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Tottenham Tops Manchester United in White Hart Lane Finale

May 14, 2017 9:40 PM
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The final goal at the stadium came from the Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney, but by then Tottenham already had the goals it required — Kane’s 28th of the season and Victor Wanyama’s sixth-minute header.

“To be unbeaten at White Hart Lane in the last season here is something to be happy with,” Manager Mauricio Pochettino said.

While it was a party atmosphere for the hosts, who trail the champion, Chelsea, by 7 points, it was another miserable day for José Mourinho in his erratic first season as the manager of United.

Mourinho lifted the League Cup after United beat Southampton in the final in February. But the defeat at Tottenham ensured that his team would finish outside the Premier League’s top four, just as it did under Louis van Gaal last season. United’s Champions League qualification now depends on beating Ajax in the Europa League final.

With two games remaining, United is in sixth place, 15 points behind Tottenham despite vastly outspending the north London club.

Since Alex Ferguson retired as manager in 2013 after delivering United’s last league title, the club’s net transfer spending has been about 350 million pounds ($450 million). In that time, Tottenham has spent about as much as it has recouped on transfers.

And the goals from the academy graduate Kane over the last three seasons have propelled the team up the standings. For the first time, Tottenham will play a second consecutive season in the Champions League, providing valuable income from UEFA as the club completes construction of its new 61,000-seat stadium next to the White Hart Lane site.

After playing next season at Wembley Stadium, Tottenham is expected to return home for the start of the 2018-19 season.

“It’s an unbelievable stadium, and we just have to make sure we feel comfortable there,” midfielder Dele Alli said of Wembley. “We’ve got to make sure next season it’s going to be our home for the year, so we’ve got to make it as much of a fortress as White Hart Lane has been.”

All season, the new ground has been springing up, eating into a corner of the crumbling White Hart Lane. It was just to the left of the construction work — partly shielded by a large screen reading, “The Lane. The Finale” — that Kane met Christian Eriksen’s cross three minutes into the second half.

Rooney’s 71st-minute strike amid a downpour briefly punctured the festivities, but the sun returned, and Tottenham closed out the final minutes in the stadium of its best campaign since 1962-63 before a parade of club greats on the field.

As confetti showered the pitch, a rainbow emerged over the sun-kissed golden cockerel atop the East Stand. The emblem won’t have far to move for a club making progress on and off the pitch.


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