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AVB: Gunners in 'negative spiral'

Andre Villas-Boas believes Tottenham have helped send Arsenal into a "negative spiral" following their 2-1 victory in the north London derby.

• Fitch: Below-par Tottenham too good for Arsenal

Villas-Boas remained cautiously optimistic after the victory, which moved Spurs back above Chelsea in third place on the Premier League table. First-half goals from Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon earned the win, with Villas-Boas gaining in confidence about his side's chances of finishing above the Gunners for a Champions League berth.

"Obviously it doesn't mean nothing because last year when Arsenal won to shorten the gap to seven points it felt that everything was too possible for Tottenham's qualification and it shifted very, very quickly, so it is not a big margin yet for us to be completely safe.

"What we think is it can have a direct effect on their motivation - on ours too, obviously. But particularly on them because the difference from last year is we are on an upward spiral in terms of confidence and they are in a negative spiral in terms of results - and to be out of that negative spiral is extremely difficult.

"We have to believe that we still have to fight hard. Arsenal have to play Man City, we have to play Liverpool (next weekend). We to try to profit from another important fixture and keep doing our job. It is important we gather as many points as we can to finish where we want to be," he told Sky Sports.

Skipper Michael Dawson says the win could prove to be "massive" in Spurs' push for a spot in next season's Champions League.

"It's massive to go seven points clear, in a north London derby, to get three points is massive but we have a long way to go, but it is a good day,'' Dawson said on Sky Sports.

"We have a great squad and we showed that today. It probably wasn't our best performance. We didn't keep the ball like we know we can but showed great determination and we got the three points we deserved.

"We want to be back in the Champions League. I think we showed that in the celebrations after. The fans will go home happy and have the bragging rights at work tomorrow.''

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