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Spurs tighten grip on top-four spot as Arsenal, Man Utd lose

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Tottenham Hotspur’s South Korean striker Son Heung-Min (right) scores the team’s third goal during the English Premier League match. AFP

Spurs tighten grip on top-four spot as Arsenal, Man Utd lose

Tottenham thumped Aston Villa 4-0 on Saturday to tighten their grip on fourth spot in the Premier League after Manchester United and Arsenal both slipped up.

Third-placed Chelsea ended a tough week by hammering Southampton 6-0 while Leeds climbed nine points above the relegation zone with a comfortable 3-0 win at Watford.

Six wins in seven league games for free-scoring Spurs have made them firm favourites to qualify for next season’s Champions League along with Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Son Heung-min scored a hat-trick for Antonio Conte’s men at Villa Park, with Dejan Kulusevski also chipping in as Spurs put their opponents to the sword.

The impressive Harry Kane provided two assists while Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made seven saves in the opening 45 minutes to keep Villa at bay.

The win takes Spurs to 57 points – three clear of fifth-placed Arsenal and six ahead of West Ham and Manchester United.

“I’m very happy because I have a group of players who want to show me that they will improve in many aspects,” Conte told the BBC.

Cristiano Ronaldo on Saturday apologised for knocking a mobile phone out of the hands of a supporter as he left the pitch following Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to Everton.

Footage on social media emerged which appeared to show the Portugal star clashing with an Everton supporter as he headed for the tunnel at Goodison Park.

Arsenal are having a wobble at the wrong time after putting themselves in a strong position to qualify for the Champions League – they have not played in Europe’s elite competition since the 2016/17 season.

“It has been a difficult week and we’ve lost some big players, but if you get what you want, not everything is going to be with a blue sky,” Mikel Arteta told the BBC.

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