So in the end, it all came down to the final day of the season. Elsewhere there was a title race, as well as relegation and European spots up for grabs, but the attention of all Spurs fans was on Carrow Road where Tottenham Hotspur had the opportunity to seal an incredibly improbable Champions League qualification spot against already-relegated Norwich.
And... Conte’s men came through in style.
Think about that for a second.
After all the highs and lows of this crazy, beautiful season, Tottenham Hotspur are once more a Champions League club.
There was some concern going into the match that Spurs could be without Harry Kane (among others) in a potential repeat of lasagne-gate after a stomach virus had been making its way through the team, but he took his spot next to a recovered Dejan Kulusevski as Tottenham lined up in their typical 3-4-3.
It was a slightly nervy start, with the Lilywhites struggling a little in possession and a making a couple of poor giveaways (including a Dier Dire Tyre Fire Pass of the Day(TM)) but once Spurs shook off a little rust, and possibly some stomach aches, the match settled into a rhythm: Norwich sat back while Tottenham probed for an opening.
It ended up being a comfortable first half for Spurs, with two calamitous pieces of Norwich defending resulting in Tottenham goals. A great ball forward from Hojbjerg found Bentancur running in behind an extremely ragged Norwich backline before the Uruguayan centered for a Kulusevski tap-in.
The second goal was a comedy of errors with a horrendous pass from Tim Krul (remember him?) finding Bentancur at the top of the box after some fantastic pressing from Kulusevski. Bentancur immediately fired the ball into the box, finding the head of Harry Kane and his second assist of the match.
Norwich started the second half slightly stronger, with a couple of half-chances in and around the Tottenham box, but it wasn’t long before Spurs’ quality began to show again. Sonny had a couple of huge chances to score, and Dejan Kulusevski had an open goal at his mercy after a fantastic forward run but Norwich clung on.
That was until Dejan Kulusevski cut in on his left and hit an absolute pearler into the top left corner. It was a gorgeous strike and a great way for Deki to finish his first season at Tottenham, being subbed off for Lucas Moura soon after.
Spurs then heaped the punishment on Norwich, with Son adding a fourth after a deft touch from Lucas... before turning at the top of the box and hitting an absolute ROCKET into the top right to wild celebrations as he went top of the Golden Boot race (though it ended up not quite being enough to win the award outright).
From then on, it was business as usual to close out the match from Spurs, with Harry Winks and Steven Bergwijn also making appearances. What a way to end the season, and in the immortal words of Lucas Moura: COYSCOYSCOYSCOYSCOYSCOYSCOYSCOYSCOYSCOYS
- How good was that???
- Heung-Min Son, take a bow. 2 goals on the day and a fantastic performance to cap off a brilliant season. Unfortunately, Salah scoring means he shares the 21/22 Golden Boot (well, at least we think that’s the case - there’s been somewhat a lack of clarity around tiebreakers).
- You could see first-hand today one of the main reasons why Norwich were relegated: their defence is BAD. Both first half goals were totally avoidable.
- Tactically, Norwich completely played into Spurs’ hands. They neither sat deep in a low block OR pressed the midfield, letting both Bentancur and Hojbjerg run the show.
- And run the show they did - Hojbjerg was extremely involved early on, with a skied attempt after a glorious run from Dejan Kulusevski, as well as touching on the ball in the box for a Kane attempt on goal. Hojbjerg also played the ball forward for Bentancur’s run on the first goal, who grew into the game and ended up with 2 assists at half-time.
- What are the stats on Ben Davies blocks in the latter part of the season? Any time it feels like an opposition player even sniffs an opportunity to shoot, he’s diving in front of the ball, Scott Stirling-style.
- I can’t compliment a whole bunch of Tottenham players without mentioning how fantastic Dejan Kulusevski was today. He was incredible on the right.
- After that howler on the second goal, I started to write that we had finally exorcised the Tim Krul demons from Newcastle all those years ago. But then he decided to show up in the second half and have a say in the Golden Boot race, denying Sonny several massive chances. When’s he going to retire???
- Apparently 3 goals and a whole bunch of subs plus a few players going down with injury isn’t a reason to add on time at the end of a match, but I’m not a ref, so what do I know.
- Lucas wingback sighting!!!
- I could have talked about how Arsenal completely and totally bottled a commanding lead over Spurs, and how they utterly collapsed under the pressure of holding onto a Champions League spot... but I’m not going to.