Brighton safe from relegation after Crystal Palace beat Cardiff

Solly March and Dale Stephens celebrate. Picture by Getty Images
Solly March and Dale Stephens celebrate. Picture by Getty Images

Brighton & Hove Albion's place in the Premier League is assured for a third successive season after Crystal Palace won 3-2 at Cardiff this evening.

The Bluebirds kicked off four points behind Albion knowing they needed to win their final two games to have any chance of avoiding an immediate return to the Championship.

Wilfired Zaha gave Palace the lead after 28 minutes but Martin Kelly's own goal made it 1-1 just three minutes later.

Michy Batshuayi put Crystal Palace back in front after 39 minutes, before Andros Townsend got the third on 70 minutes. Bobby Decordova-Reid made it 3-2 in the final minute but it was too little, too late for Cardiff.

Brighton's fans and players will now go into tomorrow's match at Arsenal with the pressure off and they can look forward to a third successive campaign in the Premier League kicking-off in August.

Albion had appeared well placed to comfortably seal another season in the Premier League when they sat 13th in the table and ten points clear of the relegation zone at the start of 2019.

The Seagulls were even tenth and 12 points above the bottom three after beating arch-rivals Crystal Palace at the Amex in early December.

However the Seagulls have struggled in the second half of the season and have won only two league matches this year, at home to rock-bottom Huddersfield and away to Palace.

A run of just ten points from 16 games had left them nervously looking over their shoulder at third-from-bottom Cardiff. The recent draws away to Wolves and at home to Newcastle have proved crucial and have helped secure Albion's place in the top flight for another season.

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