Premier League: Chelsea Beat Brighton To Boost European Hopes

(MENAFN- IANS) Brighton (UK), May 16 (IANS) Chelsea maintained their European charge as they moved up to sixth in the Premier League table with a 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

The win means Chelsea head into their final game of the season at home to Bournemouth on Sunday knowing victory would guarantee us European football next season.

Cole Palmer's 22nd Premier League goal of the season and his 27th in all competitions, plus a second from Christopher Nkunku helped the Blues move sixth, three points above Newcastle United and Manchester United in seventh and eight respectively.

The game's opening goal arrived just after the half-hour mark when Palmer stooped low to head Cucurella's cross from the left beyond the diving Verbruggen and into the far, top corner. Chelsea might have had a second had it not been for an impressive block from Lewis Dunk as a slick move down the right saw Palmer side-foot Gusto's low cross goalwards, only to be stopped by the England defender, Chelsea website reports.

Chelsea thought the second had arrived in injury time when Benoit Badiashile crossed expertly to the far post and the ball was nodded in from close range by Jackson, but the forward had just strayed into an offside position.

With nine minutes of injury-time, there was still time for Jackson to go close once more before the break when he toe-poked Palmer's low cross over the bar. But the first-half action wasn't finished there, as another dangerous cross from Lamptey on the right picked out the head of Joao Pedro and he rattled the crossbar.

The game's next goal came in the 64th minute when Gusto drove inside the penalty area and pulled the ball across the box for Nkunku to direct the ball past Verbruggen.

Brighton piled on the pressure from there and Simon Adingra struck a post on the volley before a low cross from the left by Joao Pedro was poked home at the near post by Danny Welbeck.



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