Spurs beat Arsenal to keep pressure on Chelsea

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane, front, celebrates after scoring a penalty. Photo / AP
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane, front, celebrates after scoring a penalty. Photo / AP

Tottenham shifted the balance of power in north London's football rivalry by securing its first Premier League finish above Arsenal in 22 years with a 2-0 victory over its neighbour on Sunday.

Arsenal imploded inside 77 seconds at the start of the second half to hand Tottenham a ninth consecutive league win. In the penultimate game at White Hart Lane before the stadium is demolished, Dele Alli scrambled the ball into the net and Harry Kane won a soft penalty that he converted.

Although Spurs' hopes of overhauling Chelsea's four-point lead at the top of the league are fading, they are locking down second place for their highest finish in 54 years.

"We were fantastic from the back, all the way forward," Kane said. "We worked hard. We outworked them. ... The fans have got the bragging rights for now, but we've still got four important games to finish off."

It's grim times, though, for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, which last finished below Tottenham in 1995 ahead of the manager's arrival the following year. Arsenal is 17 points behind Tottenham in sixth place.

The one certainty under Wenger has been Champions League qualification. That is in jeopardy with five games remaining for Arsenal and maybe Wenger, whose contract expires at the end of the season. Arsenal is six points from the Champions League places with five games remaining, one more than fourth-place Manchester City.

Tottenham has only played in the Champions League twice, including a feeble group-stage exit this season. This derby win virtually assures Tottenham of making the top four, given its superior goal difference over fifth-place Manchester United.

-AP

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