Man United edges Newcastle to keep alive European qualification hopes

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MANCHESTER, May 16, (AP): Manchester United kept alive its hopes of European qualification through its placing in the Premier League by beating Newcastle 3-2.

A strike by substitute Rasmus Hojlund in the 84th minute proved to be the difference between the teams at Old Trafford as under-pressure Man United manager Erik ten Hag gained a much-needed victory in his team’s last home game of the season.

The hosts joined seventh-place Newcastle on 57 points but have an inferior goal difference. Both clubs are three points behind sixth-place Chelsea, which won 2-1 at Brighton on Wednesday.
The teams finishing in sixth and seventh place should qualify for the Europa League and Europa Conference League, respectively. Man United could also get into the Europa League by winning the FA Cup final against Manchester City on May 25.

Christopher Nkunku inflated a blue balloon and held it between his lips to celebrate his second-half goal in a 2-1 win for Chelsea at Brighton.
The France striker’s 64th-minute strike added to Cole Palmer’s 22nd goal of the campaign in the 34th minute at Amex Stadium as Chelsea claimed its fourth straight victory to boost ambitions of qualifying for European competition next season.

Chelsea moved three points behind fifth-place Tottenham heading into the final round of games in the league on Sunday.
Nkunku, a signature signing from Leipzig in the last offseason, has endured an injury-hit first year at Chelsea and has managed just 10 league appearances, scoring three goals. His latest was a close-range finish from Malo Gusto’s cross.

Palmer, another signing last year, has been Chelsea’s shining light and glanced in a header from Marc Cucurella’s left-wing cross to leave him five goals behind Erling Haaland’s league-leading tally of 27.
Second-half substitute Reece James was shown a straight red card in the 88th – following a VAR review – after he kicked out at Joao Pedro while on the ground.
Danny Welbeck grabbed Brighton’s consolation goal in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

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