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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
19:37 9th May 2010

BURNLEY 4 TOTTENHAM 2

Burnley made sure they exited the Premier League stage with a top-of-the-bill performance as they produced a thrillingly defiant win over Champions League-bound Tottenham to secure 18th-place in the table.

In a game reminiscent of last season's Carling Cup thriller, the Clarets again came back from the dead to stun Spurs with breath-taking fightback capped by three goals in 32 glorious second-half minutes.

Brian Laws' side had trailed Tottenham 2-0 after little more than half an hour as they threatened to head back to the Championship with their tails between their legs.

But in a marvellous show of spirit they pulled one back through Wade Elliott just before half time.

And then in a performance that matched any of their efforts in the heady early months of the season, the Clarets tore Tottenham apart after the break to score through Jack Cork, the outstanding Paterson and super-sub Steven Thompson.

Ultimately it was all too little too late to alter Burnley's fate. But 23 years to the day since Burnley had to beat Orient to stay in the Football League, it was a display that was good enough to overhaul Hull City to bank a further £800,000 and raise hopes for the battles to come next season.

With Leon Cort out injured, Andre Bikey had earned a re-call and his first start since March for the finale.

But the Clarets' re-shuffled defence was breached after just two minutes as Spurs stamped their authority on proceedings right from the off.

Wade Elliott starts the fightback

A long ball from Younes Kaboul allowed Aaron Lennon to display his frightening pace and when the England man got beyond Danny Fox he squared for Bale to ram home a left-footed shot which Fox was unable to block on the line.

Burnley responded with Paterson crossing for David Nugent to head down to Cork whose shot on the turn was comfortably saved by Ben Alnwick.

However, with the slim chance of catching Arsenal for third place still alive Tottenham didn't ease off and after Peter Crouch had headed a Bale corner over the top they doubled their lead with 32 minutes gone.

Bale was involved again but the goal owed all to the quick feet and explosive finishing of Luca Modric, who burst into the penalty area, tricked his way past Steven Caldwell and thundered a left-footer into the top corner.

Champagne moment from Jack Cork

A superb run of nine wins in their previous 11 games had propelled Tottenham into Champions League qualification and even without hitting top gear they always carried a threat.

But the Clarets hung in and three minutes before the break lifted Turf Moor with a fantastic goal to claw their way back into the game.

Graham Alexander started the decisive move with an excellent pass out wide to Fox and when the ball was worked back via Fox and Cork to Alexander, the midfielder, who outshone his opposite numbers in the Tottenham ranks, slipped a pass into the feet of Steven Fletcher.

Martin Paterson fires the Clarets ahead

The Clarets' striker then by-passed Tottenham's stellar back line with a neat flick which allowed Elliott to dart into the box and steer the ball past Ben Alnwick for his fourth goal of the season.

Elliott's previous three goals had all brought some reward with a winner against Everton and equaliser against Fulham being followed by his free-kick special in the Clarets' only away success at Hull.

Burnley were desperate to continue that trend but within a minute of the second half they were almost faced with a two-goal deficit again as Spurs instantly turned defence into devastating attack.

Modric nicked the ball off Fletcher and released Defoe for a run at the Burnley defence which had them stretched to breaking point before Defoe released Lennon for a shot which hit the far post.

Steven Thompson ends it in style

But with a much better pace to the game Burnley showed they would not slip quietly out of the top flight as they replied with a flurry of chances of their own.

Nugent set the tone with a lung-bursting run through the middle which was stopped by Ledley King's last-gasp tackle, the ball breaking for Paterson to fire in a low shot which Alnwick saved with his feet.

Fletcher then twice went close as Alnwick saved from the Clarets' top-scorer before an excellent cross from Paterson saw Fletcher volley just over the top.

But Burnley had Tottenham rocking and with 54 minutes gone Laws' side deservedly levelled when Paterson was again the provider with another peach of a delivery which Cork headed firmly past Alnwick for his first goal in a Burnley shirt.

Mutual appreciation society

The home supporters responded accordingly and in a cup-tie like atmosphere the Clarets continued to pour forward in search of a third goal as they looked to go out with a bang.

Again the Tottenham defence was parted by Nugent's ball out to the rampant Paterson who fizzed a crossed to the far post where only King's last-ditch intervention denied Fletcher a fully merited goal.

It was magical stuff from the rejuvenated Clarets and with 19 minutes to go they went ahead in remarkable fashion.

Fletcher and Paterson were involved again with Fletcher donning the mantle of creator this time with another clever feint and pass beyond the far post where Paterson gleefully rammed home his fourth of the campaign.

King then headed a Lennon corner against the bar at the other end but with Robbie Blake and Thompson coming off the bench to a heroes' welcome, Thompson added a fourth three minutes from time, touching in an Elliott shot to continue his late scoring burst and end the season as it started at Turf Moor with a memorable win.

Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Bikey, Caldwell, Fox, Alexander, Cork, Fletcher (Thompson 86), Paterson (Eagles 90), Nugent (Blake 79), Elliott. Subs: Duff, Jordan, McDonald, Weaver.

Tottenham: Alnwick, Bale, Kaboul, Huddlestone (Palacios 64), Lennon, Modric, Crouch (Gudjonssen 85), Defoe (Pavlyuchenko 62), Dawson, King, Assou-Ekotto. Subs: Bentley, Jenas, Bassong, Walker.

Referee: Mike Dean

Attedance: 21,161

That's how you do it son !

    Data provided by Press Association