Brighton finished a difficult week on a stylish high by thrashing Wolverhampton 6-0 in the Premier League on Saturday to revive its hopes of qualifying for a European competition next season.
Deniz Undav, Danny Welbeck and Pascal Gross all scored twice as Brighton shrugged off a penalty-shootout loss to Manchester United in the FA Cup semifinals at Wembley Stadium last weekend and another defeat on Wednesday at Nottingham Forest in the league.
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Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi made five changes — including resting star midfielders Moises Caicedo, Kaoru Mitoma and World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister — after his team’s tired-looking display at Forest and the injection of freshness paid off.
Brighton stayed in eighth place but moved two points behind Tottenham in fifth, and has two games in hand. Finishing fifth or sixth would secure a Europa League qualification place.
Wolves had won three of their last four games, all without conceding, to go a long way to securing their top-flight safety and looked like it might have eased off subconsciously.
Brighton capitalized, going ahead in the sixth minute when Undav tapped in from Welbeck’s flick for his first league goal in England.
Gross ran through and converted a pass from Julio Enciso with a first-time finish in the 13th and scored his second with the goal of the game in the 26th, teeing up the ball himself and smashing home a swerving volley from the edge of the area.
Welbeck headed in a cross from Pervis Estupinan to make it 4-0 in the 39th and the former England striker curled in from the edge of the area in the 48th after Wolves’ defence failed to clear.
There was an exodus among the away contingent at Amex Stadium after the sixth goal in the 66th, as Matheus Nunes lost possession on edge of the area and Undav chipped stranded goalkeeper Jose Sa.
Crystal Palace Beat West Ham
With yet another victory, Roy Hodgson has surely completed his short-term mission of securing Crystal Palace’s Premier League status for another season.
Palace beat West Ham 4-3 in an end-to-end game at Selhurst Park on Saturday to move to 40 points, the number long associated with being the safety mark in England’s top flight.
That should be more than enough to guarantee Palace’s survival, with the team now 11 points above the relegation zone.
Since the 75-year-old Hodgson came in as interim manager until the end of the season, Palace has won four of its six league matches, losing only once. Before his arrival for a second stint in charge of the team, Palace had gone 13 matches without a win in all competitions.
Palace recovered from going behind to Tomas Soucek’s ninth-minute opener by scoring three goals in a 15-minute span by the 30th, through Jordan Ayew, Wilfried Zaha and Jeffrey Schlupp.
Michail Antonio reduced the deficit in the 35th before Eberechi Eze stroked home a penalty, after he was pulled back by Nayef Aguerd, in the 66th to restore Palace’s two-goal cushion.
Aguerd made amends by bundling in West Ham’s third goal — all of which came from corners — in the 72nd but Palace held on for the win.
West Ham stayed five points above the relegation zone with five games left.
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Brentford defeat Nottingham Forest
Late goals from Ivan Toney and Josh Dasilva saw Brentford come from behind to beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 and condemn the relegation-threatened visitors to another English Premier League defeat on the road on Saturday.
Forest led through birthday boy Danilo, who celebrated turning 22 with a goal in first-half stoppage time.
Toney equalized with a free kick in the 82nd, taking his league tally to 20.
And, with Forest down to 10 men after Danilo went off injured, substitute Dasilva curled a shot inside the near post in the fourth minute of stoppage time to send Forest spinning to a seventh straight away defeat.
Forest stayed a point and a place above the bottom three, while ninth-placed Brentford kept alive its slim hopes of qualification for a European competition.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)