West Ham 3 Derby 0 – Tony Pawson (Observer 23 November 1969 p.24)
West Ham and Derby, who have the happy knack of stimulating their opponents, provided rare entertainment. It was West Ham’s day. Their soccer was swift, scintillating and decisive. Their mastery flowed down the centre from Stephenson’s firm control to Brooking’s elusive running, to Hurst’s sharp finishing.
Mackay and McFarland might have contained this threat if the supporting cast had been ineffective. But for once West Ham were without weakness or pity.
The free flow of the game was a joy to watch, with both sides scorching the harsh clogging and tight marking that brings stagnation to many matches. Given scope to show their talent, West Ham moved from assurance to brilliance as their confidence expanded.
Arsenal 1 Manchester City 1 – Hugh McIlvaney (Observer 23 November 1969 p.24)
A match of the utmost promise was abruptly castrated three minutes before the interval when the referee approved an equaliser shot by Bowyer after he had used a hand to bring the ball under control. That goal…drained the play of all virile ambition that made the first 40 minutes so entertaining.
Manchester City, obviously anxious to preserve the point that had been unexpectedly placed within their reach gave up any idea of a determined assault on Arsenal, opting for a containing game, exploiting their expertise with the crossfield passes that involve minimum risk of losing possession.
Arsenal, having seen a deserved lead unjustly neutralised, entered the second half inhibitingly aware that instead of taking everything they might finish nothing.
Manchester United 3 Tottenham 1 – John Heilpern (Observer 23 November 1969 p.24)
Thank goodness for Charlton’s two stunning goals! It was a relief to see him shed his ambivalent midfield role and return to more typical form. But the arrogance and ferocity of his goals only emphasised the mediocrity of the rest of the match.
Neither United or Spurs are, of course, the teams they were. yet the dull averageness of their play is difficult to fathom. For Spurs, Chivers, Pearce and Morgan made little contribution, but Aston made no better impression for United. Best, apart from two terrifying moments, was well shepherded by Mullery, who had a fine match, and Kidd, who began well, faded badly and missed a simple girl.