Spurs suffer Europa League exit


Tottenham Hotspur crashed out of the Europa League despite thumping Shamrock Rovers at the Tallaght Stadium.

Steven Pienaar, Andros Townsend, Jermain Defoe and Harry Kane all struck in vain for Spurs, who saw PAOK Salonika fail to beat Ruben Kazan.

The result is unlikely to worry Harry Redknapp, who had persisted with fielding youngsters and peripheral first-teamers throughout the group phase.

Despite requiring a favor from group leaders PAOK and a five-goal swing, Redknapp made nine changes from the side whose 11-match unbeaten league run was broken against Stoke City on Sunday.

It took half an hour for Spurs to hit their straps, but when Pienaar’s shot deflected off James Paterson, it sparked a late first-half blitz from the Premier League outfit.

Following the South African’s opener, Townsend hammered in a second before Defoe turned to make it three.

However, with Ruben Kazan level against PAOK, Spurs’ exploits were seemingly in vain as they pressed on looking for more goals.

A succession of chances came and went in the second period for the visitors, with Iago Falque striking the post late on before Kane tapped in.

But Tottenham couldn’t force a fifth, which sees them drop out of the Europa League, allowing them to concentrate on their domestic campaign, and their attempts to qualify for the Champions League.

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