Spurs hit four but crash out
Goals from Steven Pienaar, Andros Townsend, Jermain Defoe and Harry Kane gave Tottenham a comprehensive victory over the Irish part-timers, but Rubin Kazan's 1-1 draw at PAOK Salonika meant the favourites for Group A crashed out.
Despite being overwhelming favourites to top the group when the draw was made, defeats against Rubin and PAOK with weakened sides earlier in the competition had cost Tottenham dearly, and Redknapp had already written off his team's chances of qualifying before kick-off.
The Londoners went into the match tonight knowing they had to beat Shamrock and hope PAOK beat Rubin, while Spurs also had to overturn the five-goal difference the Russians held over them.
A Tottenham team containing nine changes started the half rustily, and Shamrock looked equal to their challenge early on. Ken Oman fired wide for Rovers and a mix-up between Younes Kaboul and Carlo Cudicini almost allowed the Irish champions in.
Richard Brush was barely tested until Danny Rose's miscued shot flew goalwards and the Rovers goalkeeper back-tracked to tip it onto the crossbar with 25 minutes gone. The move seemed to spark Tottenham into life and they started to play with more confidence.
Three quick goals
News had filtered through that Rubin were down to ten men and 1-0 down, and Spurs upped the ante, taking the lead through Pienaar just before the half-hour. The South African was given space in the box and fired into the far corner with a deflected effort from 18 yards.
Their tails up, the away side looked for a quick second and they almost got it when Giovani Dos Santos broke with pace and crossed to Defoe, but the England man arrived at the back post a second too late.
Brush showed good reflexes to tip Pienaar's ambitious lob wide before Townsend, given acres of space in the box, took a touch and curled a sweet shot into the Shamrock goal to make it 2-0.
Brush came under further attack towards the end of the first half, saving well from Defoe, before the former West Ham United man made it 3-0. Townsend raced down the left and laid the ball off for Defoe, who spun on his heels and calmly slotted home in the final minute of the half.
Michael O'Neill, taking charge of Shamrock tonight for the last time, brought on Stephen O'Donnell for Stephen Rice at half-time and his team started the second half with much more purpose.
Pat Sullivan broke into the box but saw his powerful half-volley blocked, before Karl Sheppard raced through onto a ball over the top but went down under pressure from Jake Livermore. The home side appealed for a penalty but referee Stephan Studer waved play on. O'Donnell blasted a fierce half-volley just wide soon after as Rovers kept up the pressure.
Spurs were struggling to revive the flowing attacking play they had displayed at the end of the first half and their hopes of qualification were dealt a huge blow when Rubin equalised in Thessaloniki, meaning a Tottenham victory by any margin would still see them go out.
Kane adds to scoresheet
A brilliant clip over the top from Benoit Assou-Ekotto played Sandro in, but the Brazilian's lob bounced back off the post and off Brush for a corner. Sheppard raced on to a through ball and was hauled down by Cudicini, but the Italian's blushes were saved when the linesman correctly judged that the striker was offside.
Shamrock looked the more likely team to score as the match drew to a close, but Kane, who had come on for Defoe moments earlier, broke free and wriggled past two markers before firing at Brush when Townsend was free at the back post. Assou-Ekotto came off for Yago Falque with seven minutes left before Niko Kranjcar curled a dipping shot just over the bar.
Falque found space and hammered a peach of a shot that beat Brush but slammed into a post and out to safety. Kane got on the end of Townsend's assist to tap home in the last minute, but it proved worthless as PAOK's failure to beat Rubin meant Spurs were out.