Brighton will be playing European football next season for the first time ever after they secured a top-seven finish by beating Southampton 3-1. 

A first-half double from teenage striker Evan Ferguson set the Seagulls on their way, and although Mohamed Elyounoussi halved the deficit just before the hour, the points were sealed through Pascal Gross midway through the second period. 

After Tottenham's 3-1 defeat at home to Brentford on Saturday lunchtime, Roberto De Zerbi's men had the opportunity to achieve the historic feat with two matches to spare of the league season, a chance they took in front of a raucous crowd at the Amex. 


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De Zerbi has earned rave reviews after joining in September following Graham Potter's move to Chelsea, helping nurture the likes of Solly March, Kaoru Mitoma and World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister.

The Italian has also made several bold decisions, opting to sell Leandro Trossard to Arsenal in January after a falling-out with the Belgian, while Moises Caicedo was reintegrated into the squad seamlessly after requesting a move to Chelsea in the same window. 

Brighton's football under the former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk head coach has earned them rave reviews as they took four points off Chelsea, beat Manchester United at home and dealt a huge blow to Arsenal's eventually deemed title hopes with a 3-0 triumph at the Emirates earlier this month. 

Brighton's next match is at home to champions Manchester City on Wednesday, before the team conclude their campaign next Sunday away at Aston Villa, who currently sit seventh, a point ahead of Spurs. 

Although Brighton are sixth right now in the second Europa League qualification spot, there is the possibility for them to leapfrog Liverpool, meaning De Zerbi will certainly not be resting on his laurels during the final week of the season.