Premier League: Chelsea into 3rd place, Arsenal held by Leicester CityJuly 8, 2020
On a night of spectacular goals in the Premier League, it was a pair of tackles that had the most significant impact on the hard-fought race for Champions League qualification.
Chelsea’s 3-2 win at Crystal Palace was only secured thanks to a remarkable last-ditch challenge by center back Kurt Zouma, who somehow made up ground to divert the ball away as Christian Benteke was about to shoot late in stoppage time.
Then, hours later at a rain-soaked Emirates Stadium, Arsenal was leading 1-0 against Leicester and on course for a win that would have thrown open the fight for a finish in the top four when substitute striker Eddie Nketiah was handed a straight red card in the 75th minute for a studs-first lunge on James Justin.
Jamie Vardy equalized nine minutes later with a goal that took a while to be confirmed by the video assistant referee to seal a 1-1 draw, dealing a huge setback to Arsenal’s improbable hopes of climbing into the top five.
Manchester United is four points back in fifth place, which will secure qualification for the Champions League if second-place Manchester City fails to overturn its two-year European ban.
Arsenal stayed seventh, five points behind United with only four games remaining. United’s game in hand is against Aston Villa on Thursday.