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English Premiership

Arsenal Battle Newcastle in Race for Top Four

Arsenal are back in hunt for a place in top four tonight as they take on Newcastle United in the penultimate match of the English Premier League.

Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 win over Burnley on Sunday, courtesy a Harry Kane penalty, means they leapfrog Arsenal to top four but the latter could return with a win tonight.

It would be a tough one for the Gunners though the hosts have nothing to play for having escaped relegation but their pride.

Despite the win, Spurs manager Antonio Conte feels the deal is not done yet.

 “To stay until the end with a possibility to take a place in the Champions League – we’ve done a really good job. My players are doing a really good job. To imagine this possibility in November was very, very difficult. I am here to thank my players, because they followed me from my first day at Tottenham, showed great desire to change the situation and fight for something.

“A Champions League place is very important in England. It’s like getting an important trophy in another league. Arsenal play tomorrow, at this moment they are two points below us. If they don’t win, the ball is in our hands – but at this moment the ball is still in their hands.

“You know very well that we face maybe the worst team to test our nerves. Burnley are fighting to avoid the relegation zone. It was positive, another clean sheet and we showed great stability. We are a very stable team. I’m always repeating that it’s not simple to play against us.

“We have to continue in this way. The last game will be very important for us. There is no easy game in England, so we need to go to Norwich to be strong and get three points. We’ll see what happens at the end of the season.”

Meanwhile, Everton manager Frank Lampard says his side have been “on the wrong end of a lot of bad decisions this season” after the nine-man Toffees were beaten by Brentford at Goodison Park.

Leeds’ draw at home to Brighton earlier on Sunday meant victory for Lampard’s team would have secured their top-flight status with two games to spare, but the narrow loss leaves them just two points clear of 18th-placed Burnley and one above Jesse Marsch’s side, who have played a game more.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin got the faintest of touches to Richarlison’s flick to give the hosts an early lead, but the dismissal of teenage defender Jarrad Branthwaite – which came moments after Richarlison’s appeals for a penalty for a foul by Kristoffer Ajer were turned down – swung the momentum back in the visitors’ favour.

“When you see that shirt pull [on Richarlison], that’s a foul anywhere on the pitch,” said Lampard, who is facing an FA hearing over comments made in the aftermath of last month’s 2-0 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield.

“This ‘clear and obvious’ phrase, I don’t know if it still counts but I think it’s a nonsense. The decision is either right or wrong.

“Is a shirt pull a foul? Yes. Is it in the box? Yes. It’s a penalty.”

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