Tottenham Hotspur FC are now within two points of third-placed Arsenal FC and assured of at least a berth in next season's UEFA Champions League play-offs following a 1-0 victory against nearest rivals Manchester City FC. Spurs needed only a draw to stay in the ascendancy but are now four points clear of City with only Sunday's final round of fixtures remaining.
Peter Crouch's aerial prowess proved a thorn in City's side throughout, the England striker hitting a post early on before causing further trouble on the stroke of half-time only for Gareth Bale to fire his knock-down wide. Ledley King had a header of his own disallowed but, despite Spurs' superior openings, it was not until after half-time that Márton Fülöp was called upon to deny Jermain Defoe.
Bale then returned the favour for Crouch but he could only nod straight at Fülöp from close range. It was, however, to prove third time lucky for the England frontman, who was on hand to head past the City goalkeeper with eight minutes remaining after the Hungarian international parried Younes Kaboul's deflected cross. Tottenham will go straight into next season's UEFA Champions League group stage if they win at relegated Burnley FC on Sunday and Arsenal lose at home to Fulham FC.
There were only seven minutes left on the clock at Craven Cottage when Stoke City FC secured a 1-0 win against UEFA Europa League finalists Fulham in the night's other fixture. Stoke, who now climb into the top half, prevailed courtesy of Matthew Etherington's rifled finish from a Ricardo Fuller cross.
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|Last updated: 02/07/2011 04:45 CET|