Nine-man Tottenham Hotspur failed to seal their spot in next season's UEFA Champions League after they lost 1-0 at Bournemouth on Saturday following red cards for Heung-Min Son and Juan Foyth.
Nathan Ake rose high to head home the winner in the 91st minute and condemn Spurs to a third successive defeat in all competitions, having played almost the entire second half with a two-player deficit.
Spurs had an error-strewn first half at the Vitality Stadium, and Son was given his marching orders in the 43rd minute after raising his hands to Cherries midfielder Jefferson Lerma.
Mauricio Pochettino's side were then reduced to nine after half-time substitute Juan Foyth lunged in high with his studs up in the 48th minute.
The loss leaves Tottenham third and two points ahead of fourth-place Chelsea, who can jump above their London rivals if they beat Watford at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Tottenham travelled to the south coast on Saturday knowing three points would have been enough to guarantee a top-four finish. But the loss means any two of Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United could finish above Spurs if they also lose at home to Everton in their final league outing of the campaign.
With Harry Kane injured, Son was again called upon to lead the line despite the approaching Champions League semi-final second leg against Ajax.
One could argue Lerma overreacted to Son's push and that the South Korea international only deserved a caution, though raising one's hands to an opponent in front of the referee is never advisable.
The pressure is often telling at this stage of the season—especially for those still competing across multiple fronts—but Son picked a poor time to lose his composure. Sky Sports Statto highlighted how uncharacteristic Son's transgression was:
If the north Londoners went in at half-time feeling downbeat, their moods weren't helped early after the restart when Foyth—who came on for Toby Alderweireld at half-time—was sent off in the 48th minute.
The Argentinian lunged in on Jack Simpson following a bad touch, and referee Craig Pawson had little choice but to punish him, per OptaJoe:
The 21-year-old has earned encouraging plaudits during his time with Tottenham, but his hopes of moving up the centre-back pecking order won't have been helped by his swift dismissal.
Men in Blazers put Foyth's short appearance into context for Game of Thrones viewers:
Tottenham did surprisingly well to hold back Bournemouth despite their disadvantage—a credit to Pochettino for his tactics—but that two-man difference told during an injury-time set piece.
Ryan Fraser whipped in a corner, and Ake stormed in to finally break the deadlock.
Cherries boss Eddie Howe will have been delighted with the patience his side showed, while an excruciating defeat for Spurs means a top-four finish still isn't guaranteed.
Son and Foyth will be suspended for Tottenham's final league game of the season, which could create an issue considering star striker Kane already looks set to be out of the clash with an ankle injury.
Tottenham's attention turns towards Wednesday's UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Ajax. They travel to the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam having lost the home leg 1-0. They will host Everton on the last day of the season (May 12).
Bournemouth's dramatic victory lifted them up to 12th, and they will travel to Crystal Palace in their last game of the season, hoping to finish the campaign in the top half of the table.
This article will be updated to provide more information soon.
Get the best sports content from the web and social in the new B/R app. Get the app to get the game.