Eriksen scores late winner to give Tottenham top-four succour (Match Report)

Christian Eriksen scored a dramatic late winner to strengthen Tottenham Hotspur’s hold on third place as they beat a spirited Brighton & Hove Albion side 1-0.

The visitors, fighting against relegation at the foot of the table, had denied Tottenham at every turn with a packed defence limiting to reduce the chances of their hosts, and they so nearly completed the task until the Dane eventually found the chink in their armour, driving home a 25-yard winner in the 88th minute.

Eriksen collected a pass from Dele Alli and drilled a low shot into the corner.

Spurs created their first chance of note when Eriksen took aim from distance and his shot bounced in front of Dele Alli before going wide.

Albion worked their first opening when Pascal Gross played an enticing free kick into the box, and Victor Wanyama’s clearance sailed over the crossbar.

Eriksen was involved in the thick of the action down the other end when his free kick caused a scramble inside the Albion penalty area; Jan Vertonghen’s effort was blocked by Lewis Dunk, before Maty Ryan clawed the ball away from Wanyama, allowing Bernardo to clear the danger.

Bernardo was called into action again moments later, as the Brazilian made a fine block to deny his compatriot Lucas Moura after Heung-Min Son caught out the Albion defence with a short free kick.

Hughton’s men continued to defend resolutely, as Dunk produced a brilliant sliding clearance to keep out Moura’s angled strike after the Brazilian was teed up by Eriksen.

It had looked as though Spurs would be frustrated as Seagulls goalkeeper Mat Ryan and central defenders Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk produced superb performances to keep them at bay.

But Eriksen’s goal means Brighton remain only three points clear of third-from-bottom Cardiff City with three matches left each.

The victory puts Spurs three points clear of fourth-placed Chelsea and four ahead of Arsenal.

Photo Credit:

Barcelona hand Arturo Vidal good news

According to reports in Spain, Barcelona are set to extend the contract of midfielder Arturo Vidal by a further year.

The former Bayern Munich player joined the Catalan giants this summer on a three-year contract last summer and the report claims the club are happy with his performances.

The 31-year-old’s current deal is due to run until the summer of 2021 having moved in a €25m deal from the German champions, but now it appears he will add 12 months to this deal, reports Football Espana.

The central midfielder has impressed at the Camp Nou but has not been a first-team regular, starting just 18 of the club’s 32 La Liga games to date.

Diario Sport states that Vidal’s experience and commitment are seen as vital qualities by Barca Coach Ernesto Valverde and the move to prolong his contract could see him end his career at the Camp Nou.

Chelsea fans react to Napoli fans’call for Maurizio Sarri’s return

There are reports in England that some Chelsea fans have offered to fly Maurizio Sarri back to Italy after Napoli supporters unfurled a banner calling on their former manager to return to the club.

The Italian boss was popular during his three-year spell at the Serie A club, during which he turned Napoli into one of Italy’s most fearsome sides.

He left in the summer to join Chelsea, where he has faced a backlash from supporters during an inconsistent first season in the Premier League.

Napoli, meanwhile, sit second in Serie A but 20 points behind champions Juventus.

Pressure is growing on their current boss Carlo Ancelotti following their elimination from the Champions League group stages and the Europa League quarter-finals, reports the Daily Mail.

And the mood in Naples grew even more sour on Monday evening after Atalanta came from behind to win away at Stadio San Paolo.

During the game some Napoli supporters held up a banner which read: ‘Sarri one of us’. And in response, many Chelsea fans were quick to offer up their coach’s services.

Barcelona to engage Arsenal in pre-season tourney

Reports in Spain claim Barcelona are in negotiations with Arsenal to be their opponents in this year’s annual Joan Gamper trophy.

According to El Mundo Deportivo, the friendly tournament will be held on 3-4 August this year, but the opponents for the Catalan club will change if both win European trophies this season.

Should Barca win the Champions League and Arsenal lift the Europa League – they are each in the respective semi-finals – they will meet in the UEFA Super Cup on 14 August.

The Blaugrana return from their tour of Japan in late July having already arranged friendlies against Chelsea and Vissel Kobe, reports Football Espana.

Joan Gamper was a founding member, player and later president of the Catalan club, with the match held annually in the Camp Nou.

Barca have won each of the last six editions – stretching back to a defeat to Sampdoria in 2012 – while the last English opponents were Manchester City in 2009.

Injured Callum Hudson-Odoi confirms time he will return

Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi has confirmed the season has ended for him after he sustained Achilles injury.

The youngster was replaced by Pedro toward the end of the first half of the Premier League match between Chelsea and Burnley which ended 2-2.

He tweeted: “Really gutted to end my season with an Ruptured Achilles, gotta work hard and try and come back stronger for next season!!”

It could also plunge his participation in the Three Lions’ Nations League semi-final with the Netherlands into doubt. England travel to Portugal in early June searching for silverware.

Chelsea suffer top-four setback as stubborn Burnley share spoils with Blues (Match Report)

Burnley thwarted Chelsea’s hopes of going third with a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

All the goals came in a frantic first 24 minutes. Jeff Hendrick volleyed Burnley ahead in the eighth minute, but less than seven minutes later Chelsea led.

Eden Hazard picked out N’Golo Kante to level first-time, before Gonzalo Higuain struck his first goal since 3 March.

But back came Burnley. From a 24th-minute free-kick Chris Wood flicked on to Ashley Barnes to level.

Chelsea put Burnley under late pressure but could not fashion a clear-cut chance and so only rise to fourth in the league table.

They are on 67 points, behind Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference and one clear of Arsenal.

Burnley are 15th on 40 points, nine off the relegation zone.