Kane double dents Leicester’s Champions League bid

first_img..Southampton push Bournemouth closer to relegationLONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Harry Kane dealt a major blow to Leicester’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League Sunday as the Tottenham striker scored twice in a 3-0 win that boosted his side’s bid to reach the Europa League.Meanwhile, Bournemouth were pushed to the brink of relegation from the Premier League as Danny Ings inspired Southampton’s 2-0 win over their south-coast rivals.Tottenham took the lead through James Justin’s early own goal before Kane took centre stage with two superb finishes before half- time.It could be a hammer blow to fourth-place Leicester’s Champions League dreams.They are ahead of fifth-place Manchester United only on goals scored and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have played a game less than Leicester.United return to league action against West Ham on Wednesday before a decisive showdown against Leicester at King Power Stadium on the last day of the season, next Sunday.Chelsea, who have two games left against Liverpool and Wolves, remain one point above Leicester in third.Brendan Rodgers’ side have won just two of their eight league games since the coronavirus hiatus, potentially squandering a golden opportunity to return to the Champions League for the first time since 2016-17.After a fourth win in their last five games, Tottenham climb to sixth place with one game remaining at Crystal Palace.Wolverhampton Wanderers, two points behind Tottenham, would go back above Jose Mourinho’s side if they beat Palace in their penultimate match today.Mourinho has insisted he isn’t embarrassed at having to motivate the 2019 Champions League finalists for their push to reach the less glamourous Europa League.Mourinho’s players seem to agree, judging by the way they put Leicester to the sword.They took the lead in the sixth minute thanks to a large stroke of luck.Son Heung-min cut back inside for a shot that took a wicked deflection off Justin as it flashed into the net, with Leicester’s appeal for offside against Kane rejected by VAR.Leicester initially responded well and Wes Morgan’s header caused panic in the Tottenham defence, but Jamie Vardy’s backheeled effort was saved by Hugo Lloris.Lloris was tested again moments later as he plunged to his left to make a one-handed save from Ayoze Perez’s close-range half-volley.Kasper Schmeichel made an equally good stop at the other end when the Leicester keeper tipped over Son’s drive after he ran onto Harry Winks’s long pass.Kane had netted 14 times in his previous 13 games against Leicester and he tormented them again in the 37th minute.Breaking at speed from a cleared Leicester corner, Lucas Moura slipped a pass to Kane who timed his run perfectly to beat the offside trap and guide a fine first-time finish past Schmeichel with his supposedly weaker left foot.Kane followed his 22nd club goal of the season with an even better strike three minutes later.Cutting in from the left side of the Leicester area, Kane shifted the ball away from the slow-to-react Ryan Bennett before curling a brilliant strike into the far corner.Leicester were facing certain defeat but they could still help their European ambitions by improving their goal difference.Perez’s long-range effort was well saved by Lloris, while substitute Demarai Gray was also denied by the French World Cup winner.Harvey Barnes couldn’t beat Lloris either as Leicester slipped to a painful defeat.Bournemouth three pointsIngs struck late in the first half at Dean Court before Bournemouth’s Sam Surridge saw his dramatic stoppage-time equaliser disallowed for offside.Che Adams added Southampton’s second goal with virtually the last kick to leave Bournemouth with nine defeats and only one win from their last 12 league matches.Eddie Howe’s second-bottom side are three points from safety with just one game left, while their goal difference is four inferior to fourth-bottom Watford.Bournemouth’s five-year stay in the top flight will be over if Watford take one point from their last two games against Manchester City and Arsenal.Watford face City today before the final day, on July 26, when Bournemouth travel to Everton and the Hornets meet Arsenal.“The key thing is, while there’s still hope we have to believe until such time as it is mathematically impossible,” Howe said.“You never know in football, crazy things happen. That’s my immediate thought.“I am deeply disappointed, hurt — loads of different emotions are going through my body right now.“A big chunk of our destiny and our future was still sort of in our hands. It feels like that has slipped away a little bit.”Ings now has 21 league goals this season, leaving him two behind Leicester’s Jamie Vardy in the race for the golden boot.The Southampton striker would have been even closer if he hadn’t missed a second-half penalty, but even that reprieve couldn’t save Bournemouth.Howe had called Southampton’s visit the “biggest game” for Bournemouth in several seasons as they aimed for the two-goal margin of victory that would lift them out of the bottom three.They started brightly, and Lloyd Kelly fired just wide before the unmarked Callum Wilson headed wastefully over.Josh King saw a penalty appeal rejected by VAR after he was bundled over by Southampton defender Jack Stephens.For all Bournemouth’s pressure, James Ward-Prowse should have put Southampton in front when he headed straight at Cherries keeper Aaron Ramsdale from a good position.No side has kept fewer clean sheets in the Premier League this season than Bournemouth, and they cracked again four minutes before half-time.It seemed there was barely a sight of goal for Ings when Nathan Redmond found him on the edge of the area, but the 27-year-old deftly evaded two defenders before drilling a fine finish into the far corner.Ings almost made it two with a curling effort just after half-time.Southampton were given a penalty by VAR in the 59th minute when Harry Wilson blocked Oriol Romeu’s header with his arm.Ings tried to fool Ramsdale with a stutter-step as he ran up to take the penalty, but his tame shot was too close to the keeper who saved low to his left.Chances were at a premium for Bournemouth, but substitute Dominic Solanke had a sight of goal when his shot from an acute angle was well saved by Alex McCarthy.McCarthy made a fingertip save to keep out Wilson’s curler before Surridge saw his equaliser correctly ruled out by VAR.In a cruel finish, Adams’ clinical finish in the 98th minute did more damage to the Cherries’ goal difference.last_img

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