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Premier League: Eriksen salvages draw as Spurs seal fourth place

By Opta

London, May 12: 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.

Manchester City edge Liverpool to retain Premier League title | Premier League Results

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.

Aubameyang equals Salah & Mane in Golden Boot race

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continued his fine scoring record against Burnley as Arsenal concluded their Premier League season with a 3-1 victory at Turf Moor on Sunday.

The Gabon striker had netted braces in each of his previous two appearances against the Clarets and he repeated that feat to finish the campaign with 22 league goals, level with Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in the race for the Golden Boot.

In-form Aubameyang, who netted a hat-trick in the Europa League semi-final second leg against Valencia on Thursday, capitalised on Jack Cork's misplaced pass to race away and slot home his first before a thumping back-post volley put the Gunners in control shortly after the hour.

Ashley Barnes' header swiftly pulled one back for the hosts but there was to be no equaliser as Eddie Nketiah got his first Premier League goal in stoppage time to ensure Unai Emery's side ended 2018-19 in fifth, one point adrift of the Champions League places.

Arsenal can still qualify for that competition with victory in the Europa League final against Chelsea in Baku later this month – a trophy Emery has already lifted three times.

Stalemate seals third for Sarri's Blues

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.

Solskjaer humbled by former club

Manchester United ended a difficult Premier League campaign on a new low as they lost 2-0 at home to already-relegated Cardiff City on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was unable to sustain the upturn in form he inspired at United after arriving in December, instead slumping to sixth, and his former side added to the Old Trafford outfit's woes.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing was fortunate to be awarded the 23rd-minute penalty that he dispatched, but United could have no complaints with the same man's second goal as Cardiff departed for the Championship with their heads held high.

Mason Greenwood became the hosts' youngest starter in the Premier League at 17 and threatened throughout, yet there was no way past the brilliant Neil Etheridge.

Greenwood provided United's chief threat from the outset and his header drew a stop from the scrambling Etheridge, before Marcus Rashford dragged wide.

But Cardiff's first notable forward foray resulted in the opener as referee Jon Moss controversially adjudged Diogo Dalot to have fouled Mendez-Laing, who sent David de Gea the wrong way from the spot.

A determined response saw Etheridge help a deflected Greenwood drive onto the post and then save from Jesse Lingard, while the impactful debutant also prodded wide.

However, a slow start to the second half and a questionable tactical call cost United. Scott McTominay was moved into defence and dived into a challenge, leaving space for Josh Murphy to run through and square for Mendez-Laing to tap into the net.

Etheridge made unorthodox stops from Rashford and substitute Anthony Martial to preserve a two-goal advantage that Neil Warnock's men ultimately deserved, with the home fans still remaining inside an increasingly empty Old Trafford left to reflect on a season they will want to quickly forget.

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Story first published: Sunday, May 12, 2019, 21:30 [IST]
Other articles published on May 12, 2019
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