Everton kept their hopes of survival in the Premier League alive by knocking Chelsea 1-0 on Sunday, while Arsenal kept their two-point lead over Tottenham in the fight to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Arsenal won 2-1 at West Ham to come back above Spurs, who previously beat Leicester 3-1 thanks to a Son Heung-min double. Everton’s huge win at a rough Goodison Park means Frank Lampard’s side are just two points away from safety and have a game in hand to beat Leeds and Burnley.
The only goal came just a minute into the second half as Richarlison pressured Cesar Azpilicueta to lose possession and the Brazilian forward cooled off with a pass from Demarai Gray.
Mason Mount’s shot hit both posts as Chelsea scrambled for a response before man-of-the-match Jordan Pickford sprinted across his line to block Azpilicueta’s follow-up attempt.
The England goalkeeper also denied Antonio Rudiger from close range and kept Matteo Kovacic out in a nerve-wracking seven minutes of stoppage time.
Former Chelsea boss Lampard, who took over from the unpopular Rafael Benitez at the end of January, has struggled to reinvigorate the fate of the Merseyside giants, who last played outside the premier league in the 1953-54 season.
But he was delighted with the passion of his players and the supporters.
“The fans are right in the middle of this,” he told Sky Sports. “I’m glad the players could see along the way what it means for the fans.
“They know that and they understand. They were behind us, were pretty aggressive – this place must be hard to get to.”
With the defeat, third-placed Chelsea still have work to do to secure their place in the Champions League next season.
The Blues’ lead over Tottenham has shrunk to five points, but Thomas Tuchel’s men have a comfortable run-up on paper.
Arsenal use corners
Arsenal’s central defenders have done the job of keeping the Gunners on course and ending a five-year absence from the Champions League.
A header by Rob Holding from a corner from Bukayo Saka gave the visitors the lead at the London Stadium.
West Ham had their eye on the second leg of their Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt in the midweek, but David Moyes called a strong side and was rewarded with an equalizer from Jarrod Bowen before half time.
The set-piece power of the Hammers has been one of the successes of their season.
But they were undone from the back from another corner, as this time Gabriel Magalhaes turned in a cross from Gabriel Martinelli.
Tottenham took full advantage of the fact that Leicester named a much-changed side ahead of their second leg in the Europa Conference League against Roma.
Halfway through the first half, Harry Kane headed from Son’s corner halfway through the first half and Son doubled the lead on the hour after a pass from substitute Dejan Kulusevski.
Son scored a third goal in the 79th minute to kill the match and curled an unstoppable effort into the top corner for his 19th Premier League goal of the season for late consolation to Kelechi Iheanacho.
“Nobody could have imagined that when I arrived in November we would still be in this race, but these players deserve to fight for such an important place,” Conte told the BBC.
“It’s not easy to qualify for the Champions League in England.”
The battle for fourth place could end in a derby in north London between Tottenham and Arsenal on May 12.
But Mikel Arteta’s men will hope to extend their lead to five points next weekend when they face relegation-threatened Leeds, as the Spurs face a daunting journey to title-challenging Liverpool.
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