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Spurs roar into Premier League top four

With north London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal now neck and neck, the fight for Champions League qualification in the Premier League is hotting up.

Tottenham’s superior attacking power may yet prove decisive in the final stretch as their 5-1 hammering of Newcastle on Sunday suggested.

Out of nowhere, Antonio Conte’s team are suddenly the highest-scoring team in the league in 2022 – with 30 goals in 13 games – after they overwhelmed Eddie Howe’s side.

The win lifted Spurs above Arsenal into fourth place – the final qualification position for the Champions League – but only on goal difference.

Arsenal also have two games in hand, the first being a tricky London derby at Crystal Palace on Monday.

“Now I have had five or six months to work and bring my idea of football and mentality,” said Conte, who replaced Nuno Espirito Santo as manager in November.

“This league is very difficult but to play against us is not easy in this moment.”

With Ben Davies, Matt Doherty, Son Heung-min, Emerson Royal and substitute Steven Bergwijn all scoring, the big surprise was that in-form striker Harry Kane didn’t get in on the act.

The England captain still had another outstanding game, though.

Fourth place might not be the ceiling for Tottenham and Arsenal, who have only the Premier League to focus on.

Chelsea are only five points ahead in third and have to juggle playing in the Champions League and FA Cup over the next month, too.

None of them will get close to catching Manchester City and Liverpool, the top two teams who are separated by one point with eight games left.

West Ham aren’t quite out of contention for fourth place yet either – and their 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Everton earlier on Sunday lifted them into sixth, above Manchester United, and three points behind Spurs and Arsenal.

Jarrod Bowen marked his return to the Hammers after injury with the winning goal.

Aaron Cresswell had given West Ham the lead with a curling free kick into the top corner in the 32nd, only for Mason Holgate to equalise in the 53rd with a deflected shot.

Everton defender Michael Keane was sent off soon after Bowen’s goal for picking up a second booking, leaving Frank Lampard’s Everton in deep trouble, just one place and three points above the relegation zone.

West Ham manager David Moyes, who used to manage Everton, said he felt his former club had enough quality to stay up.

That made Lampard smile.

“That’s easy for him to say,” shrugged the former England midfielder.

“But I appreciate the sentiment.”

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