Fairytale at White Hart Lane as Spurs clinch second

Premier League

LONDON – Home-grown hero Harry Kane scored Tottenham Hotspur’s last goal at White Hart Lane as they bade farewell to their home with a 2-1 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.

Kane, born up the road in Chingford, added to Victor Wanyama’s early header to secure a victory that confirmed Spurs will finish in second place in the Premier League and ended United’s hopes of a top-four finish.

Tell a friend
The crowd at White Hart Lane join the celebrations after Harry Kane scored what turned out to be the winner against Manchester United. Photo: Frank Augstein, APWayne Rooney pulled a goal back for Manchester United. Photo: Dylan Martinez, ReutersTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, backroom staff and players during the ceremony after the game. Photo: Dylan Martinez, Reuters

Demolition work at the Lane, Spurs’ home since 1899, will start on Monday, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side playing at Wembley next season before moving into their new ground, which is being built on the same site, in 2018.

“What a way to finish,” said Kane, who was mobbed as hundreds of fans poured on to the pitch at the final whistle.

“We wanted a win so badly in our last game here. I said before I’d love to score the winning goal, and for it to happen is brilliant. To see it go in was special.”

White Hart Lane has been graced by such Spurs greats as Jimmy Greaves, Steve Perryman and Glenn Hoddle, and it was fitting that Kane, emblem of their exciting current side, should be their final goal-scorer there.

It was Spurs’ 14th successive home league win – equalling the club record, set over two seasons in 1987 – and meant they finished a league campaign unbeaten at home for the first time since 1964-65.

Supporters flooded on to the pitch at the end of the game before eventually being persuaded to return to their seats for a ceremony featuring famous figures from the club’s past.

Fans take selfies after invading the pitch at White Hart Lane following the 2-1 win for Spurs over Manchester United. Photo: Frank Augstein, AP

Sixth-place United, who replied through Wayne Rooney, fell to a second successive league defeat, having seen a 25-game unbeaten run ended by a 2-0 loss down the road at Arsenal last weekend.

Guaranteed to finish outside the top four for the third time in four seasons, Jose Mourinho’s team must now beat Ajax in the Europa League final to procure a place in the Champions League.

“You can’t play two big competitions with 15 players,” said Mourinho, who made eight changes to the team that had edged Celta Vigo in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday.

“At the moment, the Premier League matches are the ones we don’t want to play.”

The teams emerged to find the famous old arena awash with blue and white as Spurs’ fans waved flags bearing the legend “THE LANE, THE FINALE” and filled the air with songs.

Mourinho, whose changes included 19-year-old defender Axel Tuanzebe lining up in midfield, saw his side fall behind in the sixth minute.

Jose Mourinho said Manchester United cannot play “two big competitions with 15 players”, referring to the eight changes he made for the Spurs game. Photo: Andrew Couldridge, Action Images via Reuters

Spurs played a corner short on the left and Ben Davies’ deep cross was emphatically headed home by Wanyama.

United briefly threatened, with Rooney heading over from a Daley Blind corner, and then producing a pass with the outside of his foot down the line to Anthony Martial, who cut in and curled it wide.

But with Spurs’ fans happily serenading favourites of yesteryear – Ledley King, Teddy Sheringham and Aaron Lennon, who is fighting mental health issues at present – the hosts reasserted control.

United goalkeeper David de Gea was the busiest man in the stadium, parrying a strike by Son Heung-Min, acrobatically denying Dele Alli and saving with his legs from Kane, who also clipped the bar with a header.

Kane struck three minutes into the second half, innovatively volleying home Christian Eriksen’s free kick from the left to take his goal tally for the league campaign to 22.

Rooney reduced the arrears in the 71st minute, prodding in Martial’s low cross and giving United their first goal in an away game against another member of the top six this season at the fifth and final attempt.

“It was a perfect performance, and I am happy for the victory for our fans,” said Pochettino.

“We need to feel that Wembley is our home, and we need to find a balance between White Hart Lane and there. Next season, we will feel it is our home.”

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Tell a friend