It was a Premier League day that could hardly have been better for Tottenham.
With their 4-0 win at Aston Villa – inspired by Son Heung-min’s hat-trick – and losses to both Arsenal and Manchester United on Saturday, Tottenham became the favorites to claim a fourth and final Champions League qualification spot. Went.
Antonio Conte’s team has been in form as its rivals remain trapped and are now three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who went 2-1 at home to Brighton for a third loss in their previous fourth game.
For United, a 1–0 loss to the Everton team, which was in freefall, constituted another low, which turned into a desperate season. One, remarkably, that could end up without qualifying for European competition just yet.
United are in seventh place, six points behind Tottenham and there is a lot of traffic between them.
In Son, Harry Kane and Dejan Kulusewski, Tottenham have an attacking victory that is proving impossible to put down, and they scored all four goals and assists against Villa.
Son now has six goals in his last three league games, having opened the scoring in the third minute after a shot from Kane deflected his way to the edge of the field. His ending was unforgiving, kissing the post along the way like his third goal – in the 71st and a pass from Kulusevsky – completed his first hat-trick of the season.
Kane’s two dazzling headers scored other goals for Kulusevsky and Son in the 50th and 66th minutes.
Tottenham and Arsenal meet in their third-to-last matches of the season respectively. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will just be hoping his team is not out of the running by then.
absence of arsenal
The absence of first-choice Kieran Tierney and influential holding midfielder Thomas Partey is proving crucial for Arsenal, hampering the defensive fortitude of the established team under Arteta.
Five days after a 3–0 loss at Crystal Palace, Arsenal were undone by goals from Leandro Trossard and Enoch Mwepu for Brighton. Martin Odegaard consoled for Arsenal in the 89th minute.
“We know the tough challenge we face with the team is certainly available,” Arteta said. “Injuries have further complicated the situation but we are not looking for excuses.”
Tottenham have a positive game in hand for Arsenal, although it is a rearranged meeting with third-placed Chelsea.
With a spot on the line in the Champions League, United have been held to a draw at home by Leicester and have now lost to a relegation-threatened team at Everton.
Anthony Gordon was Everton’s match-winner against United, his 27th-minute effort dislodging the ill-fated Harry Maguire’s outstretched leg.
Interim United manager Ralph Rangnick refused to admit that the search for a new manager for next season was leaving the team in limbo
“If possible, players in the Champions League should be eager to play international football,” Rangnik said.
“But if we play like that here, we don’t deserve it. You have to be able to score in 95 minutes in a game like this to qualify for Europe.
Everton advanced three to four points from the bottom, with third-to-last Burnley visiting Norwich the following weekend.
After losing 9–0 in each of the previous two seasons, Southampton looked set to lose to a similar scoreline when Chelsea took a 6–0 lead after 54 minutes of their match at St Mary’s Stadium. .
Mercifully, Chelsea rested in the final half an hour before traveling to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday and thus the game ended.
Mason Mount and Timo Werner both scored twice while there were also goals for Marcos Alonso and Kai Havertz.
“It seems,” said Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttle, “that we have to have a game like this in a season that is not good to watch and very difficult to pick up.”
Chelsea finished third in the league and look almost certain to return to the Champions League next season, eight points ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal. They are 10 points behind second-placed Liverpool.
In the second game of the day, next-to-last Watford lost 3–0 to Leeds and slipped six points from safety.
More Associated Press Soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80