Opinion: My five favourite 21st century nights at the old White Hart Lane

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It has been nearly four years since the infamous White Hart Lane was shut down to make way for the building of the new ground.

2017 saw us wave farewell to decades of memories at the 118-year-old stadium. Whilst the Tottenham Hotspur stadium is a magnificent new accolade for the club, some fans have felt that the atmosphere within the new ground lacks the magic of our old home.

There is almost the feeling that something is missing. That spark to ignite our new home and see it flourish. White Hart Lane provided cascading sounds and an electric atmosphere, whereas the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is yet to see that.

The answer to unlocking the potential of this impressive arena may come through experiencing those same ‘nights under the lights’ that we once did at White Hart Lane.

Let us recall some of the most memorable nights at White Hart Lane (21st Century) and remember how magnificent games were with fans allowed inside the grounds.

Spurs v Chelsea, January 2015 (5-3)

We all remember this one, right? Despite Chelsea going on to win the league that season, those who were present at White Hart Lane were in for a winter treat.

When Diego Costa put our London rivals ahead inside 18 minutes, many will have feared the worst. However, this was one instance where Spurs fans did not have to sit with gritted teeth.

Andros Townsend, Danny Rose, Nacer Chadli, and a Harry Kane double (including that speculative effort from outside the box that we can all picture) secured the points for Spurs that night.

A late scare from Chelsea was not enough to silence the thunderous noise emerging from North London on that cold Thursday night. The game propelled us on to secure European football that season.

As well as this, it was one of many games that highlighted Kane on the main stage. He certainly showed us glimpses of what was to come.

Spurs v Inter Milan, November 2010 (3-1)

Oh, what a night. We watched Tottenham run the European Champions ragged on our home turf. A fortnight earlier, Gareth Bale produced one of the greatest individual performances on the European stage at the San Siro.

This time around, he did it again, and in this instance, he was on the winning side. Bale demonstrated pace, power, and versatility. It felt like we were watching a repeat of the game two weeks previously.

The Inter veteran Maicon is still likely still having nightmares from the matches. The Spurs performance truly summed up the meaning of a ‘glory glory’ night.

Rafael Van Der Vaart, Peter Crouch, and Roman Pavlyuchenko provided the three goals that were lapped up by an encore of noise from within the ground.

Spurs v Arsenal, January 2008 (5-1)

Spurs fans remember this year as the last time we won a major trophy. Juande Ramos managed to guide us to the League cup in 2008. During this run, he saw off Arsenal in emphatic style on that memorable cup run.

It was 1-1 after the first leg at the Emirates, and Jermaine Jenas set us off on a flyer, scoring inside 3 minutes.

The players must have been thriving off the continuous ‘oh when the Spurs’ echoing around the stadium, as they asserted complete dominance for the rest of the game.

Goals from Robbie Keane, Steed Malbranque, Aaron Lennon, and a Bendtner own goal saw Spurs win 6-2 on aggregate.

Spurs v Wigan, November 2009 (9-1)

Forgive me if you do not class this as a ‘night’ match. But it was the late kick-off on Sunday in November, so I am counting it.

It must be a universal thought that even if Spurs are 3-0 up, we feel like we could still lose the game. In this instance, it is fair to say that the thought did not even cross our minds.

Up until recently, (sorry Southampton) Tottenham held one of the most excessive results in Premier League history. Jermain Defoe scored FIVE goals in the second half alone to propel Spurs to a resounding victory in the game.

Although the game had no real significance, Spurs fans will remember it as the time we showed a ruthlessness that we see less often in the modern game.

Spurs v West Ham, November 2016 (3-2)

Clearly, I love a London derby, so let us finish with another. 2-1 down with 3 minutes to go in the game, fans flooding out of the stadium, boos ringing out. It was not Mauricio Pochettino’s finest game as Spurs boss.

That was until the unimaginable happened. The duo of Son and Kane, providing some foreshadowing, combined to equalise in the 89th minute.

To the delight of the remaining faithful in the stadium, Spurs were awarded a penalty in the 90th minute. Kane, ice cool, stepped up and buried it, meaning the East Londoners left empty-handed.

The match remains one that Spurs fans cannot quite believe. Yet, we find ourselves reliving it in their heads, whenever we are due to play our bubble-blowing rivals.

Let me know if you think there should have been some other matches on this list, or if you agree!

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