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Tottenham confirm top-four spot, but Chelsea pip them to third

The Blues’ 0-0 draw with Leicester ensured they finished ahead of Spurs in third spot.

Everton's Cenk Tosun celebrates scoring their second goal.
Everton's Cenk Tosun celebrates scoring their second goal.
Image: Daniel Hambury

TOTTENHAM SECURED FOURTH place in the Premier League on the final day of the season despite only drawing 2-2 at home to Everton, with Christian Eriksen’s late free-kick salvaging a point.

Only a defeat and an eight-goal swing in favour of Arsenal would have seen Spurs drop out of the top four and miss out on Champions League qualification, and although Mauricio Pochettino’s men suffered something of a European hangover after their exploits at Ajax on Wednesday, they held on to fourth spot with little difficulty.

It did not take Spurs long to find the breakthrough, as Eric Dier converted the first chance of the match, but Everton grew into proceedings and finished the first half in the ascendancy.

The visitors’ improvement saw them come from behind to lead with goals from Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun in quick succession after the break, but Eriksen’s lovely strike 15 minutes from time at least saw Spurs avoid ending the campaign with a defeat.

Spurs showed no sign of any post-Amsterdam rustiness during the early exchanges and took the lead with just three minutes played — Dier smashing in from close range after Everton failed to clear a corner.

Although the hosts looked in control, Hugo Lloris had to make a fine save down to his right after half an hour, just about preventing Bernard’s shot from creeping inside the post.

Walcott got Everton a deserved leveller in the 69th minute, though, finding the bottom-left corner after being fed by Gylfi Sigurdsson.

And Tosun turned things around soon after, bundling in from close range after Lloris’ good save from a Michael Keane header landed at the feet of the Turkish striker.

But Eriksen clinched a share of the spoils a few minutes later, finding the bottom-right corner with a gorgeous 25-yard free-kick. 

Meanwhile, Chelsea finished third in the Premier League after a final-day 0-0 draw at Leicester City.

The Blues secured Champions League qualification last week and Maurizio Sarri made changes after his side needed penalties to down Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semi-final.

Gonzalo Higuain missed the best chance to break the deadlock at the King Power Stadium on Sunday, but Chelsea ended the campaign above Tottenham after the Champions League finalists drew 2-2 home to Everton.

Kasper Schmeichel made a great reaction block to deny Ross Barkley in the third minute before the Leicester goalkeeper dived low to his left to keep out Willian’s tame effort.

James Maddison and Higuain fired off target in a first half played at low tempo but Leicester should have struck first, Jamie Vardy playing a poor pass at the end of a quick break.

Chelsea wasted an even better chance to open the scoring on the stroke of half-time, Higuain making a mess of a seemingly straightforward opportunity created by Marcos Alonso.

Barkley pulled a shot wide after the restart before a crucial Cesar Azpilicueta intervention prevented Vardy from having a clear sight of goal. Sarri brought on Eden Hazard with 21 minutes to go while Leicester introduced title-winning duo Shinji Okazaki and Danny Simpson for farewell appearances.

But, with little riding on the result, the match petered out, although Youri Tielemans shot over late on, Chelsea’s attention having seemingly turned to their Europa League final against Arsenal in Baku.   

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