With their hopes of a Premier League title dashed in the final weeks of the season, Tottenham came into the final day of the season on the cusp of at least finishing ahead of rivals Arsenal for the first time since 1995.
However, instead the Lilywhites endured an horrific afternoon at St. James’ Park, going down 5-1 to a 10-man Newcastle side. Arsenal, on the other hand, cruised to a 4-0 home victory against Aston Villa to claim second spot in the table.
A brace for Georginio Wijnaldum (including a penalty after a woeful dive from Moussa Sissoko) along with goals from Aleksandar Mitrovic, Rolando Aarons and Daryl Janmaat fired the Magpies to a memorable final day win against a limp, unfocused Spurs side.
Erik Lamela did get a goal back to make it 2-1 on the hour-mark, but even the sending off of Mitrovic for a dreadful studs-high challenge on Kyle Walker, couldn’t help Mauricio Pochettino’s side on a miserable day for the visitors.
No complaints. Awful tackle by Mitrovic. pic.twitter.com/seQ8kkHPSd
— NUFC Online (@NUFC_Online) May 15, 2016
Down in north London, Arsenal were having a much easier time of it, with Olivier Giroud bagging a hat-trick and Villa ‘keeper Mark Bunn deflecting in a late strike from the departing captain Mikel Arteta.
Unsurprisingly, news from St. James’ Park was warmly received by the Emirates’ crowd…
— ArsenalFanTV (@ArsenalFanTV) May 15, 2016
So once again, Spurs have failed to finish above their great rivals, after a season which promised so much. Although, to be fair to the Lilywhites, they do look capable of challenging once against next season.
As for the Gunners, while a second-placed finish is nothing to be sniffed at, Arsene Wenger faces a big summer in the transfer market if his side are to mount a serious and consistent title challenge in 2016/17.