Brighton 1-2 Chelsea: The Blues Sit Sixth in the Premier League, Boosting Their Hopes of European Qualification - Latest Global News

Brighton 1-2 Chelsea: The Blues Sit Sixth in the Premier League, Boosting Their Hopes of European Qualification

An in-form Chelsea beat Brighton 2-1 despite Reece James’ late red card, meaning they move up to sixth in the Premier League and push towards European football next season.

Goals from Cole Palmer and Christopher Nkunku had put the visitors in control at the Amex, but it was a nervy finale for Mauricio Pochettino’s men after captain James Joao Pedro tackled and was ruled out following a VAR review with two minutes left in normal time place was placed. However, Brighton were unable to complement Danny Welbeck’s shot from close range seven minutes into stoppage time.

A sixth-place finish will ensure Chelsea Europa League football if Man City win the FA Cup, or a place in the UEFA Conference League if Man Utd beat their rivals at Wembley. There is still hope of taking fifth place from London rivals Tottenham if Spurs make a surprise mistake at Sheffield United on the final day.

But regardless of what happens elsewhere, Chelsea fans will be buoyed by their team’s run of four straight wins, as their traveling fanbase can celebrate two consecutive away wins for the first time in 2024.

There were plenty more talking points on the south coast, with VAR the focus of Premier League clubs just hours after the vote to scrap the system for next season was announced.

VAR Peter Bankes advised referee Michael Salisbury to check the pitchside monitor for James’ apparent sending off and there were further high-profile calls from the referees at Stockley Park in the first half.

Bankes also rightly advised the referee to overturn his decision to give Chelsea a penalty for Facundo Buonanotte’s good tackle on Marc Cucurella – but left Tariq Lamptey off for taking out Mykhailo Mudryk. Bankes said there was no conclusive evidence of violent behavior by Lamptey. Mudryk was forced out of the game due to a concussion.

That first half also saw a Nicolas Jackson header ruled out, but those decisions ultimately didn’t stop Chelsea from continuing their strong finish to the season.

Brighton made a big push at the end of that contest when Simon Adingra hit a post before Welbeck pulled one back. It was the second time they had hit the crossbar, after Joao Pedro’s header against the crossbar just before half-time. But once again Brighton lacked precision in the final third. They have scored more than once in a game for 15 games now.

A third defeat of the season against Chelsea leaves their hopes of a top-half finish on the final day in jeopardy.

What’s next?

The final day of the Premier League season sees Brighton Host Manchester United on Sunday at the Amex, kick-off 4pm.

At the same time, Chelsea are at home in Bournemouth and want to secure their place in Europe.

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