Spurs out despite win
A 4-0 win over Shamrock Rovers was not enough to see Tottenham through to the last 32 of the Europa League as Harry Redknapp's European campaign ended in disappointment and anger in Dublin.
Goals from Steven Pienaar, Andros Townsend, Jermain Defoe and Harry Kane gave Tottenham a comprehensive victory over the Irish part-timers, but Rubin Kazan's 1-1 draw at PAOK Salonika meant the favourites for Group A crashed out.
The match took an ugly turn with 20 minutes to go when Redknapp reacted angrily to barracking from the Shamrock fans by appearing to aim a defiant clenched-fist gesture towards them from the edge of his technical area.
Richard Brush was barely tested until Danny Rose's miscued shot flew goalwards and the Rovers goalkeeper back-tracked to tip on to the crossbar with 25 minutes gone. The move seemed to spark Tottenham in to life and they started to play with more confidence.
Spurs needed Kazan to lose in Greece and to overturn a five-goal deficit in goal difference, and when news filtered through that the Russians were down to 10 and 1-0 down, Spurs upped the ante, taking the lead through Pienaar just before the half hour. He was given space in the box and fired into the far corner with a deflected effort from 18 yards.
Brush showed good reflexes to tip Pienaar's ambitious lob wide before Townsend, given acres of space in the box, took a touch and curled a sweet shot into the Shamrock goal to make it 2-0. Brush came under further attack towards the end of the first half, saving well from Defoe, before the former West Ham hitman made it 3-0.
Townsend raced down the left and laid the ball off for Defoe, who spun on his heels and calmly slotted home in the final minute of the half.
Afetr the break Karl Sheppard raced on to a through ball and was hauled down by Carlo Cudicini, but the Italian's blushes were saved when the linesman correctly judged that the striker was offside. Shamrock thought they should have had a penalty when Sheppard went down under a tackle from Younes Kaboul in the box but the referee gave nothing.
With 20 minutes left, an irate Redknapp appeared to flick a defiant gesture towards the away fans who had chanted critical songs about him almost constantly throughout the match.
Assou-Ekotto came off for Yago Falque with seven minutes left before Niko Kranjcar curled a dipping shot just over the bar. Kane got on the end of Townsend's assist to tap home in the last minute, but it proved worthless as PAOK's failure to beat Rubin meant Spurs were out.