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Football: Spurs loss gives United hope for Europa League, West Ham safe

Published on May 3, 2014 9:58 PM
 
Andy Carroll of West Ham United's deflected header sails past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris of Tottenham Hotspur at Upton Park on May 3, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Manchester United's bid to qualify for the Europa League received a boost on Saturday when their main rivals for sixth place, Tottenham Hotspur, lost 0-2 at West Ham United.

Spurs centre-back Younes Kaboul was sent off in the 25th minute for a professional foul on Stewart Downing and after a Harry Kane own goal gave West Ham the lead, Downing made it 2-0 with a free kick.

Victory secures West Ham's place in the Premier League and leaves sixth-place Tottenham (66 points with one game left) vulnerable to attack from United, who host fourth-bottom Sunderland later on Saturday.

United (60 points) have two games in hand on Spurs and a vastly superior goal difference (+20 to +1), meaning that they can guarantee European football at Old Trafford next season by winning their three remaining games.

Currently under the interim stewardship of player-coach Ryan Giggs, United host Hull City on Tuesday before closing the campaign with a trip to Southampton.

Saturday's headline game is Everton's home fixture with Manchester City, who can take over from Liverpool at the top of the table on goal difference with victory at Goodison Park.

Liverpool's 0-2 loss at home to Chelsea last weekend means that City will effectively be assured of winning the title - barring an improbable goal-difference swing - if they win their last three fixtures.

It could also prove to be a decisive day at the foot of the table, with bottom club Cardiff City and second-bottom Fulham both at risk of relegation.

Cardiff will be relegated if they lose at Newcastle United and either Sunderland, Fulham or Norwich City win. Norwich, who slipped into the bottom three last weekend, visit Chelsea on Sunday.

Fulham will go down if they lose at Stoke City and either Sunderland or Norwich win.

In the day's other matches, Aston Villa host FA Cup finalists Hull City and Southampton visit Swansea City.

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