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Burnley on the brink of European football while Saints earn seismic win in relegation battle

Sean Dyche’s side can secure a Europa League spot next weekend, while Dusan Tadic inspired Southampton to a vital win.

It was a vital point for Burnley and Brighton at Turf Moor on Saturday.
It was a vital point for Burnley and Brighton at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Image: Jan Kruger

Burnley 0

Brighton 0

BRIGHTON AND HOVE Albion took another step towards securing their place in the Premier League with a battling 0-0 draw at European hopefuls Burnley on Saturday.

Chris Hughton’s men are five points above the relegation zone with three games to play, although Southampton’s defeat of Bournemouth means they cannot yet be sure of survival.

Chances were hard to find in a low-quality game at Turf Moor, with goalkeepers Mat Ryan and Nick Pope having little to do in a cagey clash.

Burnley had two penalty appeals for handball rejected in the first half, with Sean Dyche’s men still yet to be awarded a spot-kick in the Premier League this season.

Chris Wood’s injury blunted the Burnley attack after the break, while a Pascal Gross shot that Pope dealt with easily was the closest Brighton came to a winner.

The draw extends Burnley’s wait for a win to three Premier League games, but they are almost certain to finish seventh in the table – qualifying for the Europa League – as they have a six-point lead from Everton and a far superior goal difference.

Crystal Palace 5

Leicester City 0

A Wilfried Zaha-inspired Crystal Palace all but confirmed their Premier League survival with a comfortable 5-0 win over Leicester City at Selhurst Park.

The Ivory Coast international was once again in imperious form to move the Eagles six points above the relegation zone and within touching distance of safety.

The 25-year-old has endured a difficult week after being booked for diving during last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Watford, but will make headlines now for the right reasons after a dazzling display.

Crystal Palace v Leicester City - Premier League Wilfried Zaha celebrates opening the scoring. Source: Michael Regan

In a first half that was played at breakneck speed, Zaha kept his cool to emphatically finish a flowing team move after 17 minutes.

He was denied a second by Ben Hamer soon after, but turned provider for James McArthur in the 38th minute as Roy Hodgson’s side scored the second their dominance deserved.

Marc Albrighton took drastic action to prevent Zaha netting a third shortly after the restart, hauling him down when clean through on goal, resulting in a red card on a miserable afternoon for Claude Puel’s side.

Leicester, who are without a win in four games, fell apart in the closing stages, allowing Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Patrick van Aanholt to add gloss to the scoreline, before a rare Christian Benteke goal completed the thrashing from the penalty spot.

Huddersfield Town 0

Everton 2

Huddersfield Town were sucked right back into the Premier League relegation battle after they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at home to Everton.

Cenk Tosun’s first-half goal put Everton on course for a second successive victory and Idrissa Gueye scored in the second half to wrap up a win that extends their unbeaten streak to four games.

Huddersfield Town v Everton - Premier League Source: Gareth Copley

Fortunately for Sam Allardyce’s men, Huddersfield struggled to cope with the pressure of needing three points to all but secure their place in the division next season, defending nervously and failing to capitalise on the few clear-cut chances they created.

Tosun’s goal arrived courtesy of an incisive run from the tireless Theo Walcott, but the Turkey forward still had plenty of work to do to score and his finish showed class under pressure, while Gueye had an easier task and scored with aplomb.

Newcastle United 0

West Brom 1

West Brom kept their slim survival hopes alive as Matt Phillips scored only his second Premier League goal of the season to secure a 1-0 victory at Newcastle United.

The Baggies knew only three points on Saturday would be enough to save them from their 10th relegation from the top-flight and caretaker boss Darren Moore got exactly what he wanted, keeping his unbeaten run in charge of the Baggies intact.

Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Matt Phillips' strike was the difference against Newcastle. Source: Ian MacNicol

Jake Livermore combined superbly with Phillips for the game’s only goal, the former floating a pass across the defence that allowed the Scotland international to smash a fine finish past on-loan home goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

Newcastle had chances to equalise, Kenedy hitting the post and Ben Foster’s heroics preventing Dwight Gayle from heading home in the dying moments of the first half.

The win leaves West Brom – who beat Manchester United and drew with Liverpool in their previous two games – five points adrift of safety, with two matches still to play against Tottenham and Crystal Palace, and relegation to the second tier still looks likely.

Southampton 2

Bournemouth 1

Dusan Tadic scored a potentially priceless brace as Southampton moved to within one point of safety with a crucial 2-1 win over out-of-form Bournemouth at St Mary’s.

The Serbia international made the visitors pay for a pair of defensive errors either side of half-time to snap an eight-game winless run in the Premier League, in the process securing a vital first home victory since November.

They are now within touching distance of 17th-placed Swansea City, who face a difficult home clash with Chelsea – the team that knocked Saints out of the FA Cup semi-finals – later on Saturday.

Southampton v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League Dusan Tadic scored a brace for Southampton. Source: Mike Hewitt

Southampton boss Mark Hughes had billed the visit of an out-of-sorts Bournemouth side as essential to making his side’s remaining games “significant” and they can now look forward to the final three fixtures with some hope of escaping the bottom three.

Tadic made the key breakthrough by capping off a swift counter-attack in the 25th minute and, after Josh King punished some sloppy marking to restore parity on the stroke of half-time, the 29-year-old popped up again to net the winner in the 54th minute.

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