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'
|BREAKING NEWS: Advocaat exits Sunderland and retires from club management|
|La Liga: Real Madrid season review - Ancelotti pays the price for disappointing season|
|Zambia 3 Ghana 0: First-half spree does the damage|
|Barnes suffers double knee ligament injury|
|Balotelli to stay at Liverpool - agent|
|Kane at the double in friendly win|
|Norwich make Dorrans switch permanent|
|Ings unsure of next move|
|Bournemouth snap up Federici|
|FIFA ´crisis´ cannot continue - Prince Ali|
|Barton headlines QPR exits|
|Juan demands more from Inter|
|Stoke snap up Haugaard|
|Subotic commits to Dortmund|
|Warner pleads innocence after US indictment|
|Napoli to refuse questions on Benitez´s future|
|USDoJ names indicted FIFA officials|
|Wenger coy over Vidal and Benzema moves|
|Suarez back in training ahead of Copa final|
|Pique: I´ll retire at Barca|
|Gerrard ´blown away´ by Liverpool send-off|
|FIFA ´very happy´ with Zurich arrests|
|Liverpool defender Toure targeting trophies|
|Ramsey eyeing title assault|
|Welbeck out of FA Cup final and England matches|
|FIFA the ´injured party´ as Swiss prosecutors open criminal proceedings|
|Prince Ali saddened by FIFA arrests|
|Pellegrini to make City defence a priority|
|Labbadia giving Lasogga, Olic, Jiracek time|
|Ramsey confident on Wembley chances|
|Swiss authorities confirm FIFA arrests|
|El Shaarawy open to Premier League move - agent|
|Reports: FIFA officials set to be arrested|
|Tigres UANL 2 Emelec 0 (2-1 agg): Mexicans through to Libertadores semis|
|Valencia ruled out of Copa America|
|Coleman: Bale being ignored by Real team-mates|
|Ruddy eyes England recall|
|Benteke will strike fear into Arsenal - Westwood|
|Howe named LMA Manager of the Year|
|Casillas reiterates desire to stay in Madrid|
|Dnipro players pay for fans´ tickets, transport|
|Galliani: I want Ancelotti back at Milan|
|Premier League: Manchester City season review - Frustrations as latest title defence falters|
|Injured Benfica star Salvio not for sale|
|AFC Champions League Review: Al Sadd suffer last-16 exit|
|Emery targeting historic victory|
|Toure and Wisdom pen new Liverpool deals|
|Stadium facilities drive Van Gaal potty|
|Blatter brushes off Figo´s ´dictatorship´ claims|
|Mavuba to end career at Lille after extending contract|
|Ipswich´s Bishop charged over betting breaches|
|Markevych admits to Dnipro nerves|
|Relegated Almeria to be deducted three points|
|Reims retain Guegan on one-year deal|
|Di Matteo departure could hinder Schalke swoop for Khedira|
|Bale planning Real Madrid stay|
|Del Bosque not prepared to risk Costa|
|West Ham earn Europa League berth|
|Pellegrini sure City will win title back|
|Low calls Herrmann into Germany squad|
|Gerrard will win trophies with Galaxy - Carragher|
|Frankfurt agree to let Schaaf leave|
|Hernandez hit with violent conduct charge|
|Bale set for 50th Wales cap against Belgium|
|Baines hoping for pre-season return|
|Bournemouth sign Boruc|
|Sevilla duo Rico and Vidal handed Spain calls|
|Premier League: Chelsea season review - Mourinho´s men canter to title|
|Speroni hints at possible Palace exit|
|Kane states Tottenham commitment|
|Boruc, Hooiveld leave Southampton|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain desperate to make FA Cup final|
|Roar turn to Aloisi|
|Di Matteo resigns as Schalke coach|
|Hughes hints at Moses return|
|Wenger hits out at scheduling|
|Terry backs Chelsea to dominate|
|Jets part ways with coach Stubbins|
|Kewell would love to manage Liverpool|
|Janmaat: Newcastle players failed Carver|
|Adelaide step up interest in Toni|
|Chelsea´s Drogba interested in MLS move|
|Otamendi wants to leave Valencia - agent|
|Benitez almost certain for Real job|
|Schneiderlin will leave for Champions League club|
|Kane planning to come back bigger and better|
|Moyes staying at Sociedad|
|Neil revels in Norwich promotion|
|Drogba interested in MLS move|
|Russian Premier League Review: Torpedo keep survival hopes alive|
|Turkish Super Lig Review: Galatasaray crowned champions as Fener have four sent off|
|Ghana 1 Madagascar 2: Simouri nets late winner|
|Galatasaray reclaim title as Fener implode|
|Ancelotti bears no grudge after Real sacking|
|Porto complete Bueno capture|
|Lazio 1 Roma 2: Yanga-Mbiwa settles Rome derby|
|Real sack Ancelotti|
|Route to the UEFA Europa League final: Sevilla|
|Derby sack McClaren|
|Eredivisie play-offs Review: Eagles relegated, NAC Breda earn reprieve|
|Inzaghi eager for Van Ginkel stay|
|Route to the UEFA Europa League final: Dnipro|
|Dani Alves plays down Champions League favourites tag|
|Middlesbrough 0 Norwich City 2: Jerome and Redmond send Neil´s men up|
|Renard takes over at Lille|
|Cancelo completes permanent Valencia move|
|Dnipro v Sevilla: Emery embracing chance at history|
|Kuchuk leaves Kuban Krasnodar|
|Desailly hails Terry and urges calm over Zouma|
|Guardiola has built on Heynckes´ Bayern legacy - Muller|
|Falcao thanks United fans|
|Zorniger takes Stuttgart role|
|Dani Alves to clarify Barca future after Champions League final|
|Pazzini in the dark over Milan future|
|Barzagli a doubt for Champions League final|
|Clough sacked by Sheffield United|
|Pardew eyeing ´quality´ signings|
|Carver encouraged by Ashley´s Newcastle promises|
|Gutierrez revels in Newcastle ´fairytale´|
|Relegation will haunt Hull - Chester|
|El Shaarawy eyes Italy call-up|
|Crouch delighted by headed goals record|
|Ancelotti all but confirms Real exit|
|Platini: FIFA will lack credibility if Blatter remains president|
|Bilbao duo pen new deals|
|Rooney: United can win title next season|
|Argentine football rocked by second death|
|Leicester must aim higher next season - Pearson|
|Monk negotiating new Swansea contract|
|Ox can play in cup final, says Wenger|
|Century of MLS goals ´surreal´ for Wondolowski|
|Copa Libertadores Preview: River not giving up hope|
|Cahill returns for Australia´s World Cup qualifier in Kyrgyzstan|
|MLS Review: Wondolowski joins 100-goal club|
|Toni on track for Hellas Verona´s maiden golden boot|
|Amid Ancelotti speculation, Galliani confirms Madrid trip|
|Berlusconi targets Ancelotti, Inzaghi remains committed to Milan|