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Tottenham denied second place in Premier League by 10-man Newcastle

Published 15/05/2016

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a goal and was sent-off in Newcastle's victory over Tottenham
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored a goal and was sent-off in Newcastle's victory over Tottenham

Tottenham's hopes of finishing a Barclays Premier League season above north London rivals Arsenal for the first time since 1995 were left in tatters as relegated Newcastle turned on the style at St James' Park.

As Rafael Benitez was subjected to a sustained chorus of affection from the St James' Park fans, the under-performing Magpies saved their best performance of the season for the time it mattered least.

Two goals from Gini Wijnaldum, one for Aleksandar Mitrovic, plus late strikes from Daryl Janmaat and Rolando Aarons - the latter two after Newcastle had been reduced to 10 men following Mitrovic's sending-off - sealed an extraordinary final day 5-1 victory.

And coupled with Arsenal's win over Aston Villa, it meant that Spurs - who had briefly reduced the deficit to 2-1 through Erik Lamela - would end a hugely promising season in third place and behind the Gunners once again.

It will come as scant consolation for Spurs that Harry Kane held on to his Golden Boot award despite barely threatening Karl Darlow's goal, while the boost for already-doomed Newcastle will increase exponentially if Benitez is persuaded to stay for next season's Championship campaign.

A low-key first period was notable only for the support for Benitez cascading around St James' Park, and the inevitable plane hired by Sunderland fans trailing a banner reading: "Auf Wiedersehen Prem Tyne To Go".

Christian Eriksen screwed the first shot wide for the visitors but the hosts settled better in the spring sunshine with Mitrovic in particular looking threatening as he sent an early effort squirming over the bar.

Newcastle's more enthusiastic approach paid off in the 19th minute when Janmaat's right-wing cross was only half-cleared by Toby Alderweireld and Mitrovic teed up Wijnaldum to poke home from close range.

Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris plucked a Mitrovic effort out of the air but the visitors, doubtless still afflicted after coming up short in the title race, were hardly playing like a side in search of north London bragging rights.

Four minutes after Kyle Walker ballooned a helpless effort over the bar, Mitrovic rose above the defender at the other end to head home from a Sissoko cross and send the pro-Benitez chants into overdrive.

Eric Dier shot wide in the 55th minute as Spurs began their belated rally, then Kane's first chance to confirm his place at the top of the scorers' standings was denied by a fine interception by Jack Colback.

Lamela narrowed the deficit on the hour, ramming a shot through Darlow's hands from a tight angle, and Spurs' hopes increased the 67th minute when Mitrovic was dismissed for a raking challenge on Walker.

Just three minutes later, however, Sissoko tumbled in the box under pressure from Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen, and Wijnaldum stepped up to send the resulting spot-kick past Lloris and effectively seal the visitors' fate.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, and possibly to the chagrin of home supporters, the hosts responded with one of their best spells of the season, Sissoko bringing a brilliant save out of Lloris and Andros Townsend racing half the length of the pitch to fire at the keeper.

Substitute Aarons rammed home Newcastle's fourth in the 86th minute moments after Townsend had rattled the bar, and one minute later Newcastle's dismal season finished on a faintly ridiculous high when Janmaat drove the fifth past Lloris.

TWEET OF THE MATCH:

"Delli Alli and Mousa Dembele have got a lot to answer getting banned with 3 important games to play to the end of season," Former Tottenham chairman and TV personality Alan Sugar knows who to blame for Tottenham's late-season flop.

NEWCASTLE:

Karl Darlow: 5

Paul Dummett: 6

Steven Taylor: 6

Chancel Mbemba: 6

Daryl Janmaat: 8

Cheick Tiote: 7

Jack Colback: 6

Moussa Sissoko: 8

Georginio Wijnaldum: 8

Andros Townsend: 8

Aleksandar Mitrovic: 7

Subs:

Jonjo Shelvey (on for Tiote, 62): 6

Rolando Aarons (on for Wijnaldum, 76): 7

Jamie Sterry (on for Sissoko, 84): 6

TOTTENHAM

Hugo Lloris: 6

Kyle Walker: 6

Toby Alderweireld: 5

Jan Vertonghen: 5

Ben Davies: 3

Ryan Mason: 5

Eric Dier: 6

Erik Lamela: 7

Christian Eriksen: 6

Heung-Min Son: 5

Harry Kane: 6

Subs:

Tom Carroll (on for Mason, 46): 5

Josh Onomah (on for Son, 46): 6

Nacer Chadli (on for Walker, 71): 6

STAR MAN: Georginio Wijnaldum. The Dutchman scored twice in the Magpies' Premier League farewell, arriving late into the box to break the deadlock before neatly slotting away a penalty with 17 minutes to go. In doing so, he moved on to 11 Premier League goals for the season.

MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Newcastle's fourth epitomised the two sides' fortunes on the day. After Andros Townsend's effort had hit the woodwork, three Tottenham defenders somehow allowed Daryl Janmaat's cross to reach the back post where Rolando Aarons was on hand to finish past Hugo Lloris.

MOAN OF THE MATCH: Referee Anthony Taylor's decision to award Newcastle the penalty which led to their third goal, despite no Spurs player appearing to touch Moussa Sissoko. Having sent off Aleksandar Mitrovic to the home side's anger moments earlier, perhaps Taylor felt some pressure to give it.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT: Newcastle fans spent most of the game serenading Rafael Benitez and pleading with him to stay for their Championship tilt. This performance, where they were organised and energetic, was evidence of why he is so wanted. Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino was without Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele but he will have been alarmed by their second-half performance in particular.

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