Everton kept alive their hopes of Premier League survival by shocking Chelsea 1-0 on Sunday, as Arsenal maintained their two-point lead over Tottenham in the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Arsenal were 2-1 winners at West Ham to move back above Spurs, who earlier beat Leicester 3-1 thanks to a Son Heung-min double.
The only goal arrived just a minute into the second half when Richarlison pressured Cesar Azpilicueta into losing possession and the Brazilian forward finished coolly from Demarai Gray’s pass.
The England goalkeeper also denied Antonio Rudiger at point-blank range and kept out Matteo Kovacic in a nervy seven minutes of stoppage time.
But he was delighted with the passion shown by his players and the supporters.
“They know that and understand it. They got behind us, were nicely aggressive — this place has to be a hard place to come.”
The Blues’ lead over Tottenham is down to five points, but Thomas Tuchel’s men have a comfortable run-in on paper.
Arsenal’s centre-backs got the job done to keep the Gunners on course to end a five-year absence from the Champions League.
West Ham had one eye on the second leg of their Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt in midweek, but David Moyes named a strong side and was rewarded with an equaliser before half-time from Jarrod Bowen.
But they were undone at the back from another corner as this time Gabriel Magalhaes turned in Gabriel Martinelli’s cross.
Harry Kane powered home a header from Son’s corner midway through the first half and Son doubled the lead on the hour mark after a pass from substitute Dejan Kulusevski.
“No-one could have imagined when I arrived in November we could be in this race still, but these players are deserving to fight for such an important place,” Conte told the BBC.
The battle for fourth could come down to a north London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal on May 12.
Originally published as Everton earn priceless win, Arsenal ahead of Spurs in top-four race