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Spurs, City stay in race for fourth

Published:Sunday | May 2, 2010 | 12:00 AM


Tottenham edged Bolton 1-0 and Manchester City beat Aston Villa 3-1 yesterday to stay neck and neck in the race for a Champions League spot, while Villa slipped out of contention and have to settle for a Europa League berth.

Tom Huddlestone fired Totten-ham's winner, while City came from behind with goals from Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor and Craig Bellamy to beat Villa at Eastlands.

The results mean that fourth-place Spurs have 67 points and City have 66 with two rounds left. The two face each other on Wednesday.

Villa slipped to sixth with 64. Liverpool still have an outside chance of finishing fourth but have to play leaders, Chelsea, today.

Huddlestone's 38th-minute goal at White Hart Lane was a quality strike from 22 metres. Spurs dominated the game and should have won by a bigger margin as they chase their highest place since finishing third in 1990.

"We had good opportunities in the second half to get a second goal but we didn't manage to take one," said Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp. "But it's 1-0, three points, that's the most important thing. (Bolton) were always in it and we were missing chances."

Signed on a loan deal after a shoulder injury to Shay Given, Manchester City goalkeeper Marton Fulop was beaten by John Carew in the 16th minute in his first appearance for the club.

Villa manager disappointed

Tevez equalised with a 41st-minute penalty after Stephen Warnock had tripped Adam Johnson inside the area. Carew then hit the City bar, but Adebayor turned home Johnson's cross in the 43rd and Bellamy added the third goal in the 89th after a break down the left by Shaun Wright-Phillips.

"I'm really disappointed for the players," said Villa manager Martin O'Neill, who also took his team to the League Cup final and the FA Cup semi-final. "The league is very tough. We finished sixth in the last two years. Man City and Tottenham have become very strong. All the teams are getting strong."

The leading two teams are in action today when Chelsea go to Liverpool and Manchester United, one point behind, visit Sunderland. Third-place Arsenal are at Blackburn tomorrow.

In yesterday's other games, Birmingham beat relegated Burnley 2-1, last-place Portsmouth won 3-1 over Wolves and Stoke and Everton drew 0-0.

Birmingham scored a 29th-minute own-goal when Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen deflected a shot from Cameron Jerome over the line. Christian Benitez made it 2-0 in the 41st before Steven Thompson scored an 87th-minute consolation for 19th-place Burnley.

Due to face Chelsea in the FA Cup final on May 15, Portsmouth began the build-up with a rare victory.

Arune Dindane gave the home side a 20th-minute lead and, although Kevin Doyle replied for Wolves in the 35th, goals by John Utaka and Michael Brown captured three points for the last-place team.

Phil Jagielka thought he had scored a winner for Everton in the 72nd minute at Stoke but it was ruled out. The draw ended his team's hopes of finishing in a Europa League position.