Premier League: Sheffield's Europa hopes fade, Wolves back up to sixth

Sheffield United's chances of Europa League qualification suffered a major blow after it lost 1-0 to Everton, while Wolves defeated Crystal Palace 2-0.

Wolves moved above Tottenham Hotspur into sixth spot.   -  TWITTER (@WOLVES)

Sheffield United's Europa League qualification hopes took a hammer blow after a second-half goal from Richarlison guided visitor Everton to a 1-0 win in its Premier League clash on Monday.

After a cagey start at Bramall Lane, Everton created the best opportunity of the opening half with Dominic Calvert-Lewin's header smashing the post from close range.

The visitor broke the deadlock straight after halftime when Gylfi Sigurdsson's free kick was headed in by Brazilian forward Richarlison for his 15th goal in all competitions this season.

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“The goal was down to Richarlison's movement and header. The way he guided it into the corner was top class,” Sigurdsson said.

David McGoldrick's immediate effort to equalise was blocked inside the box as the Blades rallied without managing to test Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the closing stages of the match.

The result leaves United eighth in the table on 54 points from 37 games.

Talking post the game, Blades boss Chris Wilder said: “We've been one of the better promoted sides for a while ... we aren't one of those yo-yo clubs who have come back up with parachute payments or one of the bigger promoted clubs. We can be proud of our achievements.”

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He added, “We shouldn't even be talking about a bridge too far at all. For us to be in this position in the 37th game of the season is a great achievement.”

Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti's Everton is 11th in the standings after its first win in five league games.

“The spirit was really good... the players know really well what our supporters ask for on the pitch - to have a good spirit and fight, and we showed that today,” said Ancelotti.

“We are at the end of the season but this fantastic spirit can be a good sign for the future.”

-Wolves back up to sixth as Palace slump continues-

Wolverhampton Wanderers reclaimed sixth place in the Premier League as it beat a woefully out-of-form Crystal Palace 2-0 at Molineux on Monday thanks to goals by Daniel Podence and Jonny.

Podence headed home for his first Premier League goal for Wolves shortly before halftime and Jonny's fine finish wrapped up the points with around 20 minutes remaining.

A injury-weakened Palace had actually started the game well but suffered another blow when Mamadou Sakho went off in the first half with a hamstring injury.

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Palace offered precious little in the second half as it slumped to a seventh successive defeat.

Wolves moved above Tottenham Hotspur into sixth spot -- a guaranteed Europa League qualification place -- with 59 points ahead of its final league game away to Chelsea on Sunday. Palace is 14th.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo said he was not entirely happy with the performance but delighted with the win which keeps his side on course to better last season's seventh place.

“Today, we made two more points than last season so we are improving, and I'm happy with that,” he said.

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“The only good moment in the first half was the goal. We were faster in the second half and it was more of what we are.”

Palace should have taken the lead following a slip by Wolves defender Willy Boly but Jeffrey Schlupp dragged his shot wide.

Wolves then took the lead with the kind of goal that has become its trademark. Midfield magician Joao Moutinho's dinked pass picked out Matt Doherty's run and he knocked the ball across the area for Podence who could not miss.

Dangerman Adama Traore had been reasonably well-contained by a Palace defence featuring youngster Tyrick Mitchell who was handed his first league start.

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But Traore produced a lightning burst of pace to set up Wolves's second, muscling past two defenders before pulling the ball back for Jonny who took a touch before spinning and angling a shot past Palace keeper Vicente Guaita.

-Brighton ensures top flight survival with Newcastle draw-

Brighton and Hove Albion made sure of avoiding relegation from the Premier League after a 0-0 home draw with Newcastle United on Monday sent it clear of the drop zone with one game remaining.

Brighton has 38 points from 37 games, seven more than 18th-placed Aston Villa which has a game in hand and Bournemouth in 19th, while bottom team Norwich City has already been relegated.

Brighton, which is 15th, finishes it campaign with a visit to Burnley while Newcastle hosts champion Liverpool on Saturday.

 

Speaking after the game, Brighton manager Graham Potter said ensuring Premier League survival will have a massive impact on the club's finances, given the loss of revenue clubs are facing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Relegation would have resulted in a financial hit of around $100 million.

“The financial implications are massive, especially with how the year has been and how next year looks potentially,” said Potter.

“We're fighting every year to stay in the Premier League. We have to set a foundation for us to build on and that's why it's important to stay in the Premier League,” he added.

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