Brighton and Hove Albion ensured they will play in Europe next season for the first time in their history after beating Southampton 3-1 at the Amex Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday, with teenage striker Evan Ferguson scoring twice.
Brighton are sixth in the standings with 61 points and can no longer be caught by eighth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, meaning they are guaranteed a spot in Europe next season - either in the Europa League or the Europa Conference League.
After Kaoru Mitoma and Carlos Alcaraz both squandered chances in a lively start, Brighton went ahead in the 29th minute through Ferguson’s powerful effort, which squirmed under Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.
A moment of individual brilliance from Mitoma doubled Brighton’s advantage 10 minutes later, as the Japan international outmuscled Romeo Lavia on the left wing before setting up Ferguson with a pinpoint cross with the outside of his boot.
Mohamed Elyounoussi pulled one back for Southampton in the 58th minute, but any hopes of a comeback were quickly snuffed out by Pascal Gross, who cut inside onto his left foot and fired a low shot past two defenders inside the near post to wrap up the win.
Bottom club Southampton, who have already been relegated, remained on 24 points.
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