Manchester United books Europa League spot despite 1-0 defeat at Palace

Ralf Rangnick's tenure as interim manager came to an end with United collecting 58 points, its lowest tally in Premier League history.

United were able to hold on to sixth place after West Ham United suffered a 3-1 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion and had to settle for seventh.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Manchester United secured a ticket to next season's Europa League after it ended its Premier League campaign in sixth place - despite losing 1-0 away at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Forward Wilfried Zaha scored against his former team in the first half as Palace celebrated their first-ever Premier League victory over United at home.

Ralf Rangnick's tenure as interim manager came to an end with United collecting 58 points, its lowest tally in Premier League history.

READ: Manchester City wins the Premier League, Liverpool finishes second

United were nevertheless able to hold on to sixth place after West Ham United suffered a 3-1 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion and had to settle for seventh.

Watched by new manager Erik ten Hag from the stands, United produced a lacklustre display and went behind in the 37th minute as Zaha finished smartly from the edge of the box after picking up a loose pass and cutting across the United defence.

The visitor tried to improve its game in the second half but it looked poor in attack and barely created chances as Patrick Vieira's Palace ended the season on a winning note and took the 12th spot.

 West Ham loses 3-1 at Brighton, into Conference League

West Ham missed the chance to snatch a dramatic return to the Europa League after squandering a lead to lose 3-1 to Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday.

The Hammers, who lost in the semifinals of the continental competition just over two weeks ago, were on course to leapfrog Manchester United into sixth position following Michail Antonio’s brilliant 40th-minute opener.

But second-half strikes from Joel Veltman, Pascal Gross and Danny Welbeck turned the game in Brighton's favor to prevent David Moyes’ team capitalizing on United losing 1-0 at Crystal Palace.

The east London club must be content with seventh place and a spot in the Europa Conference League next season following a result which saw Brighton secure a first ever top-half finish in the Premier League — and the highest league position in the club’s 121-year history.

- AP

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