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Rasmus Hojlund Ends Scoring Drought to Secure Manchester United’s Thrilling Win Over Newcastle

Rasmus Hojlund Ends Scoring Drought to Secure Manchester United's Thrilling Win Over Newcastle

Rasmus Hojlund ended his 10-game goal drought to secure a crucial victory for Manchester United in a thrilling encounter against Newcastle at Old Trafford.

A loss would have consigned Erik ten Hag’s side to their lowest league finish in 34 years. However, with this win, they head into the final day needing to better Newcastle’s result to secure a spot in next season’s UEFA Conference League. They can also qualify for the Europa League by defeating Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley on May 25.

Kobbie Mainoo opened the scoring for United after 31 minutes, coolly finishing from 10 yards out after being played onside by Kieran Trippier. Anthony Gordon equalized for Newcastle four minutes after the break. Manchester United then relied on a brilliant tackle from Sofyan Amrabat to prevent Newcastle from taking the lead, as Alexander Isak failed to finish a three-on-one counterattack.

Amad Diallo restored United’s lead just before the hour mark, scoring his first Premier League goal as Newcastle failed to clear a corner. Eddie Howe’s side nearly leveled again when Miguel Almiron narrowly missed connecting with Gordon’s low cross at the far post.

Hojlund settled the nerves by scoring his 15th goal of the season, stepping to his right and sending a low shot into the bottom corner. Despite a late scare when Newcastle’s Lewis Hall scored from the edge of the box in stoppage time, United held on for the win.

Chelsea moved up to sixth in the table, securing a Europa League spot. They will ensure a place in Europe next season if they earn a point at home against Bournemouth on the final day. Brighton suffered their seventh defeat in nine matches but remain in 10th place.

Palmer Shines but Chelsea Nearly Squander Win

Cole Palmer has proven to be one of the signings of the season. Before his move to Chelsea from Manchester City in the summer, the 22-year-old had never scored in the top flight. This campaign, he has notched up 22 goals and 10 assists in 33 league games.

Chelsea had the upper hand in the first half and were awarded an early penalty when referee Michael Salisbury judged Facundo Buonanotte to have fouled Cucurella in the penalty area. The decision was overturned after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) advised Salisbury to review the incident on the pitchside monitor.

VAR intervened again towards the end of the first half to confirm Salisbury’s decision to disallow a Nicolas Jackson header, after the Chelsea striker pushed Tariq Lamptey during the build-up.

Palmer, however, continued to impress in a game that heated up when James reacted to a Pedro tackle by catching the Brighton striker’s leg with his studs. Despite this setback, Chelsea held on, achieving their fourth consecutive win for the first time since 2022.

With a three-point cushion over Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino’s side could potentially finish the season as high as fifth if results go their way on Sunday. This would be a remarkable turnaround, considering the Blues were ninth in the league and 13 points behind Spurs after a 5-0 loss to Arsenal last month.

Too Little Too Late for Brighton

Brighton has secured only three wins since the beginning of March and have now won just one of their past nine matches. With 10 minutes remaining, a point seemed out of reach.

The Seagulls, however, finished strongly with Simon Adingra hitting the inside of the post moments before Welbeck’s consolation goal. They also had several opportunities to equalize when they were just one goal down.

Pedro struck the bar with a powerful header just before half-time, and Pascal Gross narrowly missed after the restart. Brighton also had a penalty appeal early in the second half when Gusto appeared to trip Adingra, but referee Salisbury waved play on.

Brighton will conclude their season at home against Manchester United on Sunday.

Credit: BBC Sport

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