[AMERICANS ABROAD] A 2-2 tie at Chelsea on Wednesday leaves U.S. forward Clint Dempsey and his Tottenham teammates still needing help if they are to play in the Champions League next season.
The result leaves Spurs fifth, one place shy of qualification, behind Chelsea (third) and Arsenal (fourth) with two games to play. Dempsey replaced Lewis Holtby in the 70th minute of a game in which Spurs fell behind twice before rallying with goals by Emmanuel Adebayor and Gylfi Sigurdsson.
“Obviously with a point we don't depend on ourselves any more, someone else will have to drop points,” said Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas, who returned to Stamford Bridge for the first time since Chelsea dismissed him as its manager 14 months ago.
The main beneficiary of the result is Arsenal, which leads Tottenham by a point and can freeze Spurs out of any Champions League contention by winning its last two games against Wigan and Newcastle. Spurs trails Chelsea by three points and has an inferior goal difference of 18, which would be used as a tiebreaker if teams finish the season with equal points.
Holtby set up Adebayor’s goal by plucking the ball away from Ramires and teeing it up for Adebayor, who struck a searing blast into the top corner. Dempsey’s appearance was his 26th of the season and sixth as a substitute: he has scored six goals and made three assists. The tie preserves Spurs' long winless run at Stamford Bridge, where Tottenham hasn't won a league match since 1990.
Manchester United (85 points) has clinched the title and Chelsea (69 points) has a very slim chance of pipping Manchester City (75 points) for second place. Arsenal has 67 points and a goal difference of 31, which gives Spurs (66 points) hope it can get enough points in its final two games: at Stoke City and home against Sunderland.
“We showed our fighting spirit again,” said Tottenham captain Michael Dawson. “We gave them an early leg up and that was disappointing. But we showed the character and the ability we've got. Top four is out of our hands again. Hopefully someone does us a favor when they play Arsenal.”