Tottenham Hotspur moved up to eighth in the Premier League table today as they defeated Arsenal in the first North London Derby at the new stadium.
Spurs now sit on 52 points, two above Arsenal on 50. However, wins this week for Sheffield United and Wolves mean that they remain two and three points ahead of Spurs respectively.
Despite the Lilywhites being a long way from Champions League football, the club still have hopes of finishing in the Europa League places.
If the FA Cup is lifted by a team that finishes in the top five of the Premier League, Europa League places will be available for fifth, sixth, and seventh this season.
With Man United likely out of sight in fifth, Spurs could be fighting with Wolves, Sheffield United, and Arsenal for just two spots. It is also unclear as to how Manchester City’s potential European ban may affect things.
Despite not liking the competition, Jose Mourinho remained adamant after the win over Arsenal that Spurs should be looking to play in the Europa League.
He said (Football London): “I would love to play in the Europa League. It’s not a competition that I’m in love with or like very, very much to play, but when you cannot play the Champions League, you play Europa League. Because in my career I only played Europa League twice and I won it twice, it wouldn’t be bad to play a third time and win a third time. So we have to fight until the end to try to finish in a Europa League position.”
On why he wants to play in the competition despite not liking it, he added: “Because the Europa League is not the biggest competition in Europe but it’s the second and when a club wins the Champions League or when a player wins it or a manager does, well if you ask Lewis Hamilton if he wants to win Formula 2 or 3000 or whatever you call it, I don’t think it will be a great deal for him.
“But it’s a competition and I prefer to play the Europa League than not to. I think it’s a title Tottenham would like to get. Of course at United, it’s a club with a dimension that thinks about the Champions League, but we played in the Europa League and we won it.
I think we should do everything to play in the Europa League next season and we should fight for that.”
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