Manchester United's Premier League top-four hopes still alive after draw with Spurs. Newcastle leads the way for Champions League qualification.
|The top-four race is a little straightforward if Manchester United and Newcastle don't slip up but will there be twists and turns? (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
The Premier League top-four battle changed dramatically on Thursday as Manchester United blew a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with struggling Spurs.
While the outcome didn't significantly hurt Manchester United's chances of qualifying for the Champions League, it didn't exactly boost the North Londoners either.
With six games remaining and 62 points, Newcastle currently has the lead in qualifying.
The Geordies are eight points ahead of Tottenham and have a game in hand.
They are the betting favourite to make their first Champions League trip since 2002.
Although United are now two points behind Eddie Howe's team in fourth place, they do have a game in hand over Newcastle.
However, in football, you cannot count points for games you haven't won.
The Champions League is unquestionably beckoning, with Southampton, Leeds, and Leicester among the remaining six for the Tyneside ballers.
Manchester United leads Ryan Mason's team by six points and has two games in hand on Spurs.
If the Red Devils had held onto their advantage against Spurs on Thursday, it might have been a done deal, but they are still alive and well today despite their manager's pain after the final whistle.
Manchester United still needs to defeat Aston Villa, Brighton, and West Ham in the final few games, but they should pick up enough victories to advance.
Given the Seagulls' ambition, the Brighton game could be very important. It will be interesting to see how this develops.
What must Tottenham accomplish to enter the Champions League?
Although difficult, it is not a mathematical impossibility.
To maintain the focus, they must first refrain from discussing managerial news, and then they must let the youngsters play football.
One of them is Mason, and they currently need to win all five of their games, including the ones at Liverpool and away at Aston Villa.
To be honest, it seems difficult given where they are right now.
They might get by with Europa League qualification, but what does that mean for Harry Kane?
Brighton & Hove Albion is another option.
What a tale this is for the Seagulls, and even if they don't make it into the Champions League, they will unquestionably play in the Europa League the next year, when they can defeat Tottenham to the fifth slot.
The Seagulls are now seventh on the Premier League standings, but they still have three games left to play, one of which is against Manchester City.
They also have home games against Wolves and Everton scheduled soon.
Don't discount Roberto Di Zerbi's team; two victories out of the remaining three games will move them up to fifth, ahead of the Spurs.
Liverpool is in seventh place, exactly behind Aston Villa, but they aren't the favourites due to their inconsistent play.
They do have a game in hand on Spurs and Villa, and a victory puts them in fifth place right away.
But will they win the rest of their games in the Premier League?
Unai Emery has done a fantastic job with Villa, having earned the most points this year.
Despite upcoming difficult games against Spurs, Brighton, United, and Liverpool, Aston Villa are poised to qualify for the Europa League.