Tottenham’s Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen said the pressure is all on Premier League leaders Chelsea after his side kept their title hopes alive with a 2-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday.
Goals by Dele Alli and a penalty from leading scorer Harry Kane kept the gap between them and Chelsea — who beat Everton 3-0 earlier on Sunday — to four points with four matches remaining.
“The pressure is on Chelsea. One loss (for them) and a win for us and the gap will just be a point,” Vertonghen told Sky Sports.
Vertonghen, who led the defence superbly alongside compatriot Toby Alderweireld, said Spurs had been hungrier for victory which also ensured they will finish above Arsenal for the first time in 22 years.
“It was a massive game in so many different ways,” he said. “We showed from the start we wanted to win more than them, and that we want to stay in the title race.
“It was a great performance throughout the team, from Hugo (Lloris) in goal to Harry (Kane).”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino said it had been a “fantastic afternoon”.
“To win against Arsenal in the last derby at White Hart Lane, it was emotional for everyone,” said the 45-year-old Argentinian whose team faded in pursuit of Leicester in last season’s title race.
“Now we can say that we are more mature,” said Pochettino. “Today was another chance to see the team learning and improving.
“It is so important now to try and win trophies, that is our aim. I think still we are in the race.”
Arsenal boss counterpart Arsene Wenger dismissed the significance of Spurs finishing above them in the table.
“Mathematically it has to happen once,” the Frenchman told Sky Sports.
“We are not happy with it but we don’t compare ourselves to Spurs, we compare ourselves to where we want to be.”
Kane for his part was ecstatic at the result.
“Incredible,” he told Sky Sports. “We obviously wanted to finish the last north London derby here (White Hart Lane as they will play at Wembley next season) on a high note and we did that.
“We worked hard, we created the better chances, what a day. The fans having bragging rights (winning the derby and finishing above Arsenal) is just an added bonus.”
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech was devastated and realised the defeat could have a major impact on their hopes of making the Champions League next season.
“I am very disappointed. This is not the game to lose,” the Czech great said.