Football: 'Brilliant' end to Lane finale

From top: Harry Kane celebrates scoring Tottenham's winner - their last goal at White Hart Lane. Teddy Sheringham (in white) was among the former Tottenham players bidding farewell to the 118-year-old ground in the rain after Spurs' 2-1 win. Spurs fa
Harry Kane celebrates scoring Tottenham's winner - their last goal at White Hart Lane. PHOTO: REUTERS
From top: Harry Kane celebrates scoring Tottenham's winner - their last goal at White Hart Lane. Teddy Sheringham (in white) was among the former Tottenham players bidding farewell to the 118-year-old ground in the rain after Spurs' 2-1 win. Spurs fa
Teddy Sheringham (in white) was among the former Tottenham players bidding farewell to the 118-year-old ground in the rain after Spurs' 2-1 win. PHOTOS: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
From top: Harry Kane celebrates scoring Tottenham's winner - their last goal at White Hart Lane. Teddy Sheringham (in white) was among the former Tottenham players bidding farewell to the 118-year-old ground in the rain after Spurs' 2-1 win. Spurs fa
Spurs fans kiss the turf, having invaded the pitch at the final whistle.PHOTOS: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Tottenham leave home of nearly 118 years on high note after Kane gives them win over Man United

LONDON • It was the sight of Ricky Villa and Mauricio Pochettino strolling around the pitch arm in arm, smiling at adoring fans that captured the beauty of the last day at White Hart Lane, Tottenham Hotspur's past and present in complete harmony.

Ossie Ardiles and Teddy Sheringham walked around, deep in conversation. Cliff Jones, still spritely at 82, ran across the field. Glenn Hoddle conducted the supporters' beloved hymn to The King Of White Hart Lane.

Countless colourful cameos made the farewell to the Lane such a special occasion on Sunday.

Fully 117 years, eight months and 10 days after the Lane was opened, Tottenham left their atmospheric old home in style with a 2-1 Premier League win over Manchester United, with an emotional homage to the past and a thrilling reminder of their bright future.

Not even the rain on the parade, or an embarrassing pitch invasion, could spoil the leaving bash.

There was a rainbow, a great choir and the fitting statistic that the final goal scored by a Tottenham player in their 2,533rd game at the Lane came from "one of their own" - a striker who would have graced any generation, Harry Kane.

Manager Pochettino hailed his side's victory over United as the perfect send-off to the Lane as they confirmed finishing second in the league this season - their highest finish since 1963.

  • 2,533
     

    Matches hosted at White Hart Lane.

Goals from Victor Wanyama and Kane paved the way for a 17th successive victory in all competitions at the famous old ground, which was due to welcome the bulldozers within hours of the final whistle.

Despite the honour of scoring the final goal at the stadium - which first hosted top-flight football in 1909 against the same opponents - falling to Wayne Rooney as United almost rescued a point with a late salvo, Pochettino paid tribute to the club's supporters for providing the impetus for their memorable final season at the Lane.

"It was a very emotional game and ceremony. It's difficult to describe," the Argentinian said. "I'm a very lucky guy to share the history of such a club in such a special moment. I want to say thanks to all my players and staff.

"We are sad and disappointed that Chelsea won the league but there is nothing to regret.

"All we can say is that next season we will give our best and try to win the league."

Tottenham will play at Wembley next season as work continues on their new 62,000-seat stadium next to the old ground.

Pochettino believes that could be the catalyst for them to add some silverware after coming so close with no reward in the last two seasons.

"We've been thinking about it a lot and when the new stadium opens, it will help us a lot to reach the next level," he said. "It will put the club in the last level in Europe."

Kane, who has now scored against every club in this season's Premier League to chalk up 22 goals - second behind Everton striker Romelu Lukaku's 24, said: "What a way to finish. We wanted a win so badly in our last game here. I said before I'd love to score the winning goal and for it to happen is brilliant.

"When you look at our points tally compared to last season, obviously we're disappointed losing out on the title but we are growing."

THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2017, with the headline ''Brilliant' end to lane finale'. Print Edition | Subscribe