Record-breaking Tottenham Hotspur end time at White Hart Lane with win over Manchester United
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 1
Tottenham Hotspur ended their time at the current White Hart Lane with a display full of flare and skill which Spurs fans have become accustomed to seeing over the last 118 years at the N17 venue.
Manchester United should have conceded more than twice, but it was enough to give Mauricio Pochettino’s team a deserved 2-1 win.
It was a record-breaking day for the Lilywhites in so many ways with the victory firstly securing a second-place finish in the Premier League this season.
Tottenham haven’t finished higher since the 1962/63 campaign and it is also their highest ever finish in a 38-game league season.
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The win was also Spurs’ 14th league triumph in a row at White Hart Lane, which equalled their previous best - set back across two seasons in the 1987.
And the three points also took Tottenham onto 80 for the campaign, which beats their previous best of 77 under the three points for a win system.
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The buzz outside the ground was building even three hours before kick-off with fans from all walks of life present.
One supporter was braving a protective boot to ensure he witnessed the last match at the current Lane.
Meanwhile the younger generation of fans were keen to get a picture outside of the stadium before demolition work starts tomorrow.
With the pitch basked in sunshine, slowly the stands began to fill for one last time at this current venue.
The two teams were announced at 3.30pm and Pochettino made one change from the 1-0 defeat at West Ham United.
Kieran Trippier earned a recall in place of Kyle Walker, who dropped back to the bench for the last game at the Lane.
United boss Jose Mourinho made eight changes to the starting XI which earned the Red Devils a spot in the Europa League final.
David De Gea returned in goal with Michael Carrick lining up in midfield to face his former club.
Wayne Rooney was involved from the off alongside fellow England internationals Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
The likes of Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all had to settle for places on the bench, as Mourinho continued his policy of rotating players ahead of the Europa League final later this month.
As the seconds until kick-off ticked away, more fans flooded into White Hart Lane for the last time.
Legends were everywhere as were former managers and soon the atmosphere inside N17 took off.
Each fan had been given a special Lane Finale flag as part of a goody bad to mark the last game at this stadium.
The noise decibels inside White Hart Lane increased as kick-off approached with the flags creating a stunning imagine and adding to the atmosphere.
Manchester United got the game underway and Rooney had the first effort of note from near the halfway line, but Hugo Lloris saved with ease.
As Tottenham took control of possession, the fans were in fine voice and they didn’t need to wait long to celebrate.
Christian Eriksen took a short corner to Ben Davies and he curled the ball into the area for Wanyama to power home from close range.
Only six minutes were on the clock and already Spurs were in front in their final game at the current stadium.
Tottenham supporters were already going through their full repertoire of songs before the goal and Wanyama’s header just gave them more reason to find their voices.
United reacted well following the early setback with Rooney heading Daley Blind’s corner over after 12 minutes.
Spurs soon regained control, however, and seemed to be first to every tackle, header and loose ball.
Mourinho’s men nearly caught Tottenham out in the 18th minute when a quick free kick saw Anthony Martial outmuscle Toby Alderweireld, but the French forward curled just wide.
It was a let-off for the hosts, although they produced an equally good opportunity less than 60 seconds later.
Heung-min Son somehow bundled his way through on goal, but fired straight at De Gea and Eriksen fizzed the rebound wide from outside the area.
Tottenham went close again three minutes later with their Denmark playmaker at the heart of the move.
Eriksen’s corner was cleared, but the ball came back to him and Kane met his centre, yet could only head against the crossbar.
It was all Spurs and De Gea was called into action midway through the half to prevent Eriksen’s deflected cross sneaking in.
Kane’s influence was growing with the England striker causing all sorts of problems for international team-mates Jones and Smalling.
With half an hour played, the Spurs forward brilliantly held off Jones before flicking into Alli’s path, but his rasping drive was pushed off by De Gea.
The Tottenham fans remained in fine voice and chanted for Aaron Lennon in the 33rd minute before doing similar for Paul Gascoigne.
Referee Jonathan Moss handed the first yellow card of the game to Rooney three minutes later following a number of fouls.
England’s captain was enduring a frustrating time in N17 with Spurs dominating proceedings thus far.
Dark clouds engulfed White Hart Lane moments later as light drizzle came down as the seconds ticked away in the first half.
Eric Dier produced a wonderful sliding challenge on Axel Tuanzebe just before the break to halt an away move.
One minute of stoppage was added on at the end of the half and it was enough time for Spurs to carve open United once more.
Eriksen slide the ball into Kane and his low shot was blocked by De Gea’s feet, as the Spaniard continued to keep his team in the game.
The half-time whistle followed soon after and Harry Winks was interviewed during the interval – one local lad unable to play today due to injury.
Spurs Ladies and Chas and Dave were also brought out as part of the White Hart Lane finale during the break.
With the second half to come, things were going to plan for Tottenham and they were on course for another win at home.
Pochettino wasn’t happy with much of the first 45, however, and the Argentine was keen for the second goal to arrive.
Tottenham began the second period brightly with Alli bursting past Carrick before winning a free kick in a great position on the left.
Eriksen whipped in the set piece and Kane produced an intelligent and deft flick to beat Dea Gea in the 48th minute.
It was fitting Kane had scored in the White Hart Lane finale and it also equalled his tally of goals for the 2015/16 season.
The England man was involved again five minutes later, as he drilled wide much to the disappointment of Trippier, who had made a good overlapping run.
Spurs fans were enjoying their final match at the Lane with the noise levels inside the stadium raising all the time.
It was a partisan atmosphere with Tottenham two goals to the good and this team not looking capable of throwing it away unlike previous sides from N17.
United did show their threat in the 59th minute, but Jesse Lingard’s effort sailed well wide of Lloris’ goal.
It was virtually his last moment of note, as Mourinho hauled him and Tuanzebe off just past the hour mark.
Two of his big runs, Herrera and Mkhitaryan, came on to try and give the Red Devils some impetus.
But it was to little avail as the White Hart Lane faithful continued to celebrate their last game at the current stadium.
A fine flick by Rooney did allow Martial a run at Trippier, but the forward could only curl past the post.
Then slightly against the run of play the visitors reduced the deficit in N17 to set up a grandstand finish.
Martial again did well and after getting in around the back, he picked out Rooney for a simple tap-in with 19 minutes left.
Pochettino introduced Mousa Dembele straight after the goal with Son making way, as Tottenham looked to finish with a win at White Hart Lane.
The rain began to get heavier as the seconds ticked away with nerves starting to now increase in north London.
Mourinho’s final roll of the dice was to bring on Rashford before Walker made his way onto the pitch.
Alli nearly made it 3-1 with six minute left after linking up with Kane again, but Jones cleared his shot off the line.
It helped the home fans get their singing voices back as the ‘when the Spurs go marching in’ echoed around White Hart Lane.
Georges-Kevin Nkoudou entered the fray on the stroke of full time with Eriksen coming off to a round of applause.
Rashford very nearly spoiled the party, though, as he raced through, but he could only fire over.
Five minutes of additional time had already been added on at this point and despite some moments of worry, Spurs saw out the rest of the game to secure another win.
The only goal against also means they have only conceded nine league goals at White Hart Lane this season, which is a new record low.
Spurs signed off their campaign at the Lane in record-breaking fashion and will aim to make similar memories at the new home.
Tottenham’s record in all competitions at White Hart Lane this season reads 21 wins, two draws and no defeats - the perfect way to sign off.
Spurs fans invaded the pitch after the full time whistle, which briefly delayed the farewell ceremony at White Hart Lane, but they were quickly cleared which allowed for the club to set up for their farewell ceremony.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Trippier (Walker 82), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Wanyama; Eriksen (Nkoudou 90), Alli, Son (Dembele 72); Kane.
Unused substitutes: Vorm, Wimmer, Sissoko, Janssen.
Manchester United: De Gea; Bailly, Jones, Smalling, Blind; Tuanzebe (Herrera 61), Carrick; Mata (Rashford 79), Rooney, Lingard (Mkhitaryan 61); Martial.
Unused substitutes: Romero, Mitchell, Darmian, McTominay.