Gareth Bale struck late on to hand Tottenham victory over Sunderland, but it was not enough to secure them UEFA Champions League football.
The Welsh international was denied a
penalty in the first half and booked for simulation, however he had the last
laugh with a superb 90th-minute strike.
It was not good enough to guarantee the White Hart Lane club a place in
Europe's premier club competition, though, as Arsenal beat Newcastle 1-0 at St
However, it did earn Spurs their
highest-ever Premier League points total.
Andre Villas-Boas brought back Benoit
Assou-Ekotto at left-back for the crunch clash, with Steven Caulker reverting
to the bench.
Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio made two changes, David Vaughan in for Tottenham
loanee Danny Rose and Connor Wickham replacing Phil Bardsley.
Bardsley and Matthew Kilgallon were axed from the squad after pictures emerged
appearing to show them socialising at a casino last week.
Emmanuel Adebayor tested visiting goalkeeper Simon Mignolet in the fifth minute
after escaping his marker inside the area.
Tottenham pressed hard for the next 15 minutes, however their final ball lacked
the cutting edge needed against a resolute Sunderland defence.
Adebayor nearly played in Bale before the Welshman looked to have been brought
down in the area by Sebastian Larsson in the 21st minute.
To the astonishment of the home fans and bench, though, referee Andre Marriner
did not award a penalty and subsequently cautioned Bale for diving.
The hosts nearly went a goal down on the half-hour mark when Danny Graham got
free on the right and fed Wickham.
The former Ipswich striker managed to evade his marker and turn the ball
goalwards, only for Hugo Lloris to palm away his effort superbly.
Bale's goalbound shot in the 36th minute ricocheted off Jack Colback's arm to
no avail, with James McClean booked for a nasty tackle on Tom Huddlestone a
Bale's resulting free-kick forced Mignolet into a smart save, with the Belgian
goalkeeper tipping away John O'Shea's wayward header from Bale soon after.
Tottenham started the second half strongly, Assou-Ekotto's cross agonisingly
missing two onrushing Spurs players.
Di Canio's visitors went close again in the 50th minute when Lloris palmed away
Graham's fierce left-footed shot.
The home side were denied another penalty when Marriner failed to spot a
handball from Carlos Cuellar with Huddlestone firing over a few minutes later.
With 63 minutes on the clock, Colback sliced the ball onto his own post from
Clint Dempsey's shot and it cannoned out to safety.
Mignolet then clawed away a Michael Dawson header and got down smartly to foil
Bale in the 72nd minute as Tottenham increased the pressure.
Billy Knott came on for his Sunderland debut on 74 minutes with Vaughan sent
off a few seconds later for a rash challenge on Aaron Lennon.
Mignolet got down well again to deny Bale in the 81st minute with Adam Mitchell
also coming on for Sunderland to make his first-team debut.
But it was Bale who proved the difference once again to cap an outstanding
season when he fired in a wonderful left-footed strike from distance past
Mignolet to cheer the home fans.
|11||G. Bale||21' 89'|
|Coach: André Villas-Boas|
for S. Parker 64'
for C. Dempsey 73'
for B. Assou-Ekotto 84'
|Bartomeu: Barca discussing new contract with Messi|
|Bauza: No doubts over Messi motivation|
|Schmeichel targets quick return after surgery|
|Giovinco to help aid earthquake victims in Italy|
|Ancelotti backs Madrid for LaLiga and Ronaldo to be top goalscorer|
|Gomes: Portugal can deal with Ronaldo absence|
|Sterling reveals Guardiola impact|
|Fiorentina deny approach for Chelsea target Alonso|
|Allardyce confirms Rooney retains England captaincy|
|Hart to join Torino – agent|
|Sanches withdrawn from Portugal squad|
|Sporting CP issue Adrien Silva clarification amid Leicester links|
|Watford confirm Okaka signing|
|Manchester City outcast Zuculini seals Rayo Vallecano loan switch|
|Dembele offers something different - Deschamps|
|Sunderland would just love to get rid of me - Lens|
|No Casillas in Spain squad represents a ´new era´, says Ramos|
|Zenit defender Criscito could return to Italy, claims agent|
|Barcelona reveal Messi hamstring injury|
|Modric named new Croatia captain|
|Napoli announce Rog signing|
|De Boer is building something at Inter - Morratti|
|Keane eyes coaching career after international retirement|
|Bravo left out of Chile squad for family reasons|
|West Brom announce Chadli signing|
|Former Dodgers owner set for Marseille purchase|
|Ferdinand: I reached out to Wenger|
|Holgate has big quality for a young player - Koeman|
|Manchester United want to keep Rojo, says agent|
|Low not concerned by captaincy as Germany bid farewell to greats|
|Aguero pulls out of Argentina squad|
|Howedes: Germany must prove themselves all over again|
|Ventura close to tears on first day of Italy training|
|Torino interested in City outcast Hart|
|Adrien Silva hoping to seal ´exceptional´ Leicester switch|
|Boufal joins Southampton from Lille for club-record fee|
|Villa outcast Lescott joins AEK Athens|
|Milner: I´m learning left-back role as fast as I can|
|Allardyce ready for Hart transfer disruption|
|´Door always open´ for Barkley - Allardyce|
|Xhaka like Petit, claims Wenger|
|Coric: I was a medical away from joining Liverpool|
|Pasalic keen to put injury troubles behind him at Milan|
|Guardiola delighted with Sterling form|
|Rooney should retire from England duty - Shearer|
|Hazard can ´decide´ the title - Ivanovic|
|Allardyce hails ´outstanding´ Antonio|
|Belgium can make history - Henry|
|Nice president: Call Balotelli and tell him we need a striker|
|Modric would like to see out career in Madrid|
|Geromel replaces Caio in Brazil squad|
|Mustafi: Ozil convinced me to join Arsenal|
|Pardew confirms ´one or two´ more signings|
|MLS Review: Kaka brace denies NYC top spot, Timbers beat Sounders|
|Mihajlovic: I won´t waste anymore breath on Maksimovic|
|Okon named Central Coast Mariners coach|
|´Special´ Rashford will get chance - Rooney|
|Injury forces Schurrle out of Germany squad|
|Burke snubs Premier League interest to join RB Leipzig|
|Guardiola: Nasri has a future at City, if he wants it|
|Klopp confident ´all will be good´ with Sturridge|
|Emery confident PSG will bounce back|
|Athletic may strengthen squad - Valverde|
|Fabregas dismisses exit rumours, committed to Conte and Chelsea|
|De Boer encouraged as Inter´s wait continues|
|Barca ´strengthened´ by Luis Enrique´s 100th win|
|Fekir to undergo knee operation|
|Monaco 3 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Ligue 1 champions suffer early loss|
|Aguero facing possible Manchester derby ban|
|Athletic Bilbao 0 Barcelona 1: Rakitic strike extends Barca´s strong start|
|West Ham´s Antonio handed first England call-up|
|Guardiola ´so optimistic´ after Man City´s perfect start|
|Inter 1 Palermo 1: Icardi gets De Boer´s men off the mark|
|Credit Guardiola for boost in form, says Sterling|
|Manchester City 3 West Ham 1: Hosts stay perfect under Guardiola|
|Cavani won´t return to Napoli - De Laurentiis|
|Pulis puts 48-hour deadline on Berahino future|
|Zaza awaits ´new adventure´ at West Ham|
|Karanka open to transfer ´surprises´ after strong Middlesbrough start|
|Dost completes Sporting move|
|Allardyce wanted N´Zonzi for England|
|World Cup could be expanded - Infantino|
|West Brom 0 Middlesbrough 0: Booed Berahino benched for dour draw|
|Gyan´s ´destiny´ in England, Sunderland return an option|
|Zidane wanted Pogba and Madrid are weaker without him - Raiola|
|Juventus end Matuidi pursuit|
|´He´s freaking amazing!´ - Balogun hails Dortmund´s Dembele|
|Thohir thrilled as Inter confirm Joao Mario signing|
|Fabinho expects Monaco stay despite Manchester United links|
|Infantino has Blatter wine cellar removed as part of FIFA reform commitment|
|West Ham seal Zaza loan|
|Joao Mario posts heartfelt thanks to Sporting after record-breaking Inter move|
|Aguero: I´m not competing with Ibrahimovic|
|Mihajlovic: Maksimovic is dead to me|
|Risdon replaces Wright for Socceroos|
|MLS Review: DC United in goal-fest, Impact stun Toronto|
|Schmeichel to undergo surgery|
|Milik revels in ´dream´ brace as he ignores Higuain shadow|
|Rossi to join Celta Vigo|
|Ayestaran: Barcelona target Alcacer unable to compete|
|Simeone: Winless Atletico must remain calm|
|Griezmann: Atletico must improve or face relegation fight|
|Sterling ´feels the love´ at City - Guardiola|
|Stones glad he did not end up at Chelsea|
|James impact earns Zidane´s praise|
|Montella bemoans AC Milan´s indiscipline|
|Leganes 0 Atletico Madrid 0: Returning Griezmann fails to inspire turgid visitors|