Tottenham fail to live up to great expectations

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A 4-0 win over Shamrock Rovers was not enough to see Tottenham Hotspur through to the last 32 of the Europa League as Harry Redknapp’s European campaign ended in disappointment and anger in Dublin.

Goals from Steven Pienaar, Andros Townsend, Jermain Defoe and Harry Kane gave Tottenham a comprehensive victory over the Irish part-timers, but Rubin Kazan’s 1-1 draw at PAOK Salonika meant the favourites for Group A crashed out.

The match took an ugly turn with 20 minutes to go when Redknapp reacted angrily to barracking from the Shamrock fans by appearing to aim a defiant clenched-fist gesture towards them from the edge of his technical area.

Despite being expected to top Group A when the draw was made, defeats against Rubin Kazan and PAOK Salonika with weakened sides earlier in the competition had cost Tottenham dearly and Redknapp had already written off his team’s chances of qualifying before kick-off.

The Londoners went in to the match last night knowing they had to beat Shamrock and hope PAOK beat Rubin while the Spurs also had to overturn a five-goal difference the Russians held over them.

Celtic and Birmingham City also bowed out of the Europa League despite Adam Rooney’s goal earning Blues a 1-0 victory over NK Maribor in their final group encounter at St. Andrew’s.

Club Brugge and visiting Braga went through to the last 32 after their 1-1 draw in Belgium and they finished one point ahead of Chris Hughton’s side in group H.

It was a brave effort by Blues for whom Rooney settled the encounter with a first half header from a cross by Nathan Redmond.

Celtic drew 1-1 with Udinese but Gary Hooper’s goal was not enough for the Scottish club.