BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
SUNDAY 15th MAY, 2016
NEWCASTLE UNITED 5(2) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1(0)
Wijnaldum, 19, 73 (pen)
Referee:- Anthony Taylor
Assistants:- M. Mullarkey & S. Child
Fourth official:- N. Swarbrick
Newcastle (4-2-3-1):- Darlow; Janmaat, Taylor, Mbemba, Dummett; Tiote (sub Shelvey, 62), Colback; Townsend, Sissoko (Capt.) (sub Sterry, 84), Wijnaldum (sub Aarons, 76); Mitrovic
Subs not used:- Woodman; Perez, De Jong, Cisse
Booked:- Aarons (over-celebration)
Sent off:- Mitrovic (67) - dangerous challenge on Walker
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Walker (sub Chadli, 71), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Mason (sub Carroll, 46); Lamela, Eriksen, Son (sub Onomah, 46); Kane
Subs not used:- Vorm; Rose, Wimmer; N'Jie
Booked:- Mason (foul on Mitrovic), Lamela (foul on Townsend)
Absolute abject disgrace.
@SpursOfficial tweeted at the end of this game that it had been "an afternoon to forget". My response was to say that it might be easy for the club, the manager, and the players to forget, but we fans would never be able to forget this day. It was an absolute abject disgrace.
There is no other way to describe Spurs' worst defeat of the season, and to be honest almost in the whole lifetime of the Spurs Odyssey web site. Spurs surrendered this match; second place, and their pride to a team which had already been relegated, and which had to play the last quarter of the game with 10 men after Mitrovic was rightly sent off for a stamp on Kyle Walker.
Yes, once again, on the last day of the season, Arsenal, who beat another relegated side - Aston Villa - 4-0 were able to celebrate "St. Totteringham's Day", which we fans had been hoping would be avoided for the first time in 21 years. I blame Pochettino for his comments earlier in the week, where he said words to the effect of finishing above Arsenal was not so important as finishing high in the league. This must have had an affect upon the mentality of his players.
Spurs have still finished in the highest ever Premier League place, but in a dismal last four games they have failed to win; failed to beat their previous best Premier League points record, and left the fans feeling low despite qualifying for Champions League football.
I was surprised that Mason started today, but he was replaced at half time by Tom Carroll. Son Heung-min also got replaced at the same stage, with Josh Onomah making an appearance. Sadly, young Onomah has had to witness two of our worst performances of the season at close quarters. He also played in our 3-0 away defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
The front row of the away section was graced by the presence of Ledley King and David Howells. They would not like what they saw any more than we did.
Danny Rose was on the bench, but Ben Davies got the nod today. This too was something of a surprise.
Davies was involved in an early half-chance for Spurs, as he fed on Eriksen's ball to Kyle Walker, who hit a decent shot, but which was blocked. A minute later, Eriksen took a pot shot from the middle about 25 yards out, but this went wide at The Gallowgate End. Spurs had kicked off and played towards that end of the ground.
Newcastle started to forge a number of chances, and soon started to look like the better and more threatening team. Colback's header in the area was half-blocked and Mitrovic got his own header in, but it was held by Lloris. Andros Townsend, who must have been itching to put on a good show, hit a ball from a central position to Mitrovic, whose shot was again half-blocked and held by the Spurs keeper. Townsend again got in on the action, passing outside to Janmaat. The right back crossed, and Mitrovic's shot was blocked again.
Spurs were starting to look as if they were either on the beach, or contemplating their commitment to the Euro 2016 tournament, rather than putting in the required effort in this game in front of a full contingent of fans who had originally booked this game in the hope of seeing club history, but who at least deserved a performance for their loyalty, expenditure and commitment. Newcastle was swamped with Spurs fans on the night before and the night after the game.
15 minutes had passed and I don't believe either side had either a corner or a free kick. Harry Kane might have got his first touch after a poor ball by Colback, but the winner of this season's "Golden Boot" couldn't do anything with the ball.
Newcastle took the lead in the 19th minute, when Sissoko passed inside to Mitrovic, who laid on the ball for Wijnaldum, who was able to beat Lloris low to his left.
It was over 10 minutes before the next chance when Mitrovic got the better of Walker, but not of Lloris. Spurs' first shot on target could have been the effort after 32 minutes by player of the season Toby Alderweireld, but this shot was easy for third choice keeper Karl Darlow.
Newcastle went two goals up after a Spurs attack broke down. Newcastle responded with a run by Sissoko (captain today). He crossed and Mitrovic headed home. There was soon more danger for Spurs when Townsend crossed and Dier and Mitrovic ended up on the floor when going for the ball. Lloris punched clear.
With added time approaching, Spurs had a decent chance with Lamela and Kane involved before Eriksen's shot was saved.
Mason's last action of note was to be booked for up-ending Mitrovic.
Despite the double change, there was little change in the pattern of play. The first chance of note came after 54 minutes, when Dier received Eriksen's through ball. Dier's shot was blocked and Spurs won a corner. Carroll and Onomah had been involved in the build-up. Kane was fouled about 20 yards out after touches by Davies and Eriksen. Eriksen's free kick was blocked by the Newcastle wall.
Eriksen sent a good ball to Davies, but the left back's pass for Lamela was not so good, and Erik's effort was easily blocked. Lamela did get a goal soon after though, and again Davies had been the provider, as Lamela scored from an angle on the left of goal.
Now the travelling fans felt hope. After all, we only needed one goal for a draw which would be enough to hold off Arsenal. Onomah forced his way into the box on the right and got a shot in but Darlow held that.
After Mitrovic's sending-off, we were even more hopeful, but "The Toon" would dramatically score three more goals with just the 10 men. They would easily soak up the Spurs efforts to get through their defensive dome, before taking advantage of our over-commitment, and unprofessional play, by scoring on the break.
Kyle Walker had to go off, and was replaced by Chadli. For a while our defensive set-up was not clear, before Alderweireld emerged as right back, where he plays for Belgium. Sissoko won a penalty after Vertonghen had been beaten and chased back with Eriksen also close. The post-match view is that there was little contact. However that didn't matter to the home fans or to Wijnaldum, who sent Lloris the wrong way and scored to the left of the keeper.
Sissoko again got the better of Vertonghen but his shot went just outside the left post. Townsend hit the post with another shot and the ball rebounded into play. Substitute Aarons made it 4-1 with a goal from close range after Janmaat's cross. A minute later Janmaat himself scored after another Newcastle break, and a total Spurs surrender.
Kane had a shot hit the side netting in added time, but by now many Spurs fans were making their way down the seven flights of stairs, seeking refuge behind a glass of beer in the City centre.
Spurs won't be this high again for at least two years, because we won't be playing Newcastle next season. (The away fans have a very lofty position!) On this form they won't be challenging for the high places either. It was a truly horrible end to the season.
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