Bloomberg News

Spurs Stay in Hunt for Champions League With Newcastle

May 02, 2012

Tottenham and Newcastle remain locked together in the race for a berth in soccer’s Champions League after winning away matches in the Premier League.

Papiss Cisse got both goals last night as Newcastle rebounded from a 4-0 loss at Wigan by beating Chelsea 2-0. Spurs scored three times in the second half to defeat Bolton 4-1.

Tottenham and Newcastle both have 65 points, one fewer than third-place Arsenal, with two games left. Tottenham holds fourth place, the final qualifying spot for Europe’s elite Champions League, on goal difference.

“It’s still tight,” Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said in a televised interview. “Newcastle’s result has opened it all up and kept them in it.”

Cisse scored in each half as Newcastle won a league match at Stamford Bridge for the first time since 1986. Cisse has 13 goals in 12 league matches since joining Newcastle in January from German club Freiburg. The Magpies host league leader Manchester City next on May 6.

The loss leaves Chelsea in sixth place, four points behind Newcastle and Tottenham. The Blues will probably have to win the May 19 Champions League final against Bayern Munich to qualify for next season’s competition. That would drop the fourth-place finisher into the second-tier Europa League.

Cisse opened the scoring in the 19th minute by flicking the ball into the air with his right foot and firing a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Petr Cech.

‘Special’ Goals

He then clinched Newcastle’s seventh win in eight games in second-half stoppage time by bending a shot with the outside of his foot from the left edge of the penalty area over Cech into the top right corner of the net.

“His first one was special, the second one was even better,” Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said of Cisse’s goals. “There’s nothing you can do about that. As soon as he hit it Petr Cech was struggling and it nestled in the far corner.”

Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice and Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart had one goal each to lead Tottenham past Bolton. Spurs scored three times in a nine-minute span of the second half in winning for the first time in nine away league matches.

The loss keeps Bolton in the three relegations places at the bottom of the standings behind Queens Park Rangers on goal difference, with both teams having 34 points.

Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba returned to the Reebok Stadium for the first time since suffering a cardiac arrest during an F.A. Cup game between the same two teams in London on March 17. The midfielder received a standing ovation as he was introduced on the field before the game.

Modric gave Spurs the lead in the 37th minute with a shot into the top corner and Bolton’s Nigel Reo-Coker tied the score six minutes into the second half.

Van der Vaart put Tottenham back in front in the 60th minute and Adebayor added goals in the 62nd and 69th minutes to clinch Tottenham’s second win in 13 league games at Bolton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net


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