Spurs win final home game and dent Hull’s survival bid
Tottenham bounced back from their humiliation at Stoke and stayed on course for a Europa League spot by winning their last home game of the season, while denting Hull’s survival bid.
Nacer Chadli opening the scoring with his 13th goal of the season in the 54th minute and Danny Rose struck seven minutes later to ensure the home fans went home happy after a 2-0 victory.
That took the Lilywhites back above Southampton, who had thrashed Aston Villa 6-1 earlier in the day, and Mauricio Pochettino’s side sit sixth in the table going into the final weekend of the Premier League campaign.
The fifth and sixth-placed sides will qualify for the Europa League, while the seventh-placed team would be reliant on an Arsenal victory in the FA Cup final.
Meanwhile, Hull remain two points from safety but, with Newcastle losing at QPR, they are still in the fight.
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There was just one change from the side that had started at Stoke seven days previously, with Rose returning from his groin problem and replacing Vlad Chiriches, who had been sent off at the Britannia Stadium.
There was no place in the squad for Brad Friedel, who will retire after the final game of the season at Everton next weekend, while former Spurs skipper Michael Dawson captained the visitors, and Tom Huddlestone also returned to the Lane.
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Tottenham created the first chance as Erik Lamela’s lack of interest in defending left him well-placed to lead a break upfield. The Argentine found Harry Kane on the right, but his powerful drive was well blocked.
Lamela then saw a shot from the edge of the area deflected wide, while Eric Dier missed the target with his header from the ensuing corner, but Hull then began to threaten.
Federico Fazio carelessly gave the ball to Dame N’Doye deep in Spurs’ half, and his cross found Nikica Jelavic, who was unable to direct his header goalwards beyond the back post.
Soon after, Ahmed Elmohamady sent in another delivery from the right, and this time Jelavic sent a shot crashing against the top of the bar.
At the other end, Tottenham right-back Dier showed his crossing ability with two dangerous, inviting low balls across the goalmouth, but none of his team-mates were there to take advantage.
Christian Eriksen then danced into the box and moved the ball left to Kane, but his low ball was too far in front of Nacer Chadli.
Elmohamdy and Jelavic combined again, with the wing-back crossing for the Croatian striker, who sent an acrobatic bicycle kick over the bar. And, at the other end, Ryan Mason turned past Stephen Quinn on the by-line and Lamela arrived at the near post to meet his cross but could not direct his effort on goal.
Pochettino had cut a frustrated figure during the first half, and his mood did not improve as Hull made the brighter start after the interval. Quinn crossed for Jelavic, with Fazio just doing enough to put the Croatian off as he leapt to meet the ball, and a simple through ball from a free kick caught Tottenham napping, with Jelavic shooting across goal – although he was flagged offside.
However, it was Tottenham who took the lead. Chadli had offered virtually nothing in the previous 54 minutes but, in somewhat characteristic style, it was he who broke the deadlock, running onto Lamela’s clever through ball and rounding Steve Harper before slotting into the empty net.
Spurs went on to double their lead in the 61st minute as Mason chipped the ball in behind the Hull defence, and Rose ran in unmarked to volley into the top right corner.
Hull tried to battle back, with Paul McShane flicking a header just past the far post and Abel Hernandez seeing two efforts blocked in quick succession by Dier and Fazio in a goalmouth scramble.
But the Tigers were unable to halve the deficit and Spurs were able to enjoy their lap of honour as the winning side.
Tottenham: Lloris, Dier, Fazio, Vertonghen, Rose, Bentaleb, Mason (Stambouli 79), Lamela, Eriksen (Dembele 58), Chadli, Kane (Soldado 90)
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs