By Paul Erewuba
The English Premier League (EPL) and indeed, other leagues of the world are cruising to an end with teams rushing for goals to shore up their points so as to either escape relegation or at least, hold tight to their leadership positions.
In the La Liga, last Sunday, Lionel Messi and Barcelona ripped the heart out of Ronaldo and Real Madrid’s chest with a 92nd minute goal in the dying seconds of one of the greatest El Clasico matches in recent memory.
As a result of the mercurial performance by Messi, who scored two goals, Barcelona picked up three crucial points to set the top of the Spanish league table on fire.
With the win, Barcelona took possession of first place. If the season were to end last Sunday, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid would all qualify for the Champions League.
It would take a miracle run by Atletico Madrid and an epic collapse by the top two teams for Diego Simeone’s men to win the title. Right now, it’s a two-horse race heading into the final stretch of the season.
In the EPL, with four games remaining, Chelsea have the look of champions again as they maintain their points advantage at the top of the Premier League, but Tottenham Hotspur will not give up the chase. And Chelsea manager Antonio Conte knows it is not uhuru yet.
“When you have opponents that are in good form it is important you win all your matches.
“There are four games to go and in England it is not easy, there is a lot of pressure. It’s normal to have a good pressure,” Conte noted.
Last Saturday, Tottenham chalked up a sixth successive victory with Dele Alli scoring a superb goal – his 16th of the season in the league – and Eric Dier doubling the lead before Son’s brace.
Indeed, Spurs will be hoping Chelsea’s next opponents can do them a favour by beating the Blues.
Tottenham choked away their chance last season as they led the pack only to falter at the crucial moment.
But with four games to go, it seems only Tottenham can prevent Chelsea finishing as champions.
They are now Chelsea’s main rival for the Premier League title, and sit in second spot.
Tottenham Hotspur boss, Mauricio Pochettino has stylishly conceded the Premier League title to London rivals, Chelsea this season.
The Argentine tactician has admitted he is “not sure” about the Lillywhites catching the Blues in the title race.
But it is possible Spurs see Chelsea increase their points again. And that could actually be the situation by the time they clash with Everton tomorrow at Goodison Park.
Despite Tottenham’s close chase, the title is still very much in the Blues’ hands.
And Pochettino has admitted that Spurs may have to settle for the consolation of a top-four finish in the end.
“In the Premier League, if it is not possible to catch Chelsea, it is about being in the top four.”
“We are not sure we can catch Chelsea because we do know that the league title is up to them,” he stated.
Liverpool are third but are far from catching leaders, Chelsea.
But former Liverpool striker John Barnes believes his old club is capable of beating Chelsea to the Premier League title, despite the points difference.
However, bookmakers as well as football pundits have chided Barnes, accusing him of being sentimental. They are of the opinion that it will be impossible for Chelsea to lose their next four matches. And Spurs win all their matches.
All believe that Chelsea’s destiny is in their hands, unless the unexpected happens.