Leeds United have been pushed to the brink of relegation after fellow Premier League contenders Everton and Burnley produced big results in their penultimate games.
Everton secured their safety on Friday morning (AEST) after two late goals from Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin meant the Toffees beat Crystal Palace 3-2 at home.
Meanwhile, Burnley clinched an important point away from Aston Villa to break out of the drop zone, if only on goal difference.
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The two results mean Leeds United sit 18th on 35 points and head into the finals on Sunday morning.
Bunrley also has 35 points while Everton are now secure on 39.
Leeds play Brentford away in the last week of the game and Burnley play Newcastle at home.
Elsewhere, Chelsea effectively secured third place in the table with a 1-1 draw against Leicester.
EVERTON’S EPIC COMEBACK BEATS PALACE TO SURVIVE
Everton secured their Premier League status thanks to a thrilling second-half comeback from 2-0 down to defeat Crystal Palace 3-2 in front of a cacophonous crowd at Goodison Park.
Calvert-Lewin’s header five minutes from time sparked chaotic scenes as home fans rushed onto the field in relief at having extended the Toffees’ 68-year stint in the English top flight.
Only victory was good enough for Frank Lampard’s men not to worry on Sunday’s final day of campaigning.
But a series of disastrous defensive mistakes seemed to cost them as goals from Jean-Philippe Mateta and Jordan put Ayew Palace in charge before the break.
Michael Keane sparked the comeback nine minutes into the second half before Richarlison leveled with 15 minutes to go.
Calvert-Lewin’s injury woes have been a major cause of Everton’s troubles this season but the England international scored a huge goal when his club needed it most, heading in on Demarai Gray’s free-kick flush.
The battle not to join Norwich and Watford in the Championship next season is now between Burnley and Leeds en route to the final day.
The Everton bus arrived with a wave of noise and blue smoke, but the intense atmosphere quickly turned to frustration.
Richarlison almost put the home side ahead when his free-kick hit the top of the bar.
Palace soon took control as Patrick Vieira’s men coolly stroked the ball for Everton to chase the shadows.
Keeping a goal from set pieces has been a consistent failure for Everton under two different managers all season.
They were nullified again from an opener free-kick when Eberechi headed Eze’s delivery from the unmarked Mateta at the back post.
Everton were well on their way to safety on Sunday as they led Brentford 1-0 only to earn a controversial red card for Jarrad Branthwaite that turned the game in the Bees’ favour.
The boot should have been on the other foot when Ayew crashed into a dangerous challenge on Anthony Gordon midway through the first half.
However, referee Anthony Taylor saw fit only to show a yellow card and was not asked by VAR to review his decision.
Moments later, Everton’s anger turned to fear as a series of errors led to Palace’s second.
Jordon Pickford unnecessarily fluttered on a cross and when Wilfried Zaha fired a bouncing ball at goal, Ayew had two chances to channel the ball over the line despite the presence of two defenders in the six yard box.
The home crowd and squad were given hope when centre-backs Mason Holgate and Keane came together for the ex-Burnley player to fire brilliantly into the far corner.
But despite Everton’s best efforts, it was Palace who continued to play the better football, knocking out the hosts on the break.
Pickford made up for his earlier mistake by making a crucial save to prevent Mateta from restoring Palace’s two-goal lead.
That proved to be a crucial turning point as Richarlison, who had ridden to save his side so many times in recent weeks, did so again by firing a loose ball into the far corner.
The Calvert-Lewin winner caused even more madness among the crowd when the game was stopped due to the pitch invasion.
Seven minutes of tense stoppage time ensued, but Everton persevered and fans flocked back onto the pitch in even greater numbers after full-time.
Burnley, who host Newcastle in the final round on Sunday, rose above Leeds on goal difference thanks to a point at Villa.
They will be safe if they match Leeds’ result on the final day in Brentford. Whatever happens over the weekend is unlikely to top the emotions at Goodison, where fans cried tears of joy after the game during a frenzied invasion.
At Villa Park, Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet won a penalty just before half-time when he was rolled over by Emiliano Buendia.
Ashley Barnes sent Emiliano Martinez the wrong way with a cool strike for his first goal since February 2021.
In the 48th minute, Buendia equalized with a volley from Villa, while Burnley protested that a foul should have been given to the build-up.
Burnley ended with 10 men after Matt Lowton was sent off for a high tackle on Calum Chambers in stoppage time.
“Great point for us. We’re home on the final day and it’s in our hands,” said Mike Jackson, interim Burnley boss.
Chelsea effectively secured third place with a 1-1 draw against Leicester at Stamford Bridge.
Given their vastly superior goal difference advantage over fourth-placed Tottenham, who are three points behind them, the FA Cup runners-up are not caught.
James Maddison put Leicester ahead from the edge of the box in the sixth minute before Marcos Alonso volleyed home in the 35th minute.
Thursday’s drama was just a taste of an exciting final day of the season.
Manchester City will be crowned champions for the fourth time in five seasons when they beat Villa at the Etihad Stadium.
But second-placed Liverpool, a point behind Pep Guardiola’s side, would steal the title if City drop points and they defeat Wolves at Anfield.
In the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League, Tottenham need to win at Norwich to be sure to overtake Arsenal, who host Everton and are two points behind their north London rivals.
Manchester United can qualify for the Europa League with a win at the Palace, although a loss and win by West Ham at Brighton would see them fall into the Europa Conference League.