Everton kept their Premier League survival hopes alive by shocking Chelsea 1-0 on Sunday, as Arsenal maintained their two-point lead over Tottenham in the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Arsenal won 2-1 at West Ham to move above Spurs, who had previously beaten Leicester 3-1 thanks to a brace from Son Heung-min.
The only goal came barely a minute into the second half when Richarlison pressured Cesar Azpilicueta to lose the ball and the Brazilian striker finished coldly on Demarai Gray’s pass.
The England keeper also denied Antonio Rudiger from close range and dismissed Matteo Kovacic in a nervous seven-minute stoppage time.
But he was delighted with the passion shown by his players and supporters.
“They know it and understand it. They’ve been supportive, kindly aggressive – this place must be hard to find.”
The Blues’ lead over Tottenham is reduced to five points, but Thomas Tuchel’s men have a comfortable run-in on paper.
Arsenal centre-backs have done the job to keep the Gunners on track to end a five-year absence from the Champions League.
West Ham had their eye on the second leg of their Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt in midweek, but David Moyes named a strong side and was rewarded with a pre-half equalizer from Jarrod Bowen .
But they were undone at the back from another corner as this time Gabriel Magalhaes spun into Gabriel Martinelli’s cross.
Harry Kane powered home a header from Son’s corner midway through the first half and Son doubled the lead on the hour after a pass from substitute Dejan Kulusevski.
“No one could have imagined when I arrived in November that we could still be in this race, but these players deserve to fight for such a prominent place,” Conte told the BBC.
The battle for fourth place could come down to a North London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal on May 12.
Originally published as Everton secure priceless win, Arsenal edge past Spurs in top four