Spurs secure Europa League berth

Crystal Palace 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

A tinker with tactics, a new-found resolve and a three-month break have all played a pivotal role in Tottenham securing a top-six place. However, ultimately the Jose Mourinho has worked his magic, pulling a rabbit, of sorts, out of what had at one point appeared to be a tatty hat of a Premier League campaign.

A point at out of sorts Crystal Palace proved to be enough for the Lilywhites as they leapfrogged Wolves who went down by two unanswered goals at Chelsea.

Harry Kane profited from Giovani lo Celso’s toil to hand Tottenham the lead. However, Palace signed off by ending a wretched run of seven defeats thanks to Jeffrey Schlupp’s close-range effort.

“The game was hard,” Mourinho confessed.

“We didn’t play well at all, but I understand to play a season in one last game is never easy. Always brings extra pressure that, of course, didn’t help us as we didn’t play well at all. But we have the credit to put ourselves in this situation – I think the players deserve.”

Mourinho focused on the positives from the campaign, adding: “Of course, everybody that one day plays Champions League doesn’t want to go back and play Europa League. But was the only thing possible after such a difficult season for the club, for the players and in my case also for myself.

“But arriving fourteenth and handling things is not bad at all. I am quite happy next season we play in Europa League and it’s just a question to motivate ourselves for that competition and try to motivate the fans to support us and try to do something beautiful.”

Crystal Palace: Guaita, Ward, Kouyaté, Dann, Mitchell, Townsend, McCarthy, McArthur (Riedewald 70’), Schlupp (Milivojevic 85’), J Ayew, Zaha Subs not used: Meyer, Hennessey, Kelly, Woods, Kirby, Pierrick, Gordon

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Aurier, Dier, Alderweireld, Davies, Sissoko (Skipp 80’), Winks, Lucas Moura (D Sánchez 90+3’), Lo Celso (Bergwijn 60’), Heung-Min Son (Dele 80’), Kane Subs not used: Vertonghen, Lamela, R Sessegnon, Gazzaniga, Tanganga

Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Assistants: Daniel Cook and Sian Massey-Ellis
Fourth Official: Geoff Eltringham

Brian Jeeves

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