LONDON: Tottenham and Arsenal both won to keep the pressure on Chelsea in the three-way race for the two remaining Premier League slots in next season’s Champions League.
Chelsea’s Europa League finalists play champions-elect Manchester United on Sunday and then host Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Spurs were struggling to find a goal against Southampton at White Hart Lane until Gareth Bale unleashed a stinging 20-yard winner to keep Andre Villas-Boas’s side battling on.
As for Arsenal, Theo Walcott struck his 20th goal of the season after 20 seconds to fire them to a 1-0 win over relegated Queens Park Rangers to stay third.
Arsenal’s quickest Premier League goal and the swiftest of the season kept Arsene Wenger’s side in third place after a fifth successive away win.
QPR, without a goal in four games and six hours, might have upset the Gunners late on but Loic Remy was denied by a fine save from keeper Wojciech Szczesny.
At the other end of the table Wigan reprised their annual role as the league’s escape artists by winning 3-2 at West Bromwich.
Shane Long converted a Markus Rosenberg cross to put Albon ahead but Arouna Kone levelled before the break. Gareth McAuley put Albion in front yet again five minutes after the restart but Wigan equalised through James McArthur (58) and won it through Callum McManaman (80).
Wigan moved within three points of Norwich who lost 2-1 at home to Aston Villa managed by former manager Paul Lambert. Gabriel Agbonlahor scored both Villa goals to sandwich a penalty from Grant Holt.
Newcastle remain in trouble too after a 0-0 draw at West Ham. Papiss Cisse came closest to breaking the deadlock when he had a first-half effort cleared off the line by Winston Reid.
Already-relegated Reading won 4-2 at Fulham, providing ex-Southampton manager Nigel Adkins with his first win in charge.
Edin Dzeko and David Silva both wasted open-goal chances as FA Cup Finalists Manchester City drew 0-0 to League Cup holders Swansea. Michael Laudrup’s team are without a win in seven games.
** Hull will follow Cardiff up into the Premier League after goals from Nick Proschwitz and Paul McShane drawing 2-2 with the new second division champions on a tense final day of the Championship.
But Hull had to wait to learn that pursuers Watford had lost 2-1 at home to Leeds in a game delayed by 16 minutes in the first half by an injury to goalkeeper Jonathan Bond.
Watford enter the play-offs with Brighton, Leicester City and ??.
At the other end, Peterborough were relegated after losing 3-2 at Crystal Palace and Wolves also went down following a 2-0 defeat at Brighton. Bristol City were already doomed.