London (AFP) – Tottenham’s bid to qualify for the Europa League suffered a blow in a 2-1 defeat against Aston Villa on Wednesday in what could be Harry Kane’s last home game for the club.
With fifth and sixth place finishes securing a place in next season’s Europa League, Tottenham are involved in the scramble to make it into the tournament.
Seventh place would bring entry into a play-off for the new Europa Conference League.
But Ryan Mason’s sixth-placed side will have to wait until their last game of the season at Leicester on Sunday to discover their European destiny after a second defeat in their last three games.
Kane was named in Tottenham’s starting line-up just days after reportedly telling the club he wants to leave.
The England captain is keen to move on as he chases the first trophies of his career, with Manchester City, Manchester United and Paris Saint Germain among the clubs linked with the striker.
There were 10,000 fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as crowds return to stadiums on a limited basis after the UK eased coronavirus restrictions this week.
Those supporters quickly urged Kane to stay as they chanted “Harry Kane, he’s one of our own” before kick-off.
Tottenham’s Steven Bergwijn was making his first league start since February and the Dutch winger celebrated his return with a superb strike in the eighth minute.
Bergwijn robbed Marvelous Nakamba, held off two challenges and smashed a rising drive into the roof of the net from just inside the area for his first goal this season.
But Tottenham’s lead lasted only 12 minutes as Sergio Reguilon scored a comical own goal, the left-back somehow managing to slice Nakamba’s cross past Hugo Lloris from 16 yards out.
Villa punished more sloppy Reguilon defending in the 39th minute when Bertrand Traore pressured the defender into surrendering possession, allowing Ollie Watkins to fire home from close-range.
Despite an improved second half, Tottenham couldn’t staged a fightback and were booed off at full-time.
– Everton in the hunt –
Everton remain in the hunt for a Europa League berth after Richarlison’s 48th minute header from Gylfi Sigurdsson’s corner sealed a 1-0 win against Wolves.
Around 6,500 fans at Goodison Park saw Richarlison clinch Everton’s first home victory in seven attempts as they climbed to eighth place, level on points with Tottenham.
Newcastle beat relegated Sheffield United 1-0 in front of 10,000 fans at St James’ Park.
Joe Willock gave Newcastle the lead on the stroke of half-time with a thumping header from Jacob Murphy’s cross.
The 21-year-old midfielder, on loan from Arsenal, is the youngest player to score in six successive Premier League games.
Fifth-placed Liverpool, winners of their last three games, will go above fourth placed Leicester on goal difference if they beat Burnley at Turf Moor.
That would put Jurgen Klopp’s side in position to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Liverpool, hoping to salvage a troubled season with a top four finish, host Crystal Palace in their last game.
Also on Wednesday, Roy Hodgson takes charge of his last home game as Crystal Palace manager when Arsenal visit Selhurst Park.
Former England boss Hodgson, 73, will leave Palace at the end of the season after four years with the south London club.
West Ham can no longer qualify for the Champions League after their unexpected top four challenge, but David Moyes’ men head to relegated West Bromwich Albion looking to improve their prospects of a Europa League berth.
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