United keep top four hopes alive

Manchester United beat Crystal Palace 2-0 to keep the pressure on Leicester City who defeated Sheffield United as the battle for Champions League qualification heated up on Thursday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side had no margin for error after Leicester’s 2-0 victory earlier in the day and they responded thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

United’s fifth win in their last six league games leaves them in fifth place in the Premier League, level on points with fourth-placed Leicester and one point behind third-placed Chelsea.

After Sunday’s FA Cup semifinal against Chelsea, United host West Ham on Wednesday before a decisive showdown at Leicester on July 26.

Rashford broke the deadlock in first-half stoppage-time when the England forward cleverly deceived two Palace defenders with a drag-back and slotted home from close range.

And Martial sealed the points in the 78th minute with a clinical finish after good work by Rashford.

Earlier, at the King Power Stadium, Leicester earned their first win in three games thanks to goals from Ayoze Perez and Demarai Gray.

Leicester’s next match is at Tottenham on Sunday before the United clash on the last day of the season.

At Goodison Park, Aston Villa’s hopes of avoiding relegation were seriously damaged by their 1-1 draw against Everton.

It was an agonising blow for Villa, who remain second bottom and sit three points from safety with just two games left.

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