Tottenham Hotspur’s quest for the Premier League title was dealt a huge blow after the North London giants were defeated 1-0 by hardworking West Ham United at the London Stadium on Friday thanks to a singular but fantastic close-range goal from Hammers midfielder Manuel Lanzini.
Spurs bottled the chance to get a win on Friday, who looked very dull and uncreative in attack, uncharacteristic of their brilliant form as of late. Many pundits and fans alike have criticised Spurs’ seeming lack of focus both on the television and on social media.
Regardless of the criticism, and the daunting pressure now on his shoulders, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino remains incessantly defiant. “We are still fighting,” the Argentine tactician said during the post-match interview.
“I’m disappointed, of course, that we missed the opportunity to reduce the gap. [But] It is not over,” Pochettino added.
The 1-0 result at the London Stadium means that Chelsea will only need to win two of their four remaining matches in order to mathematically secure the Premier League title. Looking at their run-in fixtures, it isn’t hard to see why Antonio Conte’s Blues will now be firm favourites to clinch the Premier League trophy.
Chelsea will be facing relegation-embattled side Middlesbrough at home on Monday, followed by a trip to West Brom on Friday. They’ll then welcome Watford on the 15th and face already-relegated Sunderland in the final day of the season. At first glance, Chelsea’s remaining matches are definitely winnable matches and it is up to them to ensure they don’t get complacent lest they drop the ball yet again.
Spurs, meanwhile, face Manchester United at home next Sunday, before visiting last year’s winners Leicester four days later. The North London side then face Hull at the final day of the campaign. If Spurs drop points in any of their remaining fixtures, they can kiss their title goodbye.
That viewpoint seems to be shared by Spurs defender Eric Dier, who said in the post-match interview, “It was already going to be hard, so now it is going to be even harder.”
It’s definitely going to be extremely difficult to side against Chelsea this time round. The Blues are currently in tremendous form, winning their last three games, scoring eleven goals in total. With that kind of momentum, it is hard to see them losing against a mid-table side any time soon.
Of course, as to whether those probabilities will turn into reality come match day is yet to be seen.