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Fourth Place Secured - Now We Wait...
FOURTH PLACE SECURED - NOW WE WAIT...
Posted 13 May 2012 6:55pm
The team secured fourth place in the Premier League with a 2-0 win against Fulham on Sunday - now we've an agonising week to wait to see if we'll take our place in the Champions League next season.
Goals from Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe were good enough for maximum points and a place in the top four of the Premier League for only the second time.
Focus now turns to the Allianz Arena, Munich, for the Champions League Final on Saturday night.
Chelsea, who finished sixth in the Premier League, take on hosts Bayern Munich knowing that victory will see them take our place in next season's competition.
Every Spurs fan in White Hart Lane and no doubt worldwide went through all the emotions in Sunday's thrilling finale.
We knew that victory over Fulham would secure a top-four finish and force Arsenal to match us at West Brom.
Thankfully, Adebayor scored inside two minutes to settle nerves at the Lane.
It was then all about The Hawthorns - with Arsenal also scoring early but then West Brom fighting back to lead 2-1 and we all dared to dream of third.
Even though Santos levelled for the Gunners, we sat in third until approximately 4.09pm, when Laurent Koscielny fired Arsenal ahead.
Defoe pounced with his first touch in the 63rd minute after coming on for Rafa van der Vaart to give us that vital two-goal cushion against Fulham but, alas, there were no further wild outbreaks from the fans celebrating goals elsewhere and on the final whistle, it was fourth place.
That was mission accomplished for the season - but our Champions League fate will decided with Chelsea's on May 19.
Harry Redknapp made one change from last week's 1-1 draw at Villa.
Jake Livermore was back in the starting line-up for suspended Danny Rose, with Gareth Bale reverting to left-back in a 4-2-3-1 system.
A good start was vital and Adebayor delivered in the second minute. Drifting in from the left, he played a sharp one-two with van der Vaart, whose return pass invited the striker to dispatch a low sidefoot past Mark Schwarzer.
The Fulham goalkeeper did well to close down Bale froma tight angle and a number of half-chances went begging as we bossed the first half-hour.
Van der Vaart curled inches wide after 34 minutes but Fulham were starting to find their feet and Brad Friedel was forced into two fine saves in the space of a minute to deny John Arne Riise and then, even better, Moussa Dembele.
Schwarzer's hands were then burned by Bale's blaster in added time and we went into the break with third place on.
The manager was forced into an early change in the second half as Kyle Walker limped off, replaced by Ryan Nelsen. William Gallas switched to right-back.
Sandro couldn't get enough power to trouble Schwarzer from Lennon's cross after 52 minutes and there was another warning from Fulham as Dembele's clean strike cannoned off the foot of the post.
Defoe was soon introduced for van der Vaart and, typically, took all of three minutes to make his mark.
Lennon's shot deflected into his path and he finished clinically from eight yards.
That goal gave the striker 10th place on his own in the club's all-time top 10 goalscorers.
Young full-back Adam Smith was handed a debut in the 76th minute when Kaboul limped out of the action.
It was then all about The Hawthorns, and waiting for another delirious cheer to spread through the stadium.
Unfortunately, it didn't come and the final action saw Friedel excel again to first tip Damien Duff's shot onto the post and then flick another fine strike from Dembele over the crossbar.
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Friedel; Walker (Nelsen, 49), Gallas, Kaboul (Smith, 76), Bale; Livermore, Sandro; Modric, van der Vaart (Defoe, 60), Lennon; Adebayor. Unused subs: Cudicini, Giovani, Kane, Saha.
Fulham (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Kelly, Hughes, Hangeland, John Arne Riise; Duff, Diarra, Murphy (Kasami, 67), Frei; Dembele; Pogrebnyak. Unused subs: Stockdale, Senderos, Bjorn Helge Riise, Gecov, Briggs, Trotta.
Goals: Spurs - Adebayor (2), Defoe (63).
Referee: Mr P Dowd.