Tottenham seal Europa League spot, draw at Palace
Tottenham qualified for the Europa League after drawing at Crystal Palace on the final day of the season and Wolves losing at Chelsea.
Harry Kane gave Spurs the lead and even though Jeffrey Schlupp equalized in the second half, Spurs held on for the point which sealed European qualification.
[ MORE: Mourinho on qualification, transfers ]
Jose Mourinho will be very happy with Spurs’ finish to the season as they finished in sixth place in the table on 59 points, while Palace won one of their final nine game of the season and finished in 14th place.
The only thing to now sort out is whether Spurs have to qualify for the Europa League or go straight into the group stage. If Arsenal win the FA Cup next week they will be in the qualifying rounds, but if Chelsea win then Spurs will be in the group stage.
3 things we learned
1. Kane continues hot streak: Kane was superb in the first half and battled hard, as always. His link up with Moura, Son, Lo Celso and others has improved and he is finally back fit. Kane is finding the right spaces in Mourinho’s system and he will get a lot of chances next season, even though people believe he won’t under Mourinho. Kane is back. That is great news for Spurs.
2. Palace in freefall: Roy Hodgson is a nice bloke but with one win from nine games since the restart, Palace are in freefall and need to freshen things up. Wilfried Zaha doesn’t want to be there and had a poor season and Steve Parish has a big decision to make. If I’m Parish, I’d go for Eddie Howe as soon as possible. Palace can build something special but need to overhaul their squad.
3. Mourinho delivers Europa League: It’s not the Champions League, but it’s something. Since Mourinho arrived in December, Spurs have been pretty good and they’ve recovered well after Mauricio Pochettino’s firing and the horrendous injury problems. Now that he has Spurs’ defense sorted out, with Kane back fit and scoring, Spurs should be a lot closer to the top four next season and you wouldn’t bet against them winning the Europa League. Mourinho has told the media once or twice in recent weeks that he’s won the Europa League trophy in the only two seasons he’s competed in the competition...
Man of the Match: Harry Kane - Fine finish to continue his great finish to the season and although Spurs may not be too exciting to watch, they are getting Kan chances to score.
Tottenham started well and were rewarded as they took the lead.
Giovani Lo Celso played in Kane who controlled and hammered home a low shot to continue his good form and make it 1-0.
Palace barely threatened in the first half as they whipped in a few dangerous crosses, but that was about it.
Spurs almost doubled their lead as Lucas Moura did brilliantly to get to the ball ahead of Vicente Guaita but Joel Ward cleared the ball off the line.
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Palace started well in the second half and were soon level.
A corner to the back post found Scott Dann, who headed down for Jordan Ayew who missed his kick.
However, Schlupp was on hand to sweep home and make it 1-1.
Tottenham and Hugo Lloris had to withstand some heavy pressure from Palace but they did just that and sealed automatic qualification to the Europa League group stage.