Newcastle United suffered more jitters in their quest to finish in the Premier League’s top four as they drew 2-2 at relegation-threatened Leeds United but Southampton’s agony is over after being relegated on Saturday.

Leeds defender Rasmus Kristensen’s second-half equaliser denied Newcastle the victory that would have all but assured them a place in next season’s Champions League.

It could also prove vital in Leeds’s bid to escape relegation although they remained third-bottom of the table with two games left.

Southampton’s relegation has looked a certainty for a while and their decade-long stay in the top flight was officially over after a 2-0 home defeat by Fulham.

Only a win would have kept their survival hopes alive but goals by Carlos Vinicius and substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic condemned them to a 24th defeat of a miserable season in which they have sacked two managers.

“Disappointing. It has been coming. We knew we were in a difficult position,” Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse told the BBC. “From the first day of the season until now you can tell the standards have slipped.”

The battle to avoid joining Southampton in the second tier remains fierce, though, with 16th-placed Nottingham Forest earning a point in a 2-2 draw at Chelsea.

Southampton have 24 points from 36 games, 19th-placed Leicester City have 30 from 35 with Leeds on 31 points from 36 games and Everton on 32 from 36. Steve Cooper’s Forest have 34 points with two games left.

Everton host leaders Manchester City on Sunday with Leicester at home to Liverpool on Monday.

The afternoon began in thrilling fashion at Elland Road where Leeds took an early lead, missed a penalty, had two penalties scored against them and had a man sent off.

Leeds took the lead in the seventh minute as Rodrigo got his head on Patrick Bamford’s cross and though Nick Pope saved, Leeds captain Luke Ayling fired home a rebound.

Joelinton bundled over Junior Firpo in the box to give Leeds a penalty but Bamford’s spot-kick was saved by Nick Pope.

Newcastle striker Alexander Isak was then hacked down by Maximillian Wober and Callum Wilson converted from the penalty spot. Newcastle were awarded a second penalty midway through the second half when Firpo handled and Wilson proved deadly once again.

Leeds battled back and Kristensen popped up in the 79th minute to hammer home a deflected equaliser before Firpo saw red in stoppage time for a second yellow card.

“In the space of a few minutes in the first half when we get a second penalty to go 2-0 up, I think I’d be here saying what a great three points that was today,” Leeds interim manager Sam Allardyce said. “We shot ourselves in the foot.”

Newcastle, beaten by Arsenal last week, remained third with 66 points, but Manchester United drew level with them after a 2-0 home victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers with Anthony Martial and Alejandro Garnacho both on target.

Both sides have three games left but will be looking over their shoulders at Liverpool who have 62 points ahead of their clash with Leicester, although Juergen Klopp’s team will have only two games remaining after that game.


Forest’s Cooper has been under pressure for much of the season but his side are potentially one win away from surviving against the odds.

For the second game running Nigerian forward Taiwo Awoniyi scored twice for Forest, putting them ahead in the 13th minute and equalising in the 62nd with a header. Raheem Sterling’s double early in the second half had put 11th-placed Chelsea ahead, albeit briefly.

“Some positives to take out of it. A lot of the betting would have been for us to get nothing and we got something,” said Cooper whose side face Arsenal next.

Crystal Palace beat Bournemouth 2-0 in the other game thanks to two goals by Eberechi Eze.

The flickering embers of Arsenal’s Premier League title dream were all but extinguished as they suffered a 3-0 home drubbing by Europe-chasing Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

With relentless Manchester City winning at Everton in the earlier kickoff to move four points clear, long-time league leaders Arsenal knew only a victory would suffice.

But they produced a laboured display against the crafty south coast club and were outplayed after the break as Julio Enciso, Deniz Undav and Pervis Estupinan scored for Roberto De Zerbi’s side, putting City on the brink of securing the title.

The result also moved Brighton up to sixth place with games in hand on the teams around them.

Arsenal’s former Brighton forward Leandro Trossard struck the crossbar in the first half, but Arsenal looked deflated after Enciso struck in the 51st minute and crestfallen when Undav lobbed over Aaron Ramsdale in the 86th minute.

Estupinan completed Arsenal’s misery in stoppage time to the delight of Brighton’s fans who may soon be watching the club’s first venture into European competition.

A fifth league defeat of the season left Arsenal on 81 points with two games remaining to City’s 85 with three left, meaning victory for Pep Guardiola’s side next Sunday against Chelsea would wrap up City’s fifth title in six seasons.

City could even secure it before that if Arsenal lose against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Brighton have 58 points with four games still remaining.

“Yeah it looks difficult now to be honest, we have to be realistic. I don’t think City are going to do too many mistakes now,” Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard said.

“It is not a good feeling at the moment. The way we played, particularly in the second half, I don’t know what happened to be honest. It feels like there is no hope now.”

There was a hint of resignation in the air amongst Arsenal’s fans as they streamed towards the Emirates Stadium after hearing of Manchester City’s earlier 3-0 victory at Everton — an 11th successive league win for City.

And there was a lethargy about Arsenal’s play as Brighton sucked the life out of them with their measured passing game.

Arsenal were not helped by losing forward Gabriel Martinelli to injury midway through the first half after he failed to shake off the effects of a hefty Moises Caicedo tackle.

The Brazilian was replaced by Trossard, who came closest to breaking the deadlock before halftime with a shot that clipped the top of the crossbar.

Odegaard drilled a shot just wide and Bukayo Saka did the same in first-half stoppage time, but Brighton hogged possession and were always a threat with Enciso twice having a clear sight of goal.

The home fans tried to galvanise their team but the mood fell flat six minutes after the interval as Brighton attacked down the left and after his initial cross was blocked, Estupinan lifted a ball into the area for Enciso to head in.

Arsenal never looked convincing as they tried to respond and shot themselves in the foot when Ramsdale passed the ball out to Trossard and his flick rebounded back towards goal, giving Undav all the time in the world to lob the ball into the net.

With Arsenal in tatters, Estupinan put the icing on Brighton’s cake, steering in a rebound after Ramsdale had parried Undav’s powerful shot.

While defeat stung for Arteta’s side, the damage had really already been done last month when they drew with Liverpool and West Ham, having led in each game by two goals, and then drew 3-3 at home to relegation-bound Southampton.

Those results handed the initiative to City who have churned out points with ruthless efficiency.

While City have taken 40 points from the last 42 on offer, Arsenal’s brave challenge for a first title since 2004 has unravelled in disappointing fashion as the pressure mounted.

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