'No choice' - National media react to Champions League race as Tottenham sent clear Arsenal message

Jhon Duran of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring their third goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Liverpool FC at Villa Park on May 13, 2024

The national media have slashed Tottenham Hotspur's chances of clinching Champions League qualification following Aston Villa's emphatic comeback against Liverpool. Jhon Duran netted twice in the dying embers of the clash at Villa Park on Monday night, as Unai Emery's side salvaged a crucial point in the race for the top four.

Aston Villa have extended their lead over the Lilywhites, who must now defeat Manchester City on Tuesday evening to keep their hopes alive. Even if Spurs do manage to snatch points from the reigning champions, who have won each of their last seven Premier League games, they must still rely on the Villans dropping points at Crystal Palace on the final day of the season.

Perhaps more interestingly, Tottenham hold the key to Arsenal's dreams; anything but a win for Pep Guardiola's side could derail their title defence. So, with that being said, has taken a look at what the national media are making of the Champions League race after Aston Villa's draw with Liverpool.

The Telegraph – Jason Burt

"Flicking through Tom Hanks’ filmography, perhaps the most apt title now is Catch Me If You Can. It is over to Tottenham Hotspur who are five points behind but have two games to play, with Villa having just the one left.

"The problem for Tottenham is not only their wretched form but the fact it is title-chasing Manchester City who they must beat on Tuesday to keep their faltering hopes alive. Spurs may have a good record against City at home but the likelihood is it will be Villa celebrating again when that particular fixture finishes."

READ MORE: Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham wage bill compared to Premier League rivals

READ MORE: Why Arsenal and Chelsea lead PSG in the race to sign Victor Osimhen from Napoli

The Mirror – Felix Keith

"There has been a lot of talk over the past few days about Tottenham's match against Manchester City on Tuesday night and whether the home side might roll over to prevent Arsenal from winning the Premier League title for the first time in 20 years. Well, this result backs up Ange Postecoglou's contention that they will do no such thing.

"Plenty of Spurs fans on social media would rather their side lost, so as to help City on their way to a sixth title in seven years. But Villa's draw means they definitely do have something to play for, because they are five points behind with a game in hand. If they beat City, they will play into Arsenal's hands, but also give themselves a good chance of playing in the Champions League next season.

"If Spurs make it six straight home wins over City in the Premier League then Villa will need to win their final game of the season, away to in-form Crystal Palace, to make sure of fourth place."

The Express – Fraser Watson

"Mikel Arteta won't exactly have been celebrating wildly at Liverpool drawing, but both he and Arsenal players and fans will have breathed a sigh of relief. Still leading City by a point going into the final day, Pep Guardiola's side have a trip to Tottenham tomorrow that has just got a little bit harder.

"Spurs can still overtake Villa and take fourth spot if they beat both City and Sheffield United on Sunday, and Emery's side lose at Crystal Palace on the final day. Forget talk of Tottenham lying down on Tuesday night to deny their rivals the title - they have no choice but to go all out for victory in their bid to qualify for next season's Champions League."

The Guardian – Ben Fisher

"Many fans had spent the ­previous 10 minutes on their feet after Jhon Durán’s late double secured an unlikely point that may prove priceless in the race to secure a Champions League berth. Just when it seemed inevitable Liverpool would yield ­victory from Jürgen Klopp’s final away game, the substitute striker, unpredictable at the best of times, flipped the mood in the stands.

"His goals, in the 85th and 88th minutes, in this breathless contest may well define Villa’s season. A point edges Villa closer to fourth and a place in the Champions League. Unai Emery will doubtless be glued to events at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday, where anything but a Spurs win against Manchester City will secure Villa’s return to Europe’s ­premier competition for the first time since 1982-83."