Tottenham Hotspur boss Andre Villas-Boas has admitted that their sequence of three defeats in the space of eight days has brought Arsenal back into the top-four race.
The north London club suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of Fulham at White Hart Lane forcing them to relinquish their hold at the third spot.
Chelsea’s 2-0 win over West Ham United allowed them to leapfrog the Spurs to the third place. Arsenal edged Swansea 2-0 on Saturday which means that Arsene Wenger’s men are now right at the Spurs heel, trailing them by just four points having played a game less.
Earlier, Tottenham were beaten 3-2 by Liverpool at Anfield and were bludgeoned 4-1 in a Europa League match against Inter Milan although they managed to squeeze into the next round on the away goal rule.
A couple of weeks ago the Spurs were in a pole position to finish ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea, but Villas Boas now admits that their poor recent form has allowed their rivals to gain ground on them.
The 35-year-old manager opined that their 1-0 defeat on Sunday had brought Arsenal back in the top-four battle, and called upon his side to quickly tighten the screws.
Villas-Boas said: “Merit to them [Arsenal] for getting back into it. We couldn't get the result that we wanted at Liverpool, but we had an excellent performance, now the situation has shifted and they are in with a chance.
“We just have to continue. Now it has shifted in two weekends, the situation has become different.
“Arsenal are still competing, with Chelsea getting the result today and going back to third place.
“Obviously we have the game against [Chelsea] that will hopefully enable us to get back to third or bring Man City a little bit closer to us, but it is extremely difficult.
“We have to gather the most amount of points from these next games."
Tottenham’s recent slump will force many into drawing comparisons between the team’s current season with the previous one.
Last term, Spurs enjoyed a huge lead over Arsenal before a series of dismal results in the closing stages allowed their local rivals to finish ahead of them in the table.
And AVB revealed that he was wary of history repeating itself: “It's been a difficult month for us. If we are able to find our form, our confidence, our wins, then we can invert that cycle that happens normally with Spurs.
“You can't hide from what has happened previously with Spurs. You just have another opportunity to fight."
Tottenham face testing fixtures in April, taking on Everton and Manchester City at home and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
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