Terrible Tottenham Hotspur have finished below Arsenal for the 21st season in a row after being humiliated by 10-man Newcastle United.
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Spurs, needing just a point to seal second spot ahead of the Gunners, were not just beaten, but destroyed as they lost 5-1 to their already-relegated opponents.
Tottenham started sluggishly and were rightly punished on 19 minutes when Georginio Wijnaldum scored his first of the game, after a poor defensive header by the usually-solid Toby Alderweireld.
That goal failed to wake Spurs up. And they fell 2-0 down just before half time when Aleksandar Mitrovic headed home.
Mauricio Pochettino made a double change at half time, bringing off Son Heung-min and Ryan Mason for Josh Onomah and Tom Carroll.
And Spurs improved. They were back in the game just after the hour mark, when a neat move saw the ball worked to Erik Lamela on the overlap and the Argentine international snook his rocket of a shot inside the near post.
Newcastle were down to 10 men moments later, when Mitrovic was shown a straight red card for a horrible tackle which could have broken Kyle Walker’s leg.
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 15, 2016
It didn’t break Walker’s leg, but the Spurs defender was subbed off as a result. Nacer Chadli replaced Walker, but the Belgian did not fill in at right-back. This left Spurs exposed and allowed Moussa Sissoko to break clear down the Newcastle left, before winning a penalty with a shameless dive, which fooled the referee into thinking Christian Eriksen had committed a foul.
Simulation de Sissoko ou pas ? ???? https://t.co/pTqoXuGqiR
— Betclic.fr (@Betclic) May 15, 2016
Wijnaldum scored the spot kick and Spurs imploded.
Tottenham’s lack of belief caused them to spectacularly self-destruct, leading to late goals for Rolando Aarons and Daryl Janmaat.
Andros Townsend tried desperately to find the net against his former club, but his attempts to add insult to injury were thwarted by the woodwork.
Spurs finish third in what – despite their shambolic finish – has been their best ever Premier League season in terms of final position.
They end with 70 points, 33 more than Newcastle – who beat them home and away en route to the Championship – but two fewer that they achieved under AVB during the 2012-13 campaign.