Burnley said goodbye to the Premier League with a remarkable comeback
By Stuart Roach
Burnley bowed out of the Premier League in fine style as they battled back from 2-0 down to beat tired Tottenham.
Gareth Bale's early drive put Spurs in front and their dominance was rewarded by a spectacular Luka Modric strike.
But the home side battled back as Wade Elliott sidefooted in before Jack Cork headed in for his first Burnley goal.
Martin Paterson's clinical finish put Burnley in front and Steven Thompson completed the comeback when he touched in Elliott's low shot.
It was a victory that earned Burnley a precious extra £800,000 in Premier League prize money as they edged above Hull into 18th place, but one that had hardly looked likely as Spurs totally dominated early on.
Laws happy to sign off with victory
Tottenham's midweek win at Manchester City meant they could afford to relax on the final day of the season, in the knowledge that qualification for the Champions League play-offs was already assured and with the slim possibility of third place quickly taken out of reach by Arsenal's dominant display against an understrength Fulham.
It made for a carefree attitude that produced some delightful flowing football from an in-form side seeking their 10th win in 12 games and Spurs' bright start was rewarded as early as the third minute.
Aaron Lennon, making only his second start of 2010, was sent racing clear down the right wing and his neat pull-back across the penalty area was clinically drilled home by the left foot of Bale, despite the efforts of Danny Fox on the line.
Peter Crouch could have doubled the lead on 15 minutes as he climbed high above Andre Bikey to meet Bale's left-wing corner, only to head over the bar from eight yards.
But Redknapp's side looked threatening with every attack and they deservedly made it 2-0 on 32 minutes with a quite outstanding goal.
Bale again started the move with an incisive pass that invited Modric to run at the Premier League's leakiest defence and the Croatian accepted the offer with aplomb, bamboozling Steven Caldwell with a stepover before striding forward and unleashing a vicious left-foot shot that flashed into the top left corner of Brian Jensen's net.
Spurs were utterly dominant, so much so that there was laughter all round when Younes Kaboul shanked a free-kick ridiculously wide.
But the smiles began to disappear after the home side clawed themselves back into contention with their first move of note three minutes before the break.
Neat and patient build-up from box to box led to an injection of pace that saw Steven Fletcher's flick open up the heart of the Spurs defence and allowed Elliott to run through and beat Alnwick with a tidy left-foot finish.
Buoyed by that late first-half strike, Burnley came out for the second period with renewed determination to depart the Premier League with their heads held high, though Lennon should have ended those hopes rather than rattle a post with a low drive seconds after the restart.
From that point Burnley begun to play with a style that made a nonsense of their 15 defeats in the last 18 games and, as the hangover of Spurs' midweek efforts apparently kicked in, the home side had three real chances to level before Cork struck.
Fletcher snatched at his shot after Michael Dawson's hurried clearance and Martin Paterson saw a shot saved by the legs of Alnwick after a determined run forward by David Nugent.
Graham Alexander and Cork then combined to set Fletcher up for a shot that was straight at Alnwick, but Cork grabbed a deserved equaliser on 54 minutes.
Elliott started the move and set up Paterson for an inviting cross that allowed Cork to ease between markers and easily head home his first goal for the club.
Spurs ran out of steam - Redknapp
And as Spurs visibly tired, Burnley pushed on to complete the comeback.
Paterson crashed in a right-foot shot from Fletcher's delicious low cross after another sweeping move 20 minutes from time to put the Clarets in front.
Then, a sparkling final-day fixture was completed by Thompson's opportunistic fourth, the striker getting the slightest touch to Elliott's low shot to complete a miserable first Spurs appearance of the season for Alnwick.
Burnley manager Brian Laws:
"Everybody seems to question whether I'm going to be here next season, but we are planning for the future and I want to be part of that.
"It's a fantastic club with magnificant supporters who deserve to have another go at it in the Premier League.
"It was vital that we finished with a good performance but you wouldn't have scripted that after the start we made. But we started to move the ball better and played with real style in the second half and deserved to go on and win the game."
Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp:
"We had complete control and looked like we would go on and score score more, but it wasn't to be.
"Burnley pulled a goal back and in the second half they played some great football and we tired. Perhaps I should have rested a few, but I wanted to give them the chance to finish the season off.
"It was a dream to be in the Champions League and it has come true, but it's a real shame we didn't finish the job and I'll go home with the hump!"
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