Chelsea boosted its chances of European football next season, thumping West Ham 5-0 in the Premier League, with Cole Palmer, Conor Gallagher, Noni Madueke and Nicolas Jackson, with two, all getting on the scoresheet on Sunday.

The 21-year-old Palmer latched on to a loose ball after a Madueke cross in the 15th minute and shot into the far corner across West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. It was his 21st league goal in his first season for the club.

Captain Gallagher also took advantage of a loose ball in the area following a tackle on Madueke and lashed his chance home on the half hour with West Ham’s defence in disarray.

Madueke turned from provider to scorer, and back, either side of halftime. He poked home from close range in the 36th minute following a corner and teed up Jackson for Chelsea’s fourth in the 48th.

ALSO READ | Premier League: Haaland nets four as Man City routs Wolves 5-1

Jackson scored his second 10 minutes from time after latching on to a deep pass from Moises Caicedo and staying just onside according to a VAR check.

The result raised Chelsea to seventh in the table overtaking Manchester United, who play on Monday, and putting it within striking range of qualification for the Europa League.

Brighton edges Villa 1-0 to snap winless run

Brighton & Hove Albion snapped a six-match winless run in the Premier League when it beat Aston Villa 1-0 at home on Sunday after Joao Pedro scored an 87th-minute winner in a scrappy affair.

Simon Adingra had been Brighton’s busiest player throughout the game and it was his foray into the box late in the second half which drew a foul from Villa full back Ezri Konsa which forced the referee to point to the spot.

Villa’s stand-in keeper Robin Olsen had made several saves to keep his side in the game and even denied Joao Pedro from the spot, but he could do nothing when the Brazilian headed home the rebound for his 20th goal of the season in all competitions.

The result moved Brighton up to 11th place with 47 points while Villa is fourth with 67 points as it continues to wait to seal a spot in next season’s Champions League with fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur still in the hunt.