LONDON (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham United on Friday leaves them facing an impossible task to win the Premier league title, according to midfielder Eric Dier.
Dier and his team mates looked crestfallen after the final whistle at the London Stadium where Manuel Lanzini’s 65th-minute goal for the hosts left Tottenham’s hopes of overhauling Chelsea hanging by the slenderest of threads.
Had they won for a 10th match in a row they would have moved a point behind Chelsea with three games left.
As it stands Chelsea could wrap up the title with wins against Middlesbrough and West Bromwich Albion before Tottenham are next in action against Manchester United in their final home game at White Hart Lane on May 14.
”It was already going to be hard and now it’s even harder,“ Dier said. ”It’s disappointing. We were on a fantastic run.
”They made it very hard for us, they played very deep and we didn’t create enough chances.
“We managed to bring (the gap) back to four points but after today, it’s nearly impossible, but we will give it everything for the last three games.”
Tottenham’s despair was in stark contrast to West Ham who not only put a huge dent in their local rivals’ hopes of a first title since 1961, but also guaranteed their own safety.
It should also take the heat off of manager Slaven Bilic whose position has come under pressure this season despite steering West Ham to seventh last year.
The switch away from Upton Park to the colossal and less atmospheric London Stadium has contributed to West Ham’s woes this year but the place was rocking on Friday -- reviving memories of Britain’s magical London 2012 Olympics feats.
“What a game to be safe in. I said beforehand we needed to be 100 percent and that’s what we got,” skipper Mark Noble said.
”Spurs are a top team, I think they’ll be the team to beat in a few years. But we were magnificent tonight.
”Now we’re safe, if we get some more points we can finish only one or two places below where we were last year.
“Slaven Bilic has my full backing. He’s a great man.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar