Advantage Arsenal, admits Villas-Boas as Tottenham draw

Frank Dalleres
Follow Frank

TOTTENHAM manager Andre Villas-Boas admits his side have handed bitter rivals Arsenal the edge in the race for Champions League qualification, despite twice coming from behind to snatch a draw at Chelsea last night.

Striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored one and set up Gylfi Sigurdsson’s late equaliser as Spurs cancelled out strikes from Oscar and Ramires in a helter-skelter clash that merely prolongs the tension in the battle to finish in the Premier League’s top four.

Chelsea remain well placed in third, two points ahead of Arsenal, who are one clear of Tottenham going into the final two fixtures. But while Spurs visit Stoke on Sunday, the Gunners have an extra 48 hours before hosting Wigan, likely to be jaded from an FA Cup final against Manchester City three days earlier.

“I think the next fixture will be decisive for everybody,” said Villas-Boas. “Arsenal have had a long time to rest which may or may not be an advantage. It won’t be an advantage for Wigan to play after an FA Cup final so early, but that’s the reality. If we take it to the last day of the season when we play at home, and Arsenal go to Newcastle and Chelsea play Everton, I think anything can happen.”

Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez felt Adebayor had been offside for the second goal, but chided his players for failing to extend their lead earlier. “It was an open game,” he said. “Good for the fans and the media but not for us because we were in control and didn’t win.”

Tottenham have not won at Stamford Bridge since 1990 and looked doomed again after just 10 minutes when Oscar pounced to head in a Juan Mata corner.

Adebayor, enjoying one of his inspired evenings, silenced Stamford Bridge with a virtuoso equaliser on 26 minutes, spearheading a break before curling into the top-right corner.

The Blues went in ahead at half-time after Ramires prodded past Hugo Lloris. Yet on 80 minutes Spurs levelled when Sigurdsson drilled into the far corner.