Football

Tottenham Hotspur sneak into Europa League despite draw

Sixth-placed Tottenham pip Wolves on goal difference to clinch Europa League spot

Tottenham Hotspur have snuck into the Europa League after their 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park earned them sixth spot in the English Premier League, pipping seventh-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers on goal difference.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side, who like Spurs finished on 59 points, lost 2-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge via goals from Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud.

Meanwhile, at Selhurst Park, Harry Kane opened the scoring for Spurs in the 13th minute but Jeffrey Schlupp equalised on 53 minutes to end Palace's run of seven straight defeats.

Spurs were languishing in 14th position when Jose Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino last November.

But despite gripes over the former Chelsea and Manchester United manager's less expansive approach compared to his predecessor, the Portuguese has managed to oversee a turnaround that has allowed Spurs to secure European football next season.

Said Mourinho: "What we can do is improve. When all the players are available, we showed in this last period where we belong.

"After lockdown, maybe we finished third or fourth in the table."

Spurs will be joined in the Europa League by Leicester City, who failed to get the win they needed to secure a Champions League spot, losing 2-0 to Manchester United at the King Power Stadium.

FA CUP FINAL

While the fifth-placed Foxes will go straight into the Europa League group stage, Spurs will have to go through the qualifying rounds, unless Chelsea beat Arsenal in the FA Cup final.

Should the Blues win the all-London final, Wolves will go into the Europa League qualifying rounds.

Arsenal, meanwhile, can secure their European spot should they win their record 14th FA Cup final.

Wolves have another avenue into Europe should they win this season's Europa League, which resumes next month.

On offer for the champions of Europe's second-tier competition is a spot in next season's Champions League.

Football