Premier League

May 19, 2013


Tottenham Hotspur

1 - 0


Premier League

15:00 +00:00, May 19, 2013

White Hart Lane, England

  • 90'

    It's all over - Tottenham have won, but so have Arsenal. Both clubs triumphed 1-0, which means Arsenal, and not Tottenham, claim the fourth and final Champions League place. A dramatic afternoon and a wonderful goal for Bale but, ultimately, no joy for AVB and the men from White Hart Lane, and there are glum faces in the stands here.

  • 90'

    Lloris has the ball. Less than a minute left. Last chance for something to change at Newcastle. Back in London N17, Defoe has a shot blocked.

  • 90'

    Sunderland give away a free-kick, and Spurs are happy to have possession. Nails are being bitten all over White Hart Lane.

  • 90'

    Theo Walcott, clean through at Newcastle, hits the post when he could have sealed fourth place for Arsenal.

  • 90'

    There will be four added minutes at both White Hart Lane and Newcastle, where Arsenal still lead 1-0.

  • 90'

    Magnificent stuff from Bale, who has done that so often this season. Another in his collection of stunning strikes.

  • 89'

    GOAL: Out of nothing, Tottenham have the lead - and inevitably, it's Bale. He thunders in an astonishing effort from 30 yards. Mignolet helpless. Now, can Newcastle score?

  • 88'

    Wickham is off - he's had a decent game - and another Sunderland youngster, Adam Mitchell, is coming on.

  • 88'

    Adebayor is crowded out for another corner. Huddlestone takes, Adebayor meets it, but the header has too much loop on it and sails over.

  • 87'

    Yet another Tottenham corner, but it's all feeling flat now. The hope has all but evaporated.

  • 86'

    Free-kick for Sunderland on half-way - Wickham fouled. The noise now is coming from the Sunderland fans. Their heroes can't make anything of the free-kick, though.

  • 85'

    Bale and Dembele work the ball to Sigurdsson, lurking on the left. He's crowded out, and when possession makes its way to Lennon on the other side, the same happens to him.

  • 84'

    Sigurdsson immediately has a shot when the ball ricochets to him - Larsson blocks and Mignolet clutches the follow-up.

  • 83'

    Gylfi Sugurdsson is on for Assou-Ekotto - a final throw of the dice for AVB.

  • 83'

    Dawson fires the ball to Lennon - when it's played back to Adebayor he tries to turn and is crowded out inside the area. Seven minutes to go, and one more change looks imminent for Spurs...

  • 82'

    Dembele, on for Parker, puts a low cross in. Again, no joy for Spurs.

  • 81'

    Not much - more excellent defending from Sunderland. Lennon crosses it back in and Bale hits a snap volley from the edge of the box. Again, the handling from Mignolet is rock-solid.

  • 80'

    But they have another one - this time on the left, and in another good crossing position. What can they make of this?

  • 79'

    And a booking for the Sunderland substitute. Bale floats the free-kick in. It's far too long, and utterly harmless.

  • 79'

    Mandron brings down Bale on the Tottenham right. Another free-kick for Spurs...

  • 78'

    They have 12 minutes to find the goal they crave and then hope - desperately - for a Newcastle favour.

  • 77'

    Adebayor links well with Bale, whose cross-shot is easy for Mignolet. Clear signs of frustration among the players in white.

  • 76'

    Defoe steers the ball out to Bale, who puts yet another cross in and sees yet another cross cleared.

  • 76'

    Bale stands over the free-kick, which is about 30 yards out and to the right. He gives it a blast, and steers it well over.

  • 75'

    And Vaughan is booked for the second time - that's a red card, and Sunderland must play the final 15 minutes with only ten men.

  • 74'

    Lennon is brought down by David Vaughan, who has already been booked...

  • 73'

    James McClean off for Sunderland and Billy Knott is on. Graham is off and Mikael Mandron on - a double Di Canio change.

  • 73'

    On comes Defoe and off goes Clint Dempsey. Could this be the move to unlock the door for Spurs?

  • 73'

    Kyle Walker hits a low effort. Again, Mignolet is in the right place and gathers it in.

  • 72'

    Jermain Defoe will be coming on for Tottenham imminently. Bale, meanwhile, gets into the area and Mignolet blocks his shot.

  • 71'

    Now Bale. He tries to engineer a hooting chance, but McClean's dogged defending epitomises Sunderland's spirit. Then Huddlestone crosses low and Mignolet hangs on.

  • 71'

    It's cleared by Wickham, and then Cuellar deals with the follow-up cross from Assou-Ekotto.

  • 70'

    Good play by Adebayor, who has had an excellent match, wins a tenth corner of the match for Spurs.

  • 69'

    We are coming up to the final 20 minutes here at Tottenham. still, it's deadlocked here. Still, Newcastle are a goal down to Arsenal at St James' Park.

  • 68'

    From another Spurs corner, Dawson gets a header in but sees it blocked.

  • 67'

    For a second, there's a huge roar from the White Hart Lane crowd - did they think there had been a Newcastle equaliser? There hasn't.

  • 66'

    Dempsey on the charge. He tries to find Bale with another side-to-side pass, and the visitors cut it out thanks to McClean.

  • 65'

    Sunderland are defending again as a crossfield ball finds Assou-Ekotto. The ball comes back in and Adebayor is unable to steer a header on target.

  • 64' the end, the ball hits Vertonghen and ricochets away.

  • 63'

    Spurs must wonder what they have to do to score here. They have another corner, and there's another scramble...

  • 62'

    Unbelievable scramble, and how didn't Tottenham score - Dempsey challenges for a cross, Parker's follow-up hits Colback on the line and then Lennon shoots and the ball cannons off the post and out.

  • 61'

    But they have a corner. Again, it's a poor one - Tottenham's set pieces have been disappointing so far - and there's no danger to Sunderland.

  • 60'

    We're on the hour at White Hart Lane and, so far, it's going wrong for Spurs. They are struggling for a breakthrough, while North London rivals Arsenal are a goal up at Newcastle.

  • 59'

    Ndiaye breaks for Sunderland down the right. He works the ball back to Johnson, who lashes a thoroughly wayward effort high into the crowd.

  • 58'

    Bale takes it, and it's well dealt with. Sunderland, you have to say, have defended very well so far today.

  • 57'

    Jermain Defoe is on the bench, and could soon be brought on. In the meantime, Spurs win a corner.

  • 56'

    He crosses, Graham flicks - and Lloris saves. There's suddenly a deflation in the atmosphere at White Hart Lane - but there's still plenty of time for things to change.

  • 55'

    Good movement by Sunderland now - McClean is making ground down the left.

  • 54'

    Chance for Spurs - a free-kick comes in, bobbles about and falls to Huddlestone, who can only blaze his shot into the crowd.

  • 53'

    He tries to slip a pass through to Bale, but it's overhit.

  • 53'

    Glum faces in the crowd at White Hart Lane - but here comes Adebayor, running through the centre.

  • 52'

    Vaughan is booked for his foul on Parker. Bale crosses from the free-kick and Mignolet palms it away.

  • 52'

    There has been a goal at Newcastle - Koscielny has scored for Arsenal. Spurs now need not only to win this one but to hope that Newcastle can equalise.

  • 52'

    Suddenly this is very open - and Sunderland are having a go. But here goes Parker, who is crudely fouled by Vaughan in midfield for a free-kick.

  • 51'

    Chances at both ends already in this second period. Adebayor gets forward to fire in a shot and it looks as though Cuellar's block involves a hand. Again, the referee says no penalty.

  • 50'

    Huddlestone dawdles on the ball and Wickham feeds Graham - his shot is decently hit and Lloris makes a good save.

  • 49'

    Throw to Spurs after Lennon is crowded out. The winger then crosses from deep and Larsson does well to stop Dempsey from picking up the pieces.

  • 49'

    But here come Graham - he mishits a shot from the right and McClean can't get there in time to turn that one into a cross.

  • 48'

    An encouraging sign at the start of the second half for Tottenham. They have to win this game - a draw and an an Arsenal loss would no be enough because of the Gunners' superior goal difference.

  • 47'

    ...he crosses well and, as Sunderland scramble it away, the clearance just evades the lurking Bale and Parker.

  • 47'

    Lennon again, on halfway. They play the ball back and Assou-Ekotto has a chance to cross...

  • 46'

    Spurs try to spread the play to Lennon on the right, but that's wildly overhit and zips out for a throw.

  • 46'

    Sunderland kick off. The home fans have found their voices again. Dawson gets a challenge in as Wickham chases.

  • 45'

    The players are returning to the field at White Hart Lane - a huge 45 minutes for both Tottenham and Newcastle are on their way.

  • 45'

    And that's half-time - no goals at White Hart Lane, and none in Arsenal's match at Newcastle. There are boos for the referee for not giving a penalty to Tottenham and booking Bale for diving. But in the big picture, the race for fourth is as it was when this started - so what can Spurs do to change that after the break?

  • 45'

    The ball in, however, is too long. Sunderland win it back and Johnson tries to mount another attack. Assou-Ekotto stops him from doing so.

  • 45'

    We will have two added minutes at the end of this half as Sunderland win an attacking free-kick. They've sent a few forward for this...

  • 44'

    Dempsey chases a long ball forward from Assou-Ekotto. Just for a moment, the American appears to have kept it in play - but then in steps the linesman to tell him that he hasn't.

  • 44'

    Dempsey tries to make the breakthrough with a low effort from the edge of the area, but it's no real test for Mignolet and he holds on.

  • 43'

    Into the final two minutes of the first half, and Paolo Di Canio will be pleased with the organisation shown by his side.

  • 42'

    Johnson gets that one away for Sunderland, but Assou-Ekotto crosses from the left after a good ball from Dempsey and the visitors - just about - clear their lines.

  • 41'

    Lennon makes himself space for a cross from the right - Mignolet gets a crucial touch as Dempsey and Adebayor lurk.

  • 40'

    Five minutes remaining until the break - and at Newcastle, the Arsenal score remains 0-0.

  • 40'

    Bale hits it, and Mignolet saves. Seconds later, O'Shea heads the ball back - without noticing Bale, who is lurking but can't get a touch to steer the ball past the 'keeper.

  • 39'

    As you'd expect, he's the man over the ball. Nobody else is really in the frame.

  • 38'

    It's a yellow card for the Sunderland man - and a shooting chance, potentially, for Bale.

  • 38'

    Huddlestone is fouled by James McClean, about 35 yards out and central, as Spurs move forward from that throw.

  • 37'

    Alfred Ndiaye pops up in attack on the right and steers a low cross towards Wickham, whose shot is blocked and cannons out of play for a throw.

  • 37'

    Bale again has the ball for Spurs. He tries a cross, this one from the right, and Mignolet holds on.

  • 36'

    Ten minutes until the break, and Wickham looks to break forward. Spurs stop him and Lennon, this time on the left, crosses to Bale. He shoots and Colback blocks bravely inside the area

  • 35'

    Adebayor, drifting towards the right, drifts the ball in towards the Sunderland goal but Mignolet is there to gather.

  • 34'

    Meanwhile, Johnson makes a good run for Sunderland, drifting past Assou-Ekotto, but just overruns the ball and it's out of play on the Sunderland right.

  • 33'

    So that means that, as things stand, Arsenal would take fourth place. Still plenty of time remaining, of course.

  • 32'

    A reminder that in the other key game, which kicked off around two minutes later than this one, it remains Newcastle 0-0 Arsenal.

  • 31'

    Sunderland's best chance, and the first time Lloris has been called into real action.

  • 30'

    The striker steers a fine cross towards Connor Wickham, whose effort is smuggled around the post by Lloris.

  • 29'

    They can't make anything of it - but they come forward again and Graham has pulled away to the right.

  • 28'

    Larsson tries to get Sunderland going. Colback comes forward to help out, and the Black Cats win a throw.

  • 27'

    They win a corner on the right - Bale takes and Larsson, the man in the middle of the biggest controversy of the match so far, gets it away.

  • 26'

    But the thing is that Sunderland are offering next to nothing in an attacking sense. Spurs, if they score, will feel that they should go on to win.

  • 25'

    Good football from Spurs - and they try to build again. This time, though, they falter and O'Shea can get it forward for Sunderland.

  • 24'

    That's where the ball goes, and then an Adebayor flick finds its way to the edge of the area, where the waiting Huddlestone fires in a well-hit shot. Mignolet gathers solidly.

  • 23'

    Vertonghen on the left as Spurs look to build again. Bale takes over and has Walker on a run on the left.

  • 22'

    Lennon makes a run - Larsson again is the Sunderland man defending. He does well, and uncontroversially this time.

  • 21'

    The Welshman was also booked for diving in the game at the Stadium of Light earlier in the season.

  • 20'

    That looked very, very much like a penalty. Bale is unlucky to be booked by Phil Dowd, and Spurs have every right to be angry.

  • 20'

    Instead, they get a booking for Bale, adjudged by the referee to have dived. The reaction from both the player and the Spurs bench are of utter fury.

  • 20'

    The Sunderland man has his hands on Bale's shoulder. Bale goes down, and the home fans scream for a penalty...

  • 19'

    An excellent Cuellar challenge on Parker frees Sunderland just for a second - but Spurs intercept and Bale is racing into the area with Larsson chasing...

  • 18'

    Parker is adjudged to have fouled Vaughan inside the Sunderland half. Sunderland take the free-kick quickly, but the move forward founders when Danny Graham's attempted flick is intercepted.

  • 17'

    Promising stuff from Spurs, neatly made and nearly crowned by the perfect cross.

  • 16'

    ...For a second, it looks as though he has found the perfect ball - but in the end it's just too long for the Welshman and drifts behind for a goal-kick.

  • 15'

    Away come Spurs, and Adebayor is played into some space on the left of the area. He checks and crosses towards Gareth Bale...

  • 14'

    Sunderland try to put some pressure on the Tottenham defenders - but they do it a bit too well, according to the referee, and that's a free-kick to the home side.

  • 14'

    Parker makes a busy run and tries to sweep the ball out towards Lennon. McClean is back there for Sunderland to intercept and clear the danger.

  • 13'

    Wickham then flicks on for Sunderland, trying to steer the ball towards the area from the left, but Spurs clear that.

  • 13'

    At the other end, Adam Johnson plays a ball in, looking for Connor Wickham, but there's too much on it and Lloris claims comfortably.

  • 12'

    ...Walker takes over and tries to get a cross in, but Sunderland again defend soundly.

  • 11'

    Dawson spreads the ball to Huddlestone, and it's worked towards the right and Adebayor...

  • 10'

    AVB and the home fans will be pleased with this start: it's measured stuff from Tottenham so far. The vocal backing from the White Hart Lane stands remains impressive.

  • 10'

    The ball falls to Vertonghen on the edge of the area, but he is crowded out by Sunderland players before he can get an effort in.

  • 9'

    Vertonghen plays a lovely ball out to the right to Lennon, who wins a corner...

  • 8'

    Spurs on the ball again, inside their own half. A Sunderland side shorn of what little true creativity they have has yet to do much at all.

  • 7'

    Little or no doubt that that was the correct decision. Spurs are keeping the ball well - until, that is, Vertonghen plays a rather aimless one towards the heart of the Sunderland area and that goes nowhere.

  • 7'

    Bale takes a long throw from the right in the direction from Adebayor. Cuellar challenges, the Spurs striker goes to ground... and the referee says no penalty.

  • 6'

    It's dangerous, and leads to another one: Huddlestone takes and O'Shea heads clear this time.

  • 5'

    Adebayor latches on to a header down the right and has a shot from a narrow angle. Mignolet sees that one round the post. Corner to Spurs...

  • 4'

    Assou-Ekotto on the left for Spurs - Sunderland again close down the space well and Spurs try to switch play to Walker on the other side. It's overhit, though.

  • 3'

    Another rather hopeful ball forward follows - Mignolet kicks that one clear and Sunderland look for striker Danny Graham: Lloris is smartly out to gather.

  • 3'

    Spurs in possession again, but the ball forward down the right is disappointing and John O'Shea tidies up.

  • 2'

    As the throw comes in, Adebayor hooks an awkward cross in and Mignolet is forced to punch it away with Bale lurking.

  • 1'

    Assou-Ekotto tries to slip the ball down the left to Dempsey, and Sunderland bundle it out for a throw.

  • 1'

    Tottenham get the match under way - a huge noise from the home fans. The ball is played back. Dawson in possession, and then it's back to Lloris.


    Here's how AVB sees things on the cusp of this crunch afternoon for his side: "We have to do our job and hope for somebody to slip up. The league is absolutely unpredictable, and hopefully it can fall our way."


    Ten minutes or so until kick off, then, at a hot and muggy White Hart Lane. History is against Sunderland, who have won only one of their last 11 final day games. That, fact fans, came against West Ham at Upton Park in 2011.


    Di Canio's XI, meanwhile, looks like this: Mignolet, Colback, O'Shea, Cuellar, McClean, Larsson, Vaughan, N'Diaye, Johnson, Wickham, Graham. Subs: Westwood, Marrs, Mandron, Knott, Mitchell, Ferguson, Harrison.


    That's one change from the team that won so crucially, and so late, at Stoke last weekend - Assou-Ekotto the man to come in, with Caulker dropping to the bench.


    Team news is here, and this is how Andre Villas-Boas is doing things: Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Parker, Huddlestone, Dempsey, Bale, Adebayor. Subs: Friedel, Naughton, Defoe, Dembele, Sigurdsson, Holtby, Caulker.


    Paolo Di Canio has promised that Sunderland will not take things lightly, calling on them to play with dignity whatever the outcome. If they don't, says Paolo, he'll shorten their holidays.


    Sunderland travel to White Hart Lane safe - but Tottenham, of course, have everything to play for this afternoon. They are a point behind North London rivals Arsenal in the race for fourth place. They need to win and keep their fingers crossed that the Gunners - at Newcastle - don't.


    Join us for live commentary of Tottenham v Sunderland from 3:45pm BST.