Tottenham Hotspur’s Premier League title challenge suffered what should be a fatal blow on Friday night with a 1-0 defeat to West Ham United.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side could have narrowed the gap to just one point with a win against their London rivals (albeit with a game more played), but instead went down to a Manuel Lanzini effort in the second half to leave their title hopes in tatters.
After nine wins in a row and with West Ham struggling, Spurs would have been confident of extending that run and putting serious pressure on Antonio Conte’s side by extending that winning run. Instead, the defeat that Chelsea can extend the gap to seven points with a win against Middlesbrough on Monday – and should they do that, beating West Brom next Friday night will seal the title for the Blues.
West Ham join Chelsea, Man Utd & Liverpool as the only teams to defeat Tottenham in the PL this season pic.twitter.com/E3Kkc72HOl
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) May 5, 2017
Tottenham are almost nailed-on to finish second in the table, which would be an improvement on last year, but Pochettino and his side will still feel as though they have fallen at the last once again.
West Ham, meanwhile, have moved into the top half of the table and can pretty much put any relegation fears to rest at this point.
Unfortunately for Spurs, however, the headlines tomorrow will not be about West Ham or Slaven Bilic, they will be about another title challenge coming to an end. That said, 27 points from the last 30 is a fantastic return – where the rest of the chasing pack were gone weeks ago, Spurs were the only side that made this a title race rather than a Chelsea procession.
If Chelsea win their next two games, they’ll win the #PL title before Spurs play again.
— BBC 5 live Sport (@5liveSport) May 5, 2017
— Jim Beglin (@jimbeglin) May 5, 2017
Sky presenter referring to a “proper bottle job”. Spurs had won nine in a row before tonight. They’ve made it a title race, not bottled it.
— Daniel Taylor (@DTguardian) May 5, 2017
Tottenham are the only team not to have waved the white flag to Chelsea. This was no bottle job and there was nothing ‘Spursy’ about it
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) May 5, 2017
Chelsea need 6 points to clinch the Premier League title:
West Brom (A)
Sunderland (H) pic.twitter.com/seO98wa28r
— From The Stands (@FromTStands) May 5, 2017
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish Football podcast, we catch up with Cillian Sheridan, review all the latest fixtures and look ahead to this week’s League of Ireland matches.