Chelsea, Manchester United vie for European qualification in Premier League finale

Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea secured a crucial 2-1 victory over Brighton in their penultimate match on Wednesday, while Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United edged out Newcastle with a 3-2 win.
The match ball sits on a pedestal before the English Premier League football match. (Photo: AP)
The match ball sits on a pedestal before the English Premier League football match. (Photo: AP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan24) – As the Premier League season draws to a close, Chelsea and Manchester United find themselves battling for spots in European competitions for the 2024-25 season. Both teams have one fixture left, with their positions in the league and potential European qualifications hinging on the final results.

Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea secured a crucial 2-1 victory over Brighton in their penultimate match on Wednesday, while Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United edged out Newcastle with a 3-2 win. These results place Chelsea in sixth and United in eighth in the Premier League standings ahead of the decisive final round of games on Sunday.

Chelsea will host AFC Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge, while United will travel to face Brighton.

The top four Champions League spots have already been clinched by Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Aston Villa, leaving Chelsea and United to compete for Europa League and Europa Conference League places alongside Tottenham and Newcastle.

Europa League Qualification Scenarios

UEFA Europa League logo. (Photo: AP)
UEFA Europa League logo. (Photo: AP)

With the Premier League’s top four set, attention shifts to the remaining European slots. The team finishing fifth, currently favored to be Tottenham, will secure a Europa League spot. However, the fates of the sixth and seventh places are more complex, especially with United playing in the FA Cup final against Manchester City later this month.

The FA Cup trophy is seen before the English FA Cup final match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in London. (Photo: AP)
The FA Cup trophy is seen before the English FA Cup final match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in London. (Photo: AP)

If Manchester United wins the FA Cup:

- They will qualify for the Europa League regardless of their final league position.
- If United finishes sixth and wins the FA Cup, the seventh-placed team will qualify for the Europa Conference League.
- If United finishes lower than sixth and wins the FA Cup, the sixth-placed team will qualify for the Europa Conference League, and the seventh-placed team will miss out on Europe.

If Manchester City wins the FA Cup:

- The team finishing sixth will earn a Europa League spot.
- The seventh-placed team will qualify for the Europa Conference League.

Chelsea’s Path to European Qualification

Chelsea's Cole Palmer. (Photo: AP)
Chelsea's Cole Palmer. (Photo: AP)

 

Chelsea’s victory over Brighton has kept their European hopes alive. To secure a spot, they need to:

- Finish as high as fifth, which requires a win against Bournemouth and a Tottenham loss to Sheffield United.
- More realistically, finish sixth, which could mean a Europa League or Europa Conference League spot depending on the FA Cup final outcome.
- A draw against Bournemouth would ensure they finish at least sixth.
- A loss to Bournemouth, combined with a Newcastle victory over Brentford, would drop Chelsea to seventh. If United wins the FA Cup, Chelsea could miss out on Europe entirely.

Manchester United’s Route to Europe

Manchester United's head coach Erik ten Hag walks on the pitch with Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes. (Photo: AP)
Manchester United's head coach Erik ten Hag walks on the pitch with Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes. (Photo: AP)

 

Manchester United can guarantee a Europa League spot by winning the FA Cup final against Manchester City on May 25, irrespective of their league finish. If they lose the final, they must:

- Finish sixth to secure a Europa League spot.
- Finish seventh to land a spot in the Europa Conference League.

After their victory over Newcastle, United could theoretically finish sixth if Chelsea and Newcastle lose on the final day, though this is unlikely due to goal difference.

Seventh place is more attainable, but United must outperform Newcastle's result against Brentford.

A Newcastle loss means a draw against Brighton would suffice for United to clinch seventh, while a draw between Newcastle and Brentford would require a United victory.

The final day of the Premier League promises to be a nail-biting conclusion as Chelsea and Manchester United fight to secure their places in Europe, with both clubs' futures hanging in the balance.