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'We must go four it now'


Chelsea's Ramires. Picture: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Chelsea's Ramires. Picture: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Chelsea's Ramires. Picture: REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

ANDRE Villas-Boas hopes his Tottenham side's endeavour is rewarded with a place in the Champions League as the all-London battle for the top four nears a conclusion.

Fifth-placed Spurs twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Stamford Bridge last night and now sit one point behind Arsenal and three behind Chelsea entering the final two games of the campaign.

Spurs also have a far inferior goal difference to their rivals, but Villas-Boas hopes his side's efforts result in a place among Europe's elite.

"For all of the determination and ambition we've showed this season, hopefully we can be rewarded at the end of it by qualifying," Villas-Boas said.



The Spurs boss recognises his side must rely on slip-ups and believes the next round of fixtures – Chelsea's match at Aston Villa on Saturday, Spurs' Sunday contest with Stoke and Arsenal's Tuesday clash with FA Cup finalists Wigan – could determine the top-four battle.

"This next fixture is decisive for everybody," he added.

"Arsenal has had this whole time to rest (since playing at QPR last Saturday). It won't be an advantage for Wigan to play after an FA Cup final so early, but that's the reality.

"Chelsea have a difficult game at Villa, we have an extremely difficult game against Stoke. I think anything can happen. (But) we don't depend on ourselves any more.

"The reality is that we have to do our job and hopefully something can happen. If we're able to take this to the last game of the season, when we play at home (against Sunderland), and Arsenal go to Newcastle and Chelsea play Everton, anything can happen. It's unpredictable."

Chelsea must wait to secure their Champions League return after being pegged back twice by Spurs.

Oscar and Ramires, either side of an exquisite Emmanuel Adebayor shot, gave the hosts a half-time lead, before substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson struck in the 80th minute to deny Chelsea a seventh successive Premier League home win.

Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez was frustrated by his side's failure to net a third and end the match as a contest, and lamented the defensive failings which contributed to Spurs' equalisers.

Adebayor appeared to be marginally offside in the build-up to Sigurdsson's strike and Benitez felt fatigue played a part, particularly out wide where Spurs enjoyed supremacy in the latter stages.



"We had the chances on counter-attacks to score the third goal and finish the game," Benitez said. "It was an open game.

"We were in control and we didn't win. Adebayor was offside, but still we have to defend a little bit better.

"The tempo of the game was too high. It was massive for both teams.

"We didn't have legs.

"We had players that were tired, especially in the wide areas. We had a problem with the (Spurs) full-backs going forward."

Benitez declined to answer whether he would be interested in managing Everton next term, if David Moyes is appointed Alex Ferguson's successor at Manchester United as expected.

The former Liverpool boss, whose family home is on the Wirral, said: "Still I have to concentrate on (Chelsea's next match at) Aston Villa."