Chelsea climb to sixth with 2-1 win over Brighton

Cole Palmer and Christopher Nkunku struck either side of halftime to earn Chelsea a 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday, sending the London club into the final day of the Premier League season in sixth place.

Palmer turned in Marc Cucurella's cross with a powerful header in the 34th minute to claim the 22nd league goal of his outstanding debut season and put the visitors in front at the Amex Stadium.

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Nkunku side-footed home Malo Gusto's pinpoint low cutback in the 64th minute to double Chelsea's lead but they lost substitute Reece James to a straight red card for a petulant kick out at Joao Pedro in the 88th minute.

Danny Welbeck latched on to Pedro's cross to snatch a goal back for the hosts in the seventh minute of stoppage time and ensure a frenetic end to the match.

Cucurella, who was given a torrid reception by the home fans on his return to his former club, thought he had earned a penalty when he went down following a corner in the 15th minute, but the decision was overturned after a VAR check.

Victory sent Chelsea into their final match against Bournemouth on Sunday with hope still alive of qualifying for the Europa League, despite a horrendous start to their campaign. Brighton, who are 10th, end the season at home to Manchester United.

Mauricio Pochettino's men began the season with one win in their first six league matches and three in their first 10, but are finishing strong, with just one defeat in their last 14 league outings.