Liverpool beat Bolton 2-0 today to close to within a point of Tottenham in the contest for a top-four Premier League finish.
Dirk Kuyt's third goal in three matches and an own goal by Kevin Davies increased the pressure on Tottenham, which stayed in fourth place despite conceding a 90th-minute equalizer to draw 1-1 at Birmingham.
With Manchester City not in action until Sunday, when Arsenal host Manchester United in the biggest game of the weekend, Aston Villa moved up to sixth place with a 2-0 win at Fulham.
Kuyt put Liverpool ahead in the 37th minute, bundling the ball in from close range following a header by Alberto Aquilani, before Emiliano Insua's long-range shot was deflected past Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen by Davies.
Liverpool moved to 41 points after winning its past three home matches.
Tottenham missed second-half chances by Peter Crouch and Tom Huddlestone before Jermain Defoe hit his 17th goal of the season in the 68th minute. Fullback Gareth Bale crossed to Crouch, who headed on for Defoe to score from close range.
Tottenham looked set to win until Birmingham defender Liam Ridgewell scored with a left-foot shot from the edge of the six-yard box.
Liverpool has finished in the top four each of the past four seasons, while Spurs' best ever Premier League finish was fifth place in 2006 and '07.
Gabriel Agbonlahor scored both Villa's goals in the first half at Fulham, which has not won a league match since beating Manchester United 3-0 six weeks ago.
Villa has 40 points. Manchester City has 38 but it will have played two fewer games than Tottenham and Liverpool even after playing last-place Portsmouth on Sunday.
Manchester United has 50 points in second place, one more than third-place Arsenal.
Also today, Everton won 1-0 at Wigan, Wolverhampton Wanderers equalized twice to draw 2-2 at Hull, and Blackburn moved into the top half with a 0-0 draw at West Ham.Reuse content