Norwich vs Tottenham: Spurs clinch Champions League return

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Norwich vs Tottenham: Antonio Conte and Spurs sealed a top-four Premier League finish and qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League with a 5-0 victory at Carrow Road on Championship Sunday.

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Dejan Kulusevski and Harry Kane got first-half goals for Tottenham, both assisted by Rodrigo Bentancur, Kulusevski added his second and Spurs’ third and Son Heung-min bagged his 22nd and 23rd of the season (tying Mohamed Salah for the Golden Boot), as Tottenham (71 points) completed their four-point comeback (in three games) to beat north London rivals Arsenal (69 points) to the prized 4th spot. This makes six straight seasons in which Tottenham have finished above Arsenal in the Premier League.

Norwich, on the other hand, were relegated from the Premier League three weeks ago.

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Norwich vs Tottenham final score, stats, results

Final score: Norwich 0, Tottenham 5

Goal scorers: Norwich (None), Tottenham (Kulusevski 16′, 64′, Kane 32′, Son 70′, 75′)

Shots: Norwich 9, Tottenham 19

Shots on target: Norwich 0, Tottenham 13

Possession: Norwich 40%, Tottenham 60%

3 things we learned – Norwich vs Tottenham

1. The difference a manager can make: In seven short months, Antonio Conte appears to have revolutionized Tottenham and taken the club into an all new era, leaving behind not only the woeful times of Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo, but more importantly, the halcyon days of Mauricio Pochettino. A handful of key players (Kane, Son, Lloris and Dier) still remain from the Argentine’s tenure, but the mentality and belief of everyone at the club has changed under Conte’s leadership. He comes across as brash and demanding, but it’s hard to argue, based on the evidence (3rd-most points won in the Premier League since Conte arrived, behind only Manchester City and Liverpool), that he hasn’t improved Tottenham’s present and future by leaps and bounds. The players no longer hope to be in the UEFA Champions League; they expect to be there, like their manager.

2. Top four bought and paid for in January: Speaking of changing the unchangeable, Conte (and director of football Fabio Paratici) convinced chairman Daniel Levy to spend big during the January transfer window. Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur arrived and immediately transformed Spurs, particularly in attack. The Swede is the perfect complement to Kane and Son Heung-min, in every way that every Spurs manager wanted Lucas Moura to be (consistently) — he’s big and strong and always ready to do the defensive work, and he’s a brilliant dribbler, only something typically comes of the final ball after beating two defenders. Bentancur is as robust as he is smooth, a fantastic fourth attacker in the final third, never afraid to try something audacious. (Arsenal, at the same time Spurs made their two big signings, brought in no one and loaned Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona.) Now, imagine Conte having an entire preseason to drill this side tactically. Imagine, also, the caliber of players that will be hoping to sign for Tottenham with 1) Champions League football; 2) Conte to play for.

3. Kane to stay at Tottenham, almost certainly: With Manchester City announcing that Erling Haaland will arrive in the summer, the list of clubs that 1) have a need for Kane; 2) can offer Kane the trophy opportunities he desires; 3) the money he would command, is quickly dwindling. With Spurs back in the Champions League, Kane (248 Tottenham goals) appears all but set to break Jimmy Greaves’ club record (266) with 19 more next season (all competitions).

Norwich vs Tottenham highlights

Rodrigo Bentancur sets up Dejan Kulusevski for Spurs’ opener (goal video)

Harry Kane stoops to head home Bentancur’s cross for 2-0 (goal video)

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Kulusevski curls home a beauty to make it 3-0 (goal video)

Son Heung-min finishes Lucas Moura’s audacious assist (goal video)

Son Heung-min rifles the Golden Boot-winning goal home for 5-0 (goal video)

Norwich vs Tottenham: Spurs clinch Champions League return originally appeared on NBCSports.com