The race for fourth place is fast becoming the most intriguing plotline in the Premier League as a historic club’s survival hits take another massive blow.
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SPURS SMACK FIVE PAST RECOGNIZING MAGPIES
Antonio Conte’s side made an exciting comeback, taking five wins from their last six league games with a 5-1 defeat to Newcastle.
Newcastle was the first through Fabian Schar, but Ben Davies equalized before half-time in North London.
Matt Doherty, Son Heung-min, Emerson Royal and Steven Bergwijn scored after halftime as Tottenham climbed on goal difference above bitter rivals Arsenal.
Arsenal, who have two games left to play against Tottenham, could recapture fourth place if they avoid defeat at Crystal Palace on Monday.
Regardless of that result, Tottenham are firmly in the running to qualify for next season’s Champions League, despite Conte’s claim that it would be a miracle to finish in the top four.
“It’s very difficult to be in the race for the Champions League. We want to stay there until the end. We have to keep playing with intensity like this,” said Conte.
“I am very happy. I was happy for the international break. I said it was a shame we had to stop. I asked my players today to start the same way we left.
“We know we have eight last games. Arsenal have a good lead, but it’s not easy to play against us at the moment.” Newcastle took the lead against the run of play 39 minutes into the game when a free kick by Schar from the edge of the field cleared Hugo Lloris and dodged the Tottenham keeper’s feeble save attempt.
But Tottenham were tied four minutes later when Son’s teasing cross was looked home from six yards by Davies for his first Premier League goal since 2017.
Harry Kane was the supplier as Tottenham took the lead in the 48th minute, the England captain who knocked over a nice cross that stooped Doherty to head in from close range.
The Conte men needed another goal to overtake Arsenal and six minutes later the Conte men struck again when Kane’s pass picked out Dejan Kulusevski and his cross was smashed in by Son for his 15th goal this season.
Emerson scored his first Tottenham goal with a close-range finish from Doherty’s cross in the 63rd minute before Bergwijn came off the bench to drill home with seven minutes to go.
In turmoil when Conte arrived in November to replace sacked Nuno Espirito Santo, Tottenham renewed hopes for an uplifting end to the season.
WEST HAM DEAL HAMMER BLOW TO TOFFEES
At the London Stadium, David Moyes’ side climbed to sixth place thanks to second-half winner Jarrod Bowen on the attacker’s return from a month away with a foot injury.
Aaron Cresswell had given West Ham the lead with a stunning 32 minute free kick before Mason Holgate equalized with a deflected attempt shortly after the break.
Everton were effectively out of the game when Michael Keane was sent off midway through the second half.
Everton’s fifth defeat in their last six league games sees them languishing just three points above the relegation zone.
Frank Lampard’s team have two games up their sleeve against Watford in third, but their proud record of playing at the highest level every season since 1954-55 is under serious threat.
Lampard publicly questioned the character of his players after their FA Cup quarter-final at Crystal Palace.
They have been more committed in their first appearance since then, but this season there has been no improvement in the worst away record in England’s four professional divisions.
A trip to Burnley for second place on Wednesday looms as a crucial clash in Everton’s battle for survival.
“The reality is that we are in that moment where everything goes against us, decisions, moments in games, red cards,” said Lampard.
“I can’t blame the players, their character. The performance was really positive and we still have 10 games to perform again.”
West Ham, beaten in two of their previous three league games, are just three points behind Tottenham and Arsenal.