London: Tottenham revived their hopes of beating Arsenal to the final Champions League qualification position by overwhelming their fierce north London rivals in a 3-0 win in the Premier League on Thursday (Friday AEST).
Harry Kane scored twice — including one from the penalty spot — and Son Heung-min added the other just after half-time to move Tottenham one point behind fourth-place Arsenal, who had centre-back Rob Holding sent off in the 33rd minute when the score was 1-0.
There are two games remaining for each team and fifth-placed Tottenham’s finish to the season looks easier than Arsenal’s. While Spurs face two of the bottom four in Burnley and already-relegated Norwich, Arsenal must travel to Newcastle before a home game against Everton.
Arsenal were responsible for their own downfall in a way, with full-back Cedric Soares barging into Son at the back post for the penalty that Kane rolled into the corner in the 22nd minute.
Holding, already booked for pulling back Son, then opted to stick out an elbow to block off the South Korea forward rather than track his run following Eric Dier’s ball over the top of the Arsenal defence.
Holding connected with the face of Son, who slumped to the ground, and was shown a second yellow card.
The win was Tottenham’s biggest over their bitter rivals in almost four decades.Credit:AP
It got worse for Arsenal as, four minutes later, Son swung over a corner from the right, Rodrigo Bentancur headed the ball toward goal and Kane stooped to head home at the back post from barely a metre out.
Son moved one goal behind Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in the race for the league’s golden boot by curling home the third goal from inside the area in the 47th after Kane had been tackled just as he was about to shoot on the turn.
Son has 10 goals in his last eight league games and is on 21 for the campaign, his best yet for Spurs.
A miserable evening for Arsenal was capped by defender Gabriel hobbling off with an apparent right hamstring injury.
Arsenal remain one point clear of Spurs but cannot afford another slip-up.Credit:AP
With Holding suspended and Ben White only fit enough to make the bench after a recent injury, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s central-defensive resources are being stretched just at the wrong time.
Manchester City and Liverpool are already sure of being in next season’s Champions League while third-placed Chelsea are set to join them, sitting four points ahead of Arsenal and needing one win from their remaining games against Leicester and already-relegated Watford.
It means Arsenal and Tottenham look to be battling for the final spot and it should go to the final day of the season.
Watch football’s biggest superstars in the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League Finals this May on Stan Sport. Liverpool v Real Madrid – ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport in 4K and 9GEM on Sunday 19 May from 4:30am AEST. Frankfurt v Rangers in the Europa League Final (May 19) and Roma v Feyenoord in the Conference League Final (May 26) – both matches streaming ad-free, live and on demand, only on Stan Sport from 4:30am AEST.
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