Sports

EPL: Brighton close to safety after beating Leeds

*Man City beat Palace, could win title this weekend

Brighton moved within touching distance of Premier League safety for another season as Graham Potter’s hosts opened a 10-point gap to the relegation places with victory over Leeds United.
With four games to play, the Seagulls – looking to secure a fifth successive season in the top flight – climbed three places to 14th and have a significant margin to 18th-placed Fulham, who face Chelsea later.
The hosts were rewarded for a positive start at Amex Stadium when Pascal Gross expertly found the bottom corner with a 14th-minute penalty, awarded following Ezgjan Alioski’s clumsy foul on Danny Welbeck.
Potter’s side squandered several chances to extend their advantage, but Welbeck eventually sealed an important victory 11 minutes from time with a composed finish after a sharp turn.
Leeds, missing midfield rock Kalvin Phillips, initially responded to falling behind, but Jack Harrison’s whipped shot was caught comfortably by Robert Sanchez and Dan Burn bravely blocked a thunderous Tyler Roberts strike from the visitors’ best first-half chances.
Brighton’s forward trio of Welbeck, Leandro Trossard and Neal Maupay were all guilty of wasting opportunities – but Stuart Dallas’ dipping first-time attempt with 15 minutes remaining was as close as Marcelo Bielsa’s below-par side came to an equaliser.
And Manchester City could clinch the Premier League title on Sunday after two goals in the space of 83 seconds saw off a stubborn Crystal Palace.
City will secure a third title in four seasons if second-placed Manchester United lose at home to Liverpool, reports the BBC.
After a scrappy first half at Selhurst Park, Sergio Aguero thumped City ahead with a clinical finish before Ferran Torres drilled in a low shot.
That ended the resistance of Palace, who stay in 13th place.
Roy Hodgson’s side had chances in the first half through Christian Benteke, who flicked a header wide and had a close-range shot blocked by City keeper Ederson.
But once City made their breakthrough when Aguero smashed high into the net, quickly followed by Torres’ neat finish, the result was not in doubt.
Now it is a question of when, not if, Guardiola’s side will be crowned champions once again after relinquishing the crown to Liverpool last season.
Aguero inspires City once again
Not for the first time, but perhaps the last, Aguero provided the inspiration for City as they close in on another trophy.
While he might no longer be deemed by Guardiola as a key starter in City’s biggest games, there was a sense of inevitability that Aguero would still have a significant impact in their chase for the Treble as his iconic spell at the club comes towards an end.
The 32-year-old Argentine will leave when his contract expires at the end of the season after playing such a pivotal role in their success since arriving in 2011.
It therefore seemed poignant that he scored the goal which could all but clinch another league title.
RESULTS
Palace 0 – 2 Man City
Brighton 2 – 0 Leeds

 

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