Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Birmingham City

Tottenham   2 - 1   Birmingham

Ben Foster (left), Stephen Carr (centre) and Barry Ferguson (right)

Birmingham's dejected players face up to their fate

Birmingham were relegated to the Championship after they lost to Roman Pavlyuchenko's late goal for Tottenham, who sealed fifth place with the win.

With results elsewhere going their way, City seemed safe when Craig Gardner equalised after substitute Pavlyuchenko had given Tottenham the lead.

But Wolves' second goal in their 3-2 defeat by Blackburn put Alex McLeish's side back in the bottom three.

And Pavlyuchenko's last-minute strike confirmed the Blues' fate.

It was a crushing end to what has been a rollercoaster season for Birmingham, who won their first trophy for 48 years with a last-gasp 2-1 win over Arsenal in the Carling Cup final at Wembley in February, but have been battling relegation for most of the campaign.

They went into the game knowing a win would likely keep them up, but defeat, coupled with events elsewhere - particularly Wigan's 1-0 win at Stoke and Wolves' second goal against Blackburn - proved their undoing.

For Tottenham, qualification for the Europa League is a consolation prize after their failure to secure a second successive season of Champions League football.

McLeish 'devastated' by Birmingham relegation

However, qualifying for the lesser European competition via a fifth-place finish was preferable to Spurs achieving it through Uefa's Fair Play league, which would have meant the team having to play in the early rounds in only five weeks' time.

This was a victory born out of Spurs' commitment to attack, which may not have helped them achieve their ultimate aim, but ensures it has been a good, if not great season.

The reasons behind Birmingham's plight are simple: scoring too few goals and conceding too many.

They are the division's lowest scorers with 37, which by itself is not a recipe for disaster as their impressive ninth place finish last season off the back of 38 goals scored demonstrated.

However, in the absence of regular centre-back Scott Dann for much of the season through injury, the solid defence on which City built their success in 2009-10 has looked shaky and, crucially, they conceded 11 more goals than last term.

Knowing the threat Tottenham pose going forward, even without injured attacking midfield duo Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart, McLeish sent out a team focused on frustrating Spurs and hoping to snatch a goal on the break.

For the first half, they performed the first part of this superbly, with a back four - led by the towering Curtis Davies, who marked the lofty Peter Crouch out of the game before the striker went off with a head injury after 39 minutes - holding firm behind an industrious and committed five-man midfield, that included Jean Beausejour tracking back from his striking position.

They frustrated the home side, who found themselves allowed plenty of possession in 70% of the pitch, but were harried out of it in the remaining 30% closest to the Birmingham goal.

Unfortunately, this nullified City's threat at the other end, where Cameron Jerome found himself isolated up front and too often running without support down blind alleys, where packs of Spurs defenders lurked to rob him of possession.

All the first-half chances were Tottenham's. Sandro twice drew good saves from Ben Foster, first with a shot from a tight angle, which the keeper put behind with his foot, and then with a 20-yard drive that was tipped over.

Redknapp lauds Spurs' 'best ever season'

Foster was also called on to claw away a cross-come-shot from Younes Kaboul late in the half and save a long-range strike from Luka Modric.

The danger for Birmingham in adopting such a containing approach was whether they would be able to then switch instantly to a more progressive style should it be required.

This was put to the test four minutes into the second half when Pavlyuchenko, on for Crouch, curled a superb shot past Foster from 20 yards to put Spurs ahead.

The visitors initially struggled to impose themselves on the game, but were given a lifeline when the ball fell to Gardner after a corner and the midfielder connected superbly to give Carlo Cudicini no chance from the edge of the box.

Gardner then curled a free-kick just over as a buoyant, and at this stage safe, City pushed for a second goal.

But their failure to do so suddenly became crucial when Wigan took the lead at Stoke to move out of the relegation zone, soon to be followed by Wolves via their second goal against Blackburn - putting Birmingham back below the safety line.

Any lingering hope of escape for the Blues was extinguished when Pavlyuchenko rifled in his second from 16 yards with the last kick of the game.

Match Stats

Shots

22 7

On target

16 3

Corners

7 5

Fouls

5 15

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:04 Full time

Full Time The final whistle goes and the game is over.

90:00 +2:42

Assist (pass) by Danny Rose (Tottenham) from left channel.

90:00 +2:42 Goal scored

Goal! - Roman Pavlyuchenko - Tottenham 2 - 1 Birmingham Roman Pavlyuchenko gets on the score sheet with a goal from the edge of the penalty area high into the middle of the goal. Tottenham 2-1 Birmingham.

90:00 +2:27

Goal kick taken long by Carlo Cudicini (Tottenham).

90:00 +1:45

Inswinging corner from right by-line taken left-footed by Jean Beausejour (Birmingham) to centre, header by Roger Johnson (Birmingham) from centre of penalty area (18 yards), missed left.

90:00 +1:11

Cross by Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham), clearance by Aaron Lennon (Tottenham).

90:00 +0:38

Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) caught offside. Free kick taken left-footed by Ben Foster (Birmingham) from own half, resulting in open play.

89:21

Goal kick taken long by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

89:10

Shot by Niko Kranjcar (Tottenham) right-footed from right channel (25 yards), missed right.

87:56

Defending throw-in by Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham).

87:01

Foul by Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham) on Aaron Lennon (Tottenham). Free kick taken right-footed by Younes Kaboul (Tottenham) from right channel, passed.

86:24

Attacking throw-in by Danny Rose (Tottenham).

85:53

Foul by Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham) on Younes Kaboul (Tottenham). Free kick crossed right-footed by Niko Kranjcar (Tottenham) from right wing, clearance by Barry Ferguson (Birmingham).

85:35

Foul by Matt Derbyshire (Birmingham) on Ledley King (Tottenham). Free kick taken right-footed by Ledley King (Tottenham) from own half, resulting in open play.

85:24

Shot by Niko Kranjcar (Tottenham) right-footed from right channel (20 yards), blocked by Curtis Davies (Birmingham).

85:09 Booking

Booking Matt Derbyshire (Birmingham) booked for unsporting behaviour.

83:50

Goal kick taken long by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

83:38

Shot by Raniere Sandro (Tottenham) right-footed from centre of penalty area (12 yards), missed left.

82:42

Free kick taken right-footed by Michael Dawson (Tottenham) from own half, passed.

82:42 Substitution

Substitution Tottenham substitution: Tom Huddlestone replaced by Niko Kranjcar (tactical).

82:34

Foul by Keith Fahey (Birmingham) on Aaron Lennon (Tottenham).

81:28

Goal kick taken short by Carlo Cudicini (Tottenham).

80:10

Foul by Danny Rose (Tottenham) on Cameron Jerome (Birmingham). Free kick taken right-footed by Craig Gardner (Birmingham) from right channel (25 yards), missed right.

78:13 Goal scored

Goal! - Craig Gardner - Tottenham 1 - 1 Birmingham Goal by Craig Gardner (Birmingham) left-footed (bottom-right of goal) from left channel (18 yards).Tottenham 1-1 Birmingham.

77:42

Inswinging corner from right by-line taken left-footed by Jean Beausejour (Birmingham) to centre, clearance by Younes Kaboul (Tottenham).

77:12

Foul by Raniere Sandro (Tottenham) on Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham). Free kick taken left-footed by Ben Foster (Birmingham) from own half, resulting in open play.

76:31

Attacking throw-in by Younes Kaboul (Tottenham).

75:28

Foul by Jean Beausejour (Birmingham) on Danny Rose (Tottenham). Free kick taken left-footed by Danny Rose (Tottenham) from right channel, passed.

75:07

Roger Johnson (Birmingham) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Michael Dawson (Tottenham) from own half, passed.

74:54

Foul by Roman Pavlyuchenko (Tottenham) on Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham). Free kick taken right-footed by Ben Foster (Birmingham) from own half, resulting in open play.

74:02 Substitution

Substitution Birmingham substitution: Sebastian Larsson replaced by Matt Derbyshire (tactical).

73:49

Shot by Keith Fahey (Birmingham) right-footed from right side of penalty area (18 yards), missed left.

73:21

Outswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson (Birmingham) to near post, clearance by Roman Pavlyuchenko (Tottenham).

73:18

Attacking throw-in by Sebastian Larsson (Birmingham).

72:45

Shot by Roman Pavlyuchenko (Tottenham) left-footed from left channel (20 yards), save (caught) by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

72:11

Attacking throw-in by Luka Modric (Tottenham).

71:36

Shot by Craig Gardner (Birmingham) right-footed from right channel (25 yards), save (caught) by Carlo Cudicini (Tottenham).

71:23

Goal kick taken long by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

71:09

Shot by Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham) right-footed from left channel (20 yards), missed left.

69:52

Attacking throw-in by Danny Rose (Tottenham).

68:57

Attacking throw-in by Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham).

68:18

Jean Beausejour (Birmingham) caught offside. Free kick taken right-footed by Michael Dawson (Tottenham) from own half, passed.

67:18

Cross by Cameron Jerome (Birmingham), clearance by Michael Dawson (Tottenham).

66:32

Attacking throw-in by Aaron Lennon (Tottenham).

65:29

Attacking throw-in by Luka Modric (Tottenham).

65:01

Goal kick taken long by Carlo Cudicini (Tottenham).

64:35

Goal kick taken short by Carlo Cudicini (Tottenham).

63:56

Attacking throw-in by Sebastian Larsson (Birmingham).

63:23

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson played to the near post, Michael Dawson manages to make a clearance.

62:33

Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by Sebastian Larsson (Birmingham) to centre, shot by Roger Johnson (Birmingham) right-footed from centre of penalty area (12 yards), clearance by Raniere Sandro (Tottenham).

61:50

Foul by Raniere Sandro (Tottenham) on Craig Gardner (Birmingham). Free kick crossed right-footed by Sebastian Larsson (Birmingham) from right channel, clearance by Ledley King (Tottenham).

61:14

Attacking throw-in by Sebastian Larsson (Birmingham).

60:58

Shot by Roman Pavlyuchenko (Tottenham) left-footed from left channel (25 yards), blocked by Curtis Davies (Birmingham).

60:10 Booking

Booking Craig Gardner (Birmingham) booked for unsporting behaviour.

60:06

Foul by Craig Gardner (Birmingham) on Danny Rose (Tottenham). Free kick taken left-footed by Danny Rose (Tottenham) from own half, passed.

57:20

Luka Modric (Tottenham) caught offside. Free kick taken left-footed by Ben Foster (Birmingham) from own half, resulting in open play.

56:42

Goal kick taken long by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

56:27

Shot by Roman Pavlyuchenko (Tottenham) right-footed from right channel (25 yards), missed right.

56:10

Foul by Craig Gardner (Birmingham) on Danny Rose (Tottenham). Free kick taken right-footed by Luka Modric (Tottenham) from left wing, passed.

54:57

Defending throw-in by Danny Rose (Tottenham).

54:20

Goal kick taken long by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

53:45

Shot by Luka Modric (Tottenham) right-footed from left channel (20 yards), save (caught) by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

53:28

Outswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Aaron Lennon (Tottenham) to centre, resulting in open play.

53:16

Shot by Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) right-footed from left channel (18 yards), blocked by Curtis Davies (Birmingham).

52:38

Attacking throw-in by Stephen Carr (Birmingham).

52:07

Goal kick taken long by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

51:10

Attacking throw-in by Danny Rose (Tottenham).

50:30 Booking

Booking Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham) booked for unsporting behaviour.

50:11

Foul by Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham) on Roman Pavlyuchenko (Tottenham). Free kick taken right-footed by Younes Kaboul (Tottenham) from right channel, passed.

48:42

Assist (pass) by Danny Rose (Tottenham) from left wing.

48:42 Goal scored

Goal! - Roman Pavlyuchenko - Tottenham 1 - 0 Birmingham Goal by Roman Pavlyuchenko (Tottenham) left-footed (top-right of goal) from left channel (20 yards).Tottenham 1-0 Birmingham.

48:02

Cross by Raniere Sandro (Tottenham), save (caught) by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

47:33

Shot by Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) left-footed from right channel (20 yards), blocked by Roger Johnson (Birmingham).

47:16

Foul by Stephen Carr (Birmingham) on Luka Modric (Tottenham). Free kick taken right-footed by Luka Modric (Tottenham) from left channel, passed.

46:14

Goal kick taken long by Carlo Cudicini (Tottenham).

45:43

Shot by Keith Fahey (Birmingham) right-footed from left channel (20 yards), missed left.

45:18

Attacking throw-in by Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham).

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:00 +1:17

Shot by Luka Modric (Tottenham) right-footed from left channel (25 yards), save (caught) by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

45:00 +1:07 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

44:30

Free kick taken right-footed by Michael Dawson (Tottenham) from own half, passed.

44:30 Booking

Booking Barry Ferguson (Birmingham) booked for unsporting behaviour.

43:57

Foul by Barry Ferguson (Birmingham) on Younes Kaboul (Tottenham).

43:34

Attacking throw-in by Danny Rose (Tottenham).

42:56

Foul by Barry Ferguson (Birmingham) on Jermain Defoe (Tottenham). Free kick taken right-footed by Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham) from right wing, passed.

41:28

Attacking throw-in by Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham).

41:21

Cross by Danny Rose (Tottenham), clearance by Craig Gardner (Birmingham).

40:35

Defending throw-in by Danny Rose (Tottenham).

39:57

Attacking throw-in by Stephen Carr (Birmingham).

39:41

Defending throw-in by Stephen Carr (Birmingham).

39:25

Goal kick taken short by Carlo Cudicini (Tottenham).

38:55 Substitution

Substitution Tottenham substitution: Peter Crouch replaced by Roman Pavlyuchenko (injury).

37:59

Cross by Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham), clearance by Stephen Carr (Birmingham).

37:31

Attacking throw-in by Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham).

36:50

Attacking throw-in by Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham).

35:55

Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by Luka Modric (Tottenham) to centre, shot by Raniere Sandro (Tottenham) right-footed from centre of penalty area (18 yards), blocked by Craig Gardner (Birmingham).

35:32

Corner from left by-line taken short right-footed by Luka Modric (Tottenham).

35:23

Attacking throw-in by Danny Rose (Tottenham).

34:30

Shot by Danny Rose (Tottenham) right-footed from left channel (25 yards), blocked by Jean Beausejour (Birmingham).

33:24

Defending throw-in by Younes Kaboul (Tottenham).

31:44

Cross by Danny Rose (Tottenham), clearance by Barry Ferguson (Birmingham).

31:08

Defending throw-in by Danny Rose (Tottenham).

30:34

Goal kick taken long by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

29:59

Foul by Sebastian Larsson (Birmingham) on Peter Crouch (Tottenham). Free kick taken right-footed by Luka Modric (Tottenham) from left wing, passed.

29:22

Defending throw-in by Stephen Carr (Birmingham).

28:27

Handball by Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham). Free kick taken left-footed by Ben Foster (Birmingham) from own half, resulting in open play.

27:08

Attacking throw-in by Jermain Defoe (Tottenham).

25:53

Header by Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) from centre of penalty area (12 yards), fantastic save (caught) by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

25:40

Shot by Jermain Defoe (Tottenham) right-footed from right channel (20 yards), blocked by Roger Johnson (Birmingham).

25:02

Defending throw-in by Danny Rose (Tottenham).

24:07

Attacking throw-in by Barry Ferguson (Birmingham).

23:02

Goal kick taken long by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

22:24

Defending throw-in by Younes Kaboul (Tottenham).

21:50

Defending throw-in by Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham).

21:12

Defending throw-in by Younes Kaboul (Tottenham).

20:39

Goal kick taken long by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

20:04

Shot by Peter Crouch (Tottenham) right-footed from right channel (20 yards), missed right.

18:43

Foul by Sebastian Larsson (Birmingham) on Danny Rose (Tottenham). Free kick taken left-footed by Danny Rose (Tottenham) from own half, passed.

18:12

Foul by Peter Crouch (Tottenham) on Curtis Davies (Birmingham). Free kick taken left-footed by Ben Foster (Birmingham) from own half, resulting in open play.

16:33

Attacking throw-in by Danny Rose (Tottenham).

15:32

Handball by Jermain Defoe (Tottenham). Free kick taken left-footed by Ben Foster (Birmingham) from own half, resulting in open play.

14:58

Defending throw-in by Danny Rose (Tottenham).

14:37

Defending throw-in by Stephen Carr (Birmingham).

14:12

Goal kick taken long by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

13:54

Headed effort from deep inside the area by Raniere Sandro misses to the right of the target.

13:29

Inswinging corner from left by-line taken right-footed by Luka Modric (Tottenham) to near post, clearance by Roger Johnson (Birmingham).

13:15

Shot by Raniere Sandro (Tottenham) right-footed from left channel (20 yards), save (tipped over) by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

12:59

Shot by Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham) right-footed from left channel (20 yards), blocked by Barry Ferguson (Birmingham).

12:09

Defending throw-in by Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham).

11:47

Defending throw-in by Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham).

11:25

Attacking throw-in by Younes Kaboul (Tottenham).

10:59

Foul by Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham) on Aaron Lennon (Tottenham). Free kick taken right-footed by Younes Kaboul (Tottenham) from right wing, passed.

9:50

Outswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Luka Modric (Tottenham) to centre, shot by Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham) right-footed from left channel (20 yards), blocked by Keith Fahey (Birmingham).

9:07

Foul by Cameron Jerome (Birmingham) on Ledley King (Tottenham). Free kick taken right-footed by Ledley King (Tottenham) from own half, passed.

8:17

Corner from left by-line taken short right-footed by Luka Modric (Tottenham).

7:39

Cross by Danny Rose (Tottenham), clearance by Roger Johnson (Birmingham).

4:12

Defending throw-in by Younes Kaboul (Tottenham).

3:48

Defending throw-in by Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham).

3:27

Goal kick taken short by Carlo Cudicini (Tottenham).

2:40

Goal kick taken long by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

1:49

Outswinging corner from right by-line taken right-footed by Luka Modric (Tottenham) to centre, resulting in open play.

1:23

Goal kick taken long by Ben Foster (Birmingham).

0:00

The game begins.

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