Can Tottenham catch Chelsea in the race for Champions League qualification?

Tottenham Hotspur prevailed 2-0 over defending champions Manchester City on Sunday to move to within four points of 4th place Chelsea.

Debutant Steven Bergwijn broke the deadlock on 61 minutes and Son Heung-Min sealed the three points 10 minutes later.

Spurs leapfrogged Sheffield United and Manchester United respectively to move into 5th place. They’ve also recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since mid-December.

Mourinho has added Steven Bergwijn, Gedson Fernandes and Giovani Lo Celso to his squad during the January transfer window.

The arrival of Bergwijn enables Mourinho to deploy either Lucas Moura or Son as the sole striker, which fills the void left by Harry Kane.

Kane is expected to return to training in April but their performance against Man City suggests others are capable of performing in his absence.

An Important Month in the Race for Champions League Qualification

Chelsea face a decisive week when the host Man United and Tottenham on 17 February and 22 February respectively.

Tottenham visit relegation candidates Aston Villa after the winter break and three points could potentially take them within one point of Chelsea ahead of their visit to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have been extremely inconsistent of late and it’s a prime time for Spurs to capitalize on their incompetence.

Chelsea have won just one of their five league fixtures since the turn of the year and have recorded just 4 wins in their last 13 in the Premier League.

Man United are also struggling to maintain their form since the turn of the year. They’ve failed to score in three successive league matches for the first time since October 2016 and have also won just one of their opening five matches of the calendar year.

The competition posed by Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers must also be acknowledged. Both clubs have been dark horses in the race for European qualification and have successfully maintained their form to compete with the likes of Chelsea, Spurs and Man United.

Can the Mourinho Effect Inspire Spurs to a Top 4 Finish?

Mourinho has instilled a disciplined mentality into the team and has also shored up Spurs as a defensive unit.

The return of Hugo Lloris from injury has also improved their defence. He made a crucial save to thwart Raheem Sterling from the spot on Sunday and his vocal leadership skills breed confidence amongst the rest of the defence.

His introduction of academy graduate Japeth Tanganga has also filled the void left by Ben Davies. The Welshman has been out since Mourinho’s opening match against West Ham in November.

Jan Vertonghen, Ryan Sessegnon and Danny Rose (who has been sent to Newcastle on loan) all played at left-back at different periods.

However, Tanganga has started three of their last four matches at left-back and is flourishing in the spotlight. The England Under-20 international has been sensational since making his debut in a 0-0 draw against Watford on 18 January and he could stake a claim for a regular starting place if he maintains his remarkable form.

Its going to be an important month for Tottenham and their results against Aston Villa and Chelsea could set the tone for the remainder of the season. Mourinho will need to ensure his team avoid complacency and continue their consistent form during the final third of the campaign.

Can they qualify for the Champions League? Of course. Mourinho has reinvigorated the squad and improved performances of certain individuals, especially Davinson Sanchez, Lo Celso and Dele Alli. Meanwhile, Chelsea and Man United have regressed somewhat in recent months and this could prove costly come the end of the season.

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