for myself"
Minutes later, Ian Walker dropped Ullathorne's shot, and Tony Cottee nearly took advantage of the rebound, but the Tottenham goalkeeper managed to get both hands to the ball at the second attempt.

Edinburgh walks

Just when it seemed as if the game would be notable for nothing, on 63 minutes, Edinburgh and Savage clashed off the ball.


[ image: Robbie Savage and Justin Edinburgh trade insults]
Robbie Savage and Justin Edinburgh trade insults
Savage was shown the yellow card for the challenge, but the Spurs full back was sent off for his retaliation, which amounted to no more than a slap.

The sending off did not inspire either team, and on 75 minutes, Leicester brought on Ian Marshall for the struggling Heskey.

With ten minutes later, Iversen volleyed Elliott's clearance just a foot wide, with Keller beaten.


BBC Football Correspondent Mike Ingham: "This uninteresting match could hardly be remembered at all"
The last five minutes of the original 90 saw more excitement than the rest of the game, with Savage close to a second yellow card after Freund reacted theatrically to the Welshman's challenge.

Then Walker failed to collect a back pass from Vega, and Cottee had a chance from a very acute angle, which he failed to take.

And within 30 seconds, Anderton's shot from 25 yards needed safe handling from Keller.

But with just a minute left, Iversen made a superb break down the right wing, and when Keller could only palm his shot, Nielsen headed in the rebound.

Leicester: Keller, Savage, Guppy, Elliott, Taggart, Walsh, Ullathorne, Izzet, Lennon, Heskey, Cottee. Subs: Arphexad, Campbell, Marshall, Zagorakis, Kaamark.
Tottenham: Walker, Carr, Campbell, Vega, Edinburgh, Anderton, Freund, Nielsen, Ginola, Ferdinand, Iversen. Subs: Armstrong, Dominguez, Sinton, Young, Baardsen.
Referee: T Heilbron (Newton Aycliffe)




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