Sunday saw the FA Cup third round draw, a round usually preoccupied with non-league minnows drawing a Premier League or Championship giant.
That is what is commonly labelled the "magic of the cup." After Tottenham were drawn away to Arsenal though, there was little doubt where the magic in this round lies, in fact, the FA would have probably been satisfied with the two teams contesting the final, and it was some surprise when Tottenham father and son Teddy and Charlie Sheringham drew the North London giants together.
They are of course two teams with plenty of history in the FA Cup, having won the competition a huge 18 times between them. Below we look at their last five FA Cup meetings, something of note being that the last three times they met were all at the semi-final stage, with the two before that being third round games some years ago:
Semi-Final - 8 April 2001 - Old Trafford
Arsenal 2 - 1 Tottenham
Vieira 33' Doherty 14'
The most recent contest was a semi-final at Old Trafford while Wembley was being rebuilt, and saw Arsene Wenger's attractive side overload a Tottenham team struggling to make much of an impact in the league. Gary Doherty surprisingly put Spurs in the lead, before the Gunners dominated the rest of the match and were unlucky not to have won by more, Patrick Vieira drawing level and Robert Pires scoring the winner. Coming just days after Glenn Hoddle's appointment as manager, this was also Sol Campbell's last game for Spurs, and it ended in injury as the then-Spurs captain limped from the game. Who would of thought then that he would renege on a new contract and move to Tottenham's fierce rivals just a few months later.
Semi-Final - 4 April 1993 - Wembley
Arsenal 1 - 0 Tottenham
Arsenal had already wrapped up the League Cup earlier in the year, and faced a Tottenham team wallowing in mid-table mediocrity when they met at Wembley in 1993. The match was a dour contest for a North London semi-final, and was won with a Tony Adams header from a Paul Merson free-kick with just eleven minutes left on the clock. Teddy Sheringham, who took part in this years third round draw, was playing upfront for Spurs. Arsenal went on to do the domestic cup double, beating Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup Final just as they had done in the League Cup Final.
Semi-Final - 14 April 1991 - Wembley
Tottenham 3 - 1 Arsenal
Gascoigne 5' Smith 45'
Lineker 10' 78'
One of the classic Wembley semi-finals saw Spurs emerge victorious as a result of spectacular performances by their two England stars Paul Gascoigne and Match of the Day host Gary Lineker. Gazza scored a ridiculous 35 yard free-kick early on before a typical Lineker tap-in doubled the lead, only for Alan Smith to head in a goal and make the second half a tight affair. Lineker scored again with twelve minutes to go to settle it and put Spurs through to a final against Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest, a game they would win in what was their last taste of FA Cup success.
Third Round - 2 January 1982 - White Hart Lane
Tottenham 1 - 0 Arsenal
Going back a fair bit further saw the last time the two teams were drawn together in the third round. Tottenham were defending champions having won the cup the year before, and beat their rivals at White Hart Lane after a lone strike by BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks settled the contest. Spurs would go on to win the Cup again that year, beating QPR in the final.
Third Round - 8 January 1949 - Highbury
Arsenal 3 - 0 Tottenham
You have to head back to the 1940's to find the fifth most recent time the clubs faced each other. Spurs, who at this point were a second division team about to win the league, were outclassed at Highbury in the third round by Arsenal who were the reigning English champions. Goals from Ian McPherson, Don Roper and Doug Lishman ensured a dominant win, though the Gunners would go out in the next round against Derby.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald