January 28 – Forest Finish with 10, by Choice

In the second replay of a FA Cup third round tie in 1991, Nottingham Forest was finally on the way to defeating Crystal Palace to advance when Brian Clough made the decision to take Steve Hodge off but even with one substitute remaining opted to play with ten players on this day in soccer history.

“Clough claimed at the time he was protecting Hodge’s calf,” Jonathan Wilson, Clough’s biographer, claims. “He later told Hodge, though, that it wasn’t intended as a slight against him, but that he hated Palace’s muscular approach and wanted to ‘take the piss’ out of them by playing with 10.”

The odd ‘substitution’ took place with Forest up 3-0 and with six minutes remaining in the match.

The second replay completed a hard-fought tie.  The first match ended 0-0 and Roy Keane gifted Palace a lifeline in the 2-2 draw in the first replay.  The young Keane, who went on to star for Manchester United, attempted a backpass to his keeper but John Salako intercepted and chipped Mark Crossley from distance.  After the match Clough reportedly punched Keane in the face saying, “Never play the ball back to the goalkeeper.”

Nottingham Forest went on to the FA Cup final that year but lost 2-1 to Tottenham Hotspur.  The winning goal came in injury time off a Des Walker own goal.  The match is still remembered by many for the knee injury suffered by Paul Gascoigne in the opening 15 minutes.

Soccer Birthdays

1909 – John Thomson, Scottish footballer (d. 1931)
1972 – Nicky Southall, English footballer
1976 – Miltiadis Sapanis, Greek footballer
1978 – Gianluigi Buffon, Italian footballer
1978 – Jamie Carragher, English footballer
1978 – Papa Bouba Diop, Senegalese footballer
1985 – Arnold Mvuemba, French footballer

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