All that was required was a point after Arsenal’s latest surrender, but Tottenham snatched Champions League qualification with a bravado as they swept away hapless Norwich.
Spurs were in disarray when Antonio Conte was appointed in November, but he led a major revival to lead the team back into the top four. On February 8th, nine wins in the last 11 games sealed bragging rights in North London and their place at the top of the European football table next season.
Spurs were in no mood to sit on the Carrow Road and rewarded their early pressure with the opening game of Dejan Kulusevsky. Harry Kane benefited from a horrific defensive blunder before the break, with Tottenham fans enjoying the sunshine after their late-season rise to the detriment of rivals Arsenal.
Premier Kulusevsky netted a superb third goal before Son Heung-min’s insistence paid off with two swift efforts to share the Golden Boot with Mohamed Salah after he scored his 23rd goal of the season.
Kane was fit to lead Tottenham’s attack after recovering from illness while preparing for the match. The only change Conte made to the team was the return of Kulusevsky in place of Lucas Moura. Norwich goalkeeper Tim Krul replaced Angus Jan in the final for the North American relegation team Premier League.
Norwich’s first warning should have resulted in the opening goal, after Kulusevsky slashed through the right flank, but a pass was wasted as Pierre-Emile Hojberg hit the ball over the bar. Kane was first seen in goal but the England striker’s low shot went straight into Kroll’s arms.
Spurs’ early dominance continued with Norwich’s failure to clear the ball and Kane’s powerful shot from an acute angle saved by Kroll.
The breakthrough finally came when Hogberg hoisted a ball over the established defense and Rodrigo Bentancur Kulusevski fired a low shot into the net. It was a statement of intent from Spurs and the start of a very long evening for Norwich.
A losing pass from Eric Dier created a rare opportunity for the hosts midway through the half, but Milot Rashica failed to capitalize on his low shot wide of the close post by Hugo Lloris.
Spurs were awarded the second goal when Kroll failed to tackle Jacob Sorensen’s back pass and handed the ball to Bentancur. The midfielder gave him a second critical pass in the match with a cross from Kane to score his 17th goal in the league.
Ben Davies tested Kroll before the break from distance but his shot was blocked to safety.
Son saw his first goal in the second half after being sent by Kane, but the striker’s low shot was saved by Kroll. The duo united again with Kane’s cross for the South Korean striker, but Kroll blocked his efforts from close range.
This turned into a crusade to give Son the goal he needed, but Kulusevsky blundered uncharacteristically when he dribbled the goalkeeper and tried to play the team’s top scorer without hating himself but his errant passes were turned away.
Kulusevski took the more direct approach shortly thereafter and it paid off nicely as he cut inside on the right and curled high after Kroll’s dive.
Norwich, who was booed by their fans during the lap after the match, was sorely lacking in inspiration and Matthias Normann was unable to direct his powerful shot into goal.
Son was turned down again by busy Krul but wouldn’t turn down and served the finish after Lucas Moura’s delicious flick of Kane’s pass.
The ruthless striker knew this was a huge opportunity, against a frustrated team, and Son beautifully fired a 25-yard shot into the far corner to set off exhilarating spectacles in front of the Spurs fans after completing the East Anglian defeat.
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