SHEFFIELD, England (AP) — A header from Richarlison gave Everton a 1-0 win over Sheffield United on Monday to leave Sheffield’s hopes of qualifying for the Europa League hanging by a thread, while Brighton secured English Premier League status for next season.
In a game that was short on clear-cut chances, Brazilian forward Richarlison made the difference in the 46th minute when he rose to meet Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free kick from deep with a looping header that brushed goalkeeper Dean Henderson’s fingers.
Wolverhampton would end Sheffield United’s faint hopes of qualifying for the Europa League if it beat Crystal Palace later Monday.
Sheffield was widely expected to fight against relegation in its first Premier League season since 2007 but instead stormed into the top half of the table, claiming upset wins over the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal.
The top four qualify for the Champions League and the fifth and sixth-placed teams will qualify for the Europa League.
There’s a Europa League spot for the seventh-placed team if Chelsea beats Arsenal in the FA Cup final, because Chelsea is already assured of qualifying for either the Europa League or Champions League thanks to its league position. Seventh place could also offer a Europa League spot if Arsenal wins the FA Cup and also climbs from 10th in the league to sixth.
A point for Brighton was enough to secure a place in the top division for next season after drawing with Newcastle 0-0. Brighton climbs above West Ham to 15th, two places behind Newcastle.
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