Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris said qualifying for the Champions League next season “means more than a trophy” after Spurs beat Newcastle at Wembley to confirm their top-four place.
Harry Kane scored the game’s only goal to take his side third with one game remaining, four points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea, who could only draw with Huddersfield.
Spurs will finish the campaign without silverware but the win means they qualify for the Champions League for a third successive season.
It also guarantees they will finish as the season as London’s top club for the first time since 1995, despite playing their home games at Wembley this season while their White Hart Lane home is redeveloped.
“We can be proud of our season,” goalkeeper Lloris said.
“It has been tough. We felt we have played 37 games away from home.
“You can say whatever you want but Wembley is not our stadium.
“To finish above Arsenal and Chelsea means a lot.
“Maybe from the outside no one expected us to be in the top four again this season. We showed character and we showed we are strong as a team.”
Mauricio Pochettino’s side disappointed for much of the game against Newcastle but Kane beautifully guided a shot into the top corner from the edge of the box in the 50th minute.
Newcastle had created the better openings in the first half with Jonjo Shelvey hitting the post from a free-kick and Jamaal Lascelles’ header forcing a good save from Lloris.
The home fans had become increasingly frustrated before Kane’s goal with Spurs continuing the lackluster form of recent weeks which had put their Champions League qualification in jeopardy.
Newcastle continued to impress after going behind and Jacob Murphy should have equalized but his smashed his shot from inside the area over the bar moments after coming off the bench