Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Champions League hopes took a last-minute blow last night as Burnley snatched a late draw at Turf Moor on Wednesday night as Tottenham took another step towards securing European football for next season.
Almost exactly 48 hours after Manchester United were hit by a late setback against Southampton, and just when it looked like another vital strike from Raul Jimenez had given Wolves all three points, Burnley’s Chris Wood converted from the spot hurt Wolves chances in the battle for the two remaining Champions League spots along with Chelsea, Leicester and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United.
Wolves controlled the match and possession in a game with few chances and finally went ahead in the 76th minute through their Mexican forward’s 17th league goal of the season.
Adama Traore broke from deep in midfield and fed Matt Doherty on the right and the substitute’s drive bounced off Burnley defender James Tarkowski and towards Jimenez who hammered a brilliant volley past Nick Pope.
Wood should have equalised in stoppage time but headed wide from close range. However, Wolves defender Matt Doherty handled in the box minutes later and Wood made amends from the spot.
The result left Wolves in sixth place on 56 points, three behind Leicester City and Manchester United who occupy fourth and fifth spots.
Jose Mourinho’s Spurs puffed their way to a flattering 3-1 win over Newcastle United at St James Park.
Harry Kane went past 200 career club goals with a second-half double. Minutes after Matt Ritchie’s thumping finish had given the hosts a deserved equaliser, Kane’s clinical header put the visitors back in front to achieve another landmark.
The England skipper sealed the points in the last minute with another header to take his career tally to 201.
Son Heung-min had given Tottenham the lead against the run of play in the first half in what was yet another unconvincing display from the London club.
Tottenham climbed to seventh place on 55 points with two games remaining, three behind sixth-placed Wolves in the race for a Europa League spot.
Manchester City celebrated their reinstatement in the Uefa Champions League next season with a 2-1 win Bournemouth. David Silva netted a spectacular free-kick after only six minutes and Gabriel Jesus scored a remarkable solo effort to put Pep Guardiola’s side 2-0 up at the break.
Substitute David Brooks gave Bournemouth a lifeline with an 88th-minute goal but City held on to collect all three points and extend their winning streak at home to six games.
Pep Guardiola’s City have already secured a second-placed finish behind title winners Liverpool, while Bournemouth remain 18th and three points adrift of the safety zone.
Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his Manchester United side are “getting closer” to the standards demanded at Old Trafford as they focus on reaching the Champions League.
United conceded a late goal against Southampton on Monday to draw 2-2, ending a run of four straight Premier League wins.
The result left Solskjaer’s men in fifth place in the table but they are assured of a top-four finish if they win their remaining games against Crystal Palace, West Ham and fellow Champions League hopefuls Leicester.
The Norwegian boss said his message to his players ahead of Thursday’s trip to Crystal Palace was to keep on doing what they had been doing and “trust yourselves”.
“You’re at a club where it always boils down to the last couple of weeks, or two or three games in the season anyway,” he said at his prematch press conference on Wednesday.
“We’ve done fantastic since we restarted. We started with the draw against Tottenham of course but then had a great run. That little bit of a setback is a test for mentalities.”
Asked if this was the best Manchester United team since Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, Solskjaer said: “I don’t think that’s my job to say ... but of course we’ve played some good football, some enjoyable football.
“Now it is about consistency. We know we’re privileged to play for this great club and represent this great club and there’s a certain expectation on how we should play football and we’re getting closer and closer to that type of team.”
Solskjaer said his team, unbeaten in 18 matches in all competitions, had made major strides during the 2019/20 campaign.
“We’ve come a long way in this season,” he said. “I think we’ve hurried this process up by quite a distance with what we’ve done since we started this season.”
Solskjaer steered clear of the debate about Financial Fair Play and the lifting of Manchester City’s European ban this week by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho branded the CAS decision “a disgrace” and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said Monday was not “a good day for football”.
The ruling could have an immediate impact on United, with fifth place no longer enough for Champions League qualification, but Solskjaer would not be drawn into the debate.
“With Financial Fair Play, it was brought in to keep football and football clubs financially sustainable and I think that’s important and they also give us rules to adhere to.
“That’s what we’re focusing on and let other people discuss what’s right and wrong and what’s happened.”
Burnley 1 Wolves 1
Bournemouth 1 Manchester City 2
Newcastle 1 Tottenham 3
Everton v Aston Villa, 9pm
Leicester City v Sheffield United, 9pm
Crystal Palace v Manchester United, 11.15pm
Southampton v Brighton, 11.15pm