Tottenham resurrected its chances of beating Arsenal to the last Champions League qualifying spot in the Premier League on Thursday, defeating their bitter north London rival 3-0.
Tottenham moved one point behind fourth-placed Arsenal as Harry Kane scored twice, including one from the penalty spot, and Son Heung-min added the other soon after halftime. Arsenal had center defender Rob Holding sent off in the 33rd minute with the score at 1-0.
Each side has two games left, and Tottenham seems to have a more straightforward conclusion than Arsenal. While Spurs play Burnley and Norwich, both of whom have already been demoted, Arsenal must travel to Newcastle before hosting Everton.
In some ways, Arsenal caused its own demise, with full-back Cedric Soares colliding with Son at the back post for the penalty that Kane converted in the 22nd minute.
Holding, who had previously been cautioned for hauling back Son, chose to stop the South Korean forward with an elbow rather than pursue Eric Dier’s pass over the top of the Arsenal defense.
In the 33rd minute, Holding collided with Son’s face, causing him to drop to the ground and receiving a second yellow card.
Four minutes later, Son swung in a corner from the right, Rodrigo Bentancur headed the ball toward goal, and Kane stooped to head in at the back post from less than a meter away.
After Kane was stopped just as he was ready to shoot on the spin, Son curled home the third goal from inside the area in the 47th minute to move one goal behind Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in the battle for the league’s top scorer.
Son has scored 10 goals in his past eight league games, giving him a total of 21 for the season, his most for Spurs.
Arsenal’s night was made much worse as defender Gabriel hobbled out with an apparent right hamstring injury. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s central-defensive resources are being strained at the wrong moment, with Holding banned and Ben White barely healthy enough to make the bench following a recent injury.
Manchester City and Liverpool have already confirmed their places in the Champions League for next season, while Chelsea, who are four points ahead of Arsenal and require one victory from their remaining games against Leicester and already-relegated Watford, is certain to join them.
As a result, Arsenal and Tottenham seem to be dueling for the title, and the match should be decided on the last day of the season.
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