Sport

Pochettino: West Ham match was "must win" for Spurs

Pochettino: West Ham match was

Victory over lowly Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge on Monday would put Antonio Conte's men seven points clear with three games remaining and Chelsea's seemingly favourable run-in comprises matches with West Brom, Watford and Sunderland.

Mauricio Pochettino is disappointed to see Spurs' title hopes take a massive hit, but he wants his side to finish strong.

West Ham's Manuel Lanzini, right, celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League soccer match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at the London Stadium in London, Friday, May 5, 2017.

Spurs could have narrowed the gap to a point with victory at London Stadium, but were well below par as the Hammers helped Chelsea close on the title.

Tony Gale believes the pressure of attempting to keep up with Premier League leaders Chelsea proved too much and showed in their loss against West Ham.

Few people in either camp would have foreseen any other outcome, either, with West Ham limping towards the finishing line of what has been a torrid season. Sometimes in football, that happens.

Arsene Wenger not giving up on top-four spot
If Arsenal do miss out on the Champions League, Wenger has already pin-pointed the cause: a series of damaging away defeats. Despite having over 30 attempts on goal, it was a flat atmosphere in north London , with a number of empty seats visible.

"I don't like to complain", said Pochettino. "We conceded the sort of goal you do not concede when you are a team fighting for big things". When you have the chance and the opportunity is there, you need to get it, and this time we were not capable of increasing the level collectively.

"We shouldn't forget what we've done until now", he added.

"Don't forget the context". "We tried, it was hard".

"Tonight was great in terms of character and determination but to beat a team like Spurs you need also quality", West Ham manager Slaven Bilic, whose future has been under a cloud, told reporters.

"It was already going to be hard before, so now it's even harder". "I'm calm on the touchline, focused on the game to help the team". The full-back made a sloppy start and was booked early on but he grew into the game before being replaced by Kieran Trippier with 10 minutes to go.

"It was an important one for them and for us, and under the lights, on a Friday night, against them - you can't beat that feeling".


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