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Tottenham Defeat Sunderland But There’s No Champions League


Tottenham defeated Sunderland in the final match of the season through a late Gareth Bale goal but with Arsenal’s win at Newcastle finish fifth with their record points total in the Premier League and so fail to make the Champions League for another season.

Mike Ashley has gone some way to redressing the awful gaffe that Alan Pardew, the Newcastle manager, made when he said that he did not care if his team lost four nil to Arsenal. It is reported that he has offered a £1 million bonus to be spread amongst Newcastle’s backroom staff, should they beat Arsenal. Presumably Pardew will not be included in that. Should they lose, after the awful mess he has made of things in the second half of the season perhaps Pardew will have plenty of time to reflect on his foolishness from the relative tranquility of the dole queue, despite the apparent security of the eight-year contract he was awarded after one good season.

Tottenham 1 Sunderland 0  Bale (90th min.)

1st Half:

Gareth Bale scores Tottenham winner against Sunderland. [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]On a bright and breezy sunny afternoon Spurs start off in a bright and breezy manner against Sunderland. They dominate for the first ten minutes. News comes from the Bridge that Chelsea have gone one nil up against Everton. Sunderland are fighting for every ball in midfield.

20th minute: What should have been a blatant penalty for Spurs when Gareth Bale was first pushed and pulled to the floor in the area resulted in him being booked himself. The commentators and the replay showed that the referee had got it totally wrong. The crowd went berserk and Bale was clearly angry and distraught. We must hope he keeps his cool and uses this to his advantage.

Tottenham step up the game for five minutes and Tom Huddlestone has one of his specials saved. Suddenly Sunderland break down the right Danny Graham slides in a cross which Wickham snaps goal wards and Hugo Lloris pulls off an instinctive save palming it off for a corner. He then punches the corner clear. A serious warning for Spurs. A good chance for Bale comes to nothing.

Sunderland are having more of a go but now on 38 minutes Spurs get a free kick within Bale range about 25 yards out just to the right of the penalty area. Everybody holds their breath. A lovely dipping shot well saved palmed away for throw in. A great chance for Bale as John O’Shea heads it back to his goalie but Bale is between them and nearly manages to beat the goalie to it and slide it in. By heading it O’Shea would probably have played him onside but it came to nothing.

In the 42nd minute a typical piece of Lennon magic on the right produces a great cross but somehow it evades the Spurs forwards. Seconds later Assou-Ekotto whips in a cross from the left which Huddleston handles as he slides and stretches to get it.

44th minute: a precise shot from Dempsey dipping towards the far the corner is gathered by the goalie.

46th minute: Sunderland get a free kick like the one that Spurs conceded from in their previous game. Lloris punches this one clear. Sunderland try again down the right hand side stopped by Assou-Ekotto. That’s it, half-time. Nil nil in Geordie land too.

2nd Half:

Forty five minutes to go and it’s still possible. Come on you Spurs! Before kick-off Gareth Bale is clearly making representations to the referee about his booking.

47th minute: a cross from Assou-Ekotto, the shot from Vertonghen, I think, bounces off a defender and back up the pitch. Huddlestone, asleep in midfield, is robbed of the ball from behind – this happened a couple of times in the last game. Danny Graham capitalises on it, breakthrough pulls a save from Lloris. Spurs break, Adebayor shoots. The defender dives and saves it with his hand. Yet again, the referee fails to give a penalty. Looks like he’s an Arsenal supporter.

As expected, Arsenal have now gone one nil up. Dempsey heads wide from a corner. They have just shown the Arsenal goal – a corner headed on to Koscielny who volleys in. We see a shot of a resigned looking Daniel Levy.

55 minutes: another Spurs chance goes begging. Vertonghen displays great close control to pull the ball away from the goalie but Huddlestone disappointingly blasts the resulting chance high and wide. Our frustration is showing. It is so disappointing; over the last 10 games no teams have shown the backbone necessary to take on Arsenal.

Talking of gutless, Manchester City’s mercenaries are 1-2 down at home to Norwich. Meanwhile back at our game a Bale corner is cleared easily. Sunderland are sitting back for now. Sunderland now break down the right. A rasping Johnson shot clears the bar by some distance. A Lennon pass into the box after a dribble comes to nothing again.

Oh my God, how did that stay out? Spurs on the attack, Parker’s shot cleared off the line, another from Vertonghen deflected onto the post and out again. It’s not our day so far.

63rd minute: Mousa Dembele on for Parker. Adebayor is putting in a shift. From a corner, the keeper makes a flying save and the next shot cannons off a Spurs player. All Spurs now. Great work by Assou-Ekotto on the left, Adebayor heads over. The Spurs crowd get excited apparently by false news of a Newcastle equaliser. A Spurs corner and a Dawson header is hooked away for another corner. Huddlestone’s next one is headed clear. Adebayor wins another corner. Ten corners now have come to nothing.

Another cross from Huddlestone just doesn’t get a touch in the area. Gareth Bale twists and turns in the area and sees his shot blocked and bounce away. A really good shot from Walker outside the area is also saved.

73rd minute: Jermaine Defoe comes on for Dempsey. Time for your superstitious blogger to reach for his guitar – just don’t ask but it has worked many times in the past! 75th minute, had some sort of instant effect, Vaughan has just been given a red card for a foul on Lennon. Bale free kick. Over the bar. A 77th minute Bale shoots from the right-hand side when he probably should have squared it, shows frustration again.

Elsewhere Torres scores to put Chelsea 2-1 up against Everton. Bale wastes another free kick from the right hand side that clears everyone. Great play from Lennon on the right falls to Bale whose first-time shot is saved again.

84th minute: the last throw of the dice, Gylfi Sigurdsson on for Assou-Ekotto. Shots from Sigurdsson and Huddleston blocked. That’s 14 attempts on goal but none scored. Another Huddleston shot deflected for a corner from the corner goes off for another one. 88th minute. As with seemingly so many others Huddlestone’s corner drops onto Adebayor’s head and powers over the bar.


Out of nothing in the 90th minute Gareth Bale has done it yet again. Fantastic shot. Carbon copy of many others, on his left cutting in, curling it into the top left hand side of the net. Beautiful! Our season in a nutshell. If only Newcastle could score one goal in the next 2 min but it’s not going to happen is it? 4 min added in both matches. Walcott hits the post for Arsenal. That’s it. The season is all over.


We’ve won the battle but lost the war yet again. 72 points, is a record for us but 5th place is worse than last season. We blew it against teams like Fulham and Wigan.