Sports

EPL: West Brom relegated after Arsenal defeat 

*Everton dent Hammers’ Champions League hopes
*Man Utd comeback at Villa keeps City waiting on title
*Wolves devour Seagulls

West Bromwich Albion have been relegated from the Premier League for a fifth time after a defeat at Arsenal that keeps alive the Gunners’ slim hopes of qualifying for Europe.
Sam Allardyce’s side were already virtually down but their return to the Championship is now confirmed, with the Baggies sitting 10 points from safety with three games remaining.
Emile Smith Rowe volleyed a smart opener from Bukayo Saka’s cross in the 29th minute after Arsenal had stemmed the visitors’ promising start.
Nicolas Pepe made West Brom’s task even more difficult six minutes later when he cut in from the right and curled into the top corner to double Arsenal’s lead.
Matheus Pereira gave the visitors hope, running from his own half to score a superb individual goal with 23 minutes to go.
But it was not enough to stop West Brom suffering a joint-record fifth Premier League relegation, with Willian adding a late third for Arsenal from a free-kick.
Victory means the Gunners, who were knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday, do at least still have a mathematical chance of playing European football next term.
Meanwhile, Everton reinforced their European credentials with a hard-earned win away to Champions League hopefuls West Ham.
After being fourth in the Premier League at the turn of the year, the Toffees slipped to eighth having won just six of their first 18 league games in 2021.
But Ben Godfrey’s slide-rule pass allowed Dominic Calvert-Lewin to score his 16th league goal of the season in the first half at London Stadium.
And manager Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to play with three centre-backs was justified as his side defended resolutely to secure a second straight away win in London, having also won 1-0 at Arsenal last month.
Everton remain eighth but are now three points behind seventh-placed Tottenham and six behind fifth-placed West Ham – with a game in hand on both.
And Manchester United virtually guaranteed a Premier League top-four finish and ensured rivals Manchester City must wait to be crowned champions as they came from behind to beat Aston Villa at Villa Park.
Having sealed their place in the Europa League final despite a 3-2 second-leg defeat by Roma on Thursday, second-half goals from Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and substitute Edinson Cavani ensured Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side require a single point from their remaining four games to secure a Champions League place, reports the BBC.
A win for Villa would have sealed the title for leaders City – beaten 2-1 by Chelsea on Saturday – and Bertrand Traore’s emphatic finish into the top corner midway through the first half threatened to do just that.
Emiliano Martinez was equal to attempts from Greenwood and Marcus Rashford as United struggled to respond initially, while Dean Henderson kept out Ollie Watkins’ strike to deny Villa a second before half-time.
United levelled shortly after the restart when Fernandes calmly slotted in a penalty after Douglas Luiz needlessly fouled Paul Pogba, and Greenwood completed a four-minute turnaround when his low strike found the bottom corner.
A VAR check for handball against Greenwood was dismissed after Luiz headed the ball onto the arm of the United forward and the visitors successfully resisted late Villa pressure despite the loss of captain Harry Maguire to injury before Cavani confirmed victory in the closing stages.
In a frantic finale, Villa forward Watkins also received a red card for a second booking for simulation when under pressure from goalkeeper Henderson.
United are 10 points behind champions-elect City but will have the chance to move within four points as they face Leicester and Liverpool before the leaders next play.
And in the first game of the day, Manager Nuno Espirito Santo said now is the right time for Wolves to “build and improve players” after his youthful side came back from a goal down to beat 10-man Brighton.
Morgan Gibbs-White, 21, scored a dramatic last-minute winner for the home side, who trailed at the break but benefited from Lewis Dunk’s sending-off early in the second to take control of the game.
Dunk had earlier headed the visitors in front from a corner, but was punished for pulling back Fabio Silva after the forward had darted goal-side of him.
Substitute Adama Traore made a big impact on the game, providing a threat and scoring the equaliser after a one-two in the box with Silva.
Gibbs-White’s first Premier League goal sealed the points for a Wolves side that contained five players under 21 and three teenagers, and which had an average age of just 24 years and 209 days.
To rub salt into Brighton’s wounds, striker Neal Maupay received his side’s second red card of the afternoon after the final whistle following a confrontation with referee Jonathan Moss.
The win takes Wolves to 45 points, with Brighton remaining 10 points ahead of 18th-placed Fulham and needing one more result to go their way to cement their Premier League place for 2021-22.
RESULTS
Wolves 2 – 1 Brighton
Aston Villa 1 – 3 Man Utd
West Ham 0 – 1 Everton
Arsenal 3 – 1 West

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