London, May 19 (EFE).- Tottenham Hotspur’s dreams of European soccer in 2021-2022 suffered another setback on Wednesday as two defensive errors resulted in a 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa.
Though still sixth in the Premier League with 59 points from 37 matches, Spurs will slip to seventh if West Ham United pick up a point later Wednesday against relegated West Bromwich Albion.
The team in the seventh spot after next Sunday’s final match is virtually certain to qualify for the Europa Conference League, a new UEFA competition joining the elite Champions League and the second-tier Europa League.
But Tottenham are only ahead of eighth-place Everton, winners Wednesday against Wolverhampton, by virtue of goal difference, while Arsenal, now in ninth, have 58 points after defeating Crystal Palace.
Spurs seemed to be on the right path Wednesday when a powerful right-footed shot from just inside the area by Dutch forward Steven Bergwijn beat Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to find the top left corner of the net in the 8th minute.
An own goal in the 20th minute by Sergio Reguilon negated Bergwijn’s effort. The Spanish defender’s attempt to clear a cross from Marvelous Nakamba went badly awry and keeper Hugo Lloris was helpless to keep it out.
It took the visitors 19 minutes to double their lead, thanks to another mistake by Reguilon, whose ill-judged pass on the edge of the area led to a goal for Ollie Watkins.
The hosts were booed off the field at half-time by the crowd of 10,000 allowed in the stands at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
While Bergwijn and Harry Kane both forced saves from Martinez in the second half, only some fine stops by Lloris at the other end kept Villa from extending their advantage.
The result boosted Villa to 52 points, good enough to hold onto the 11th spot in the table.
In South London, Spurs arch-rivals Arsenal prevailed 3-1 over Palace.
Nicolas Pepe put the Gunners up in the 35th minute only to see Christian Benteke equalize for Palace in the 62nd. But Arsenal regained the lead with Gabriel Martinelli’s goal in the 91st and Pepe added a third in 95th.
Everton eked out a 1-0 victory against Wolves on Richarlison’s goal three minutes into the second half. EFE ta/dr