English Premiership

Tottenham take fifth place

2015-05-24 18:52
Harry Kane (Supplied)
Harry Kane (Supplied)

Liverpool - Tottenham have secured a fifth place finish in the Premier League as Harry Kane ended his breakthrough season with the decisive strike in his side's 1-0 win at Everton on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino's side took the points at Goodison Park thanks to England forward Kane's 31st club goal of the season in all competitions and his 21st in the league.

That victory, combined with Liverpool's 6-1 defeat at Stoke, lifted the north Londoners two points above the Reds into fifth and ensured they will go straight into the Europa League group stage in September, instead of having to start the season in July with a qualifying round for Europe's second tier competition.

Everton finished 11th after a lacklustre defeat that summed up their disappointing campaign.

Pochettino recently told his players that few of them are guaranteed of a place at the club next season and that warning had the desired effect.

Tottenham made a bright start, appealing in vain for a penalty when Ryan Mason went down under pressure from Phil Jagielka after a quick exchange of passes with Christian Eriksen.

Brendan Galloway was making his home debut for Everton and the teenage left-back suffered a little stage fright early on when he carelessly gifted possession to Christian Eriksen, who set up Erk Lamela for a shot that forced a save from Tim Howard.

That blunder sparked a response from Everton and Kevin Mirallas was sent clean through on goal, but with only Hugo Lloris to beat the Belgian forward shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Mirallas showed more composure to carve out another chance when he juggled the ball to work space for a shot that fizzed just over.

But, after a barren spell since marking his England debut with a goal in March, Kane looked a more lively presence up front and he opened the scoring in the 24th minute.

Eric Dier delivered a tempting cross into the penalty area and Kane's clever movement and predatory instincts were on full display as he evaded two defenders to head in from close-range for only his second goal in his last eight appearances.

Mirallas should have equalised before half-time when he dribbled around Lloris, only to clip his shot over from a tight angle with the goal unguarded.

Muhamed Besic came on for Ross Barkley at the interval and the Everton substitute almost grabbed an immediate equaliser with a powerful strike that flashed past a post.

Eriksen's shot was deflected wide for a corner that produced a headed chance which Federico Fazio was unable to convert, but Tottenham had already done enough to take the points.

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