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Hull City clinch Europa League qualification whilst maintaining their top flight status
Hull City had more than one reason to be cheerful this weekend having secured another season of Premier League football whilst also achieving qualification for the Europa League.
Following their disappointing 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday, attentions quickly turned to the late Saturday kick-off seeing Manchester City face off against Everton, knowing a Toffees defeat would guarantee Arsenal finishing in the top four.
An early Ross Barkley goal was cancelled out by Sergio Aguero before Edin Dzeko scored a brace to put them ahead at the interval. Romelu Lukaku found the back of the net in the 65th minute but Man City held on for a 3-2 victory as they looked to win the title.
The victory meant due to the Tigers participation in the FA Cup final they are guaranteed to be playing in Europe regardless of the outcome against the Gunners.
However manager Steve Bruce has targeted winning the cup and entering the competition at the group stages saying: “I’d like to do it the real way and that’s beating Arsenal in the Cup final because then you don’t have to go through all the qualifiers.
“If you get there as runner-up you could be looking at starting your season at the end of July I believe. It could be very difficult if we’re playing at the end of July. That’s what it would be like if we went that route.”
With defeat at Villa Park the Tigers weren’t mathematically safe however Norwich City travelled to Chelsea on Sunday needing to pick up points for their hopes of staying in the division.
A stubborn Canaries side held on for a vital point at Stamford Bridge to all but end Chelsea’s title ambition despite the Blues hitting the woodwork twice.
With Norwich only gaining a point it meant Hull City we’re safe for another season in the top flight of English football. Safety in the Premier League, reaching an FA Cup final and qualifying for Europe capped off the best season in the club’s history.