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Premier League review: No wins for Spurs or Villa leaves top-four battle wide open

With the FA Cup catching plenty of attention this weekend, the focus in the Premier League was on both the race for the top four and the relegation battle - and no team was able to make a significant move.

Tottenham had wrestled control for a top-four finish after thrashing Aston Villa 4-0 last weekend but put in a lacklustre performance in a 3-0 defeat at Fulham on Saturday to offer Unai Emery's side the chance to almost immediately regain it.

However, the Villans were unable to fully capitalise as they were held to a 1-1 draw at West Ham on Sunday and perhaps the biggest winners were Manchester United, who weren't even playing.

Down at the bottom, Burnley at least kept their survival hopes going with a much-needed win, but Nottingham Forest were unable to pull clear of Luton below them, pegged back late on in a 1-1 draw which might have served other sides down there a greater service.

Premier League

Spurs fail to follow-up Villa thrashing

Tottenham took the initiative in the race for the top four last weekend in fine style when they thumped Aston Villa 4-0 at Villa Park to move within two points of Unai Emery's men, with a game in hand.

However, they were arguably equally as bad against Fulham as they were good against the Villans, and meekly surrendered that advantage back to the current fourth-placed side with their performance at Craven Cottage - described as "unacceptable" by captain Heung-min Son.

Fulham looked the brighter throughout, taking the lead shortly before half-time with Rodrigo Muniz collecting Antonee Robinson's cross before rifling across Guglielmo Vicario inside the far post.

If a reaction was expected in the second half, it never came. Sasa Lukic scored his first goal for the Cottagers just four minutes after the restart, diverting Timothy Castagne's cross home with his knee as Spurs failed to cope with Fulham's aggression.

Rodrigo made it seven goals in his last seven games when he bundled home his second just after the hour to seal the win, not that it was ever in doubt, with Joao Palhinha also seeing a goal chalked off by VAR. Fulham are now 10/3 To Finish in Top Half.

Substitute Timo Werner contrived to miss from two yards out in what was Spurs best chance but this will be a game that Ange Postecoglou's men will hope was just a bad day at the office.

Villa fortunate in West Ham stalemate

Aston Villa thrashed Ajax 4-0 on Thursday to exorcise some demons after last weekend's drubbing at the hands of Spurs but they started sluggishly at West Ham - 5-0 winners over Freiburg in midweek - and were nearly made to pay.

Michail Antonio scored his first Premier League goal since August to give the Hammers the lead with a diving header in the 29th minute, and was denied a second shortly after the restart as VAR ruled that he had used his arm to control Jarrod Bowen's cross.

Villa were much better in the second half but needed substitute Nicolo Zaniolo to get them back on terms, converting Moussa Diaby's cutback in the 79th minute.

However, another VAR decision will garner much of the attention as West Ham will feel aggrieved they were denied a last-gasp winner by a review that took an eternity, eventually coming to the conclusion that there was a handball from Tomas Soucek as he got on the end of James Ward-Prowse's free-kick.

The point for Villa means they now have a three-point cushion over Spurs in fifth, having played a game more, with the West Midlands' giants having just a one-goal advantage in both goal difference and goals scored.

Spurs are 5/6 for a top-four finish with Villa 1/1, while Man United are available at 9/1, lying nine points behind fourth place with a game in hand.

Burnley keep slim hopes alive

Burnley bounced back from surrendering a two-goal lead last weekend to end a 10-game winless run in the Premier League with a nervy 2-1 success over Brentford at Turf Moor.

Jacob Bruun Larsen's penalty gave them a 10th minute lead, with VAR not only awarding the spot-kick, eventually, but also adjudging Sergio Reguilon to have committed a professional foul to see the visitors suffer an early red card.

The Clarets endured some nervy moments but Premier League debutant, Arijanet Muric - preferred in place of James Trafford, prevented a terrible Dara O'Shea backpass from crossing the line before denying Ivan Toney's follow-up.

David Datro Fofana should have made it 2-0 before the break but horribly miscued an open-goal chance with Mark Flekken nowhere. However, the Ivorian made amends just after the hour with a cool finish that gave the Clarets a little breathing room.

Vincent Kompany's side missed further chances to make sure of the points and had to endure a nervy finish when Kristoffer Ajer halved the deficit in the 83rd minute with a header that gave Muric no chance.

Brentford - who felt they should also have had a penalty themselves when the score was 1-0 - had the ball in the back of the net in the dying embers of the contest, but saw it ruled out by Toney's foul on the keeper.

After just their second home win of the season, Burnley are now eight points from safety with nine games to go, while Brentford's 14th defeat in 18 league games leaves them just four points above the relegation zone.

Last-gasp Hatters deny Forest

Nottingham Forest may have ended a three-game losing streak in the Premier League but this will feel like a big opportunity missed to have put some daylight between themselves and relegation trouble as they drew 1-1 at Luton.

The Hatters had started brightly with Ross Barkley clipping the woodwork with a shot from the edge of the box, before Forest took control, Divock Origi seeing two efforts cleared off the line before Chris Wood stretched to volley home Morgan Gibbs-White's cross to put the visitors in front in the 34th minute.

Other chances came and went before Luton started to apply the pressure late in the second half, which didn't really amount to too many chances until Luke Berry swept home his first Premier League goal from a corner with a minute to go, meaning he has scored in all four professional divisions for the club, to help Luton rescue a draw.

The point means Forest stay in 17th place, just three points clear of Luton in 18th, going into what could be a massive week for the Tricky Trees as they are set to discover the result of their profit and sustainability charge.

While Burnley are still expected to go down at 1/12, Luton are priced at 1/2 for the drop, while Forest are now 9/4.

Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.

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