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With Arsenals victory over Spurs Everton have clinched a trip to Europe.

Toffees Are Back In Europe
Tue 26 Apr, 12:09 PM

Everton are officially back in European competition for the first time since 1995 - and the first time via their league position for 25 years.

Arsenal's victory over Tottenham on Monday night stopped Chelsea being crowned champions without kicking a ball, so the only club to really benefit from the result was Everton.

Spurs' defeat means Everton now cannot finish below seventh place, and that means UEFA Cup qualification has been assured.

Everton boss David Moyes, 42 on Monday, could hardly have had a better birthday present.

He said: "The players have done everything they can, we are really pleased with the way the season has gone here and we are optimistic that we can finish on an even more positive note."

If Everton win two of their final four games they will clinch fourth spot and ensure a first ever qualification for the Champions League.

Spurs' failure to get a result at Highbury means the highest number of points they can accumulate this season is 57, one short of the Toffees' current total.

That means that Bolton, Liverpool and Middlesbrough are the only teams who can overtake them.

Everton last qualified for Europe following the 1995 FA Cup success over Manchester United and were previously involved in the European competition in 1985 when they clinched the European Cup Winners Cup in Rotterdam.

But the ban on English teams in Europe in the late 1980s ensured that the club were not eligible for qualification after the title successes of 1985 and 1987 - plus the second place 1986 finish and the fourth place of 1988.

Therefore 1979-80 was the last time Everton qualified for Europe through their league standing after Gordon Lee's side secured a fourth-placed position in the old First Division table the previous season.

The team who were tipped as relegation fodder by pundits at the beginning of the season have responded to their critics in spectacular style.

But Moyes is now aiming for that fourth spot, with a four-point lead and a game in hand over neighbours Liverpool.

The manager added: "Considering what people were saying about us at the beginning of the season, this is a magnificent effort by the lads.

"The critics were predicting that we would be relegated after we lost on the first day to Arsenal, so to get any sort of European qualification is a tremendous achievement.

"It is fantastic that we are still there at this stage of the season, most teams only have three games left but we have four and it underlines what a fantastic season it has been for Everton that we still occupy a top-four position."


Moyes' lauded predecessor Howard Kendall believes Everton deserve a Champions League place because of the difficulties they have overcome in holding on to fourth place behind the big three of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.

"Anyone who is talking as an Evertonian," he said, "if Everton finish fourth, we deserve to be in there.

"Everyone was tipping us for relegation with the sale of Wayne Rooney and I think they've done a magnificent job and I think they deserve to go into the Champions League."
 

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:yawn: :yawn:
 

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go to sleep if you're that tired AC ;)
Great news for the team, its no more than what we deserve, abd at least we can concentrate on targeting the CL now that the minimum target is sorted out.
 
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