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Brighton adds Nigerian World Cup defender from Mainz

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Brighton and Hove Albion has added some depth to their center back pairing of Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy.

Leon Balogun has arrived from Mainz, the 28-year-old Nigerian heading to the World Cup and then hitting the Amex Stadium on a free transfer.

[ MORE: Zidane praises Ronaldo ]

Mainz avoided relegation by three points this season, and Balogun played in 14 matches. He had been with the Bundesliga outfit since 2015, and has 16 caps.

Balogun has also spent time at left and right back.

Ezequiel Schelotto just finished his first season as a Brighton right back, playing 28 times, but also moved up the right side. Bruno played plenty there as well, but is 37 years old.

Gaetan Bong and Markus Suttner split time at left back. All four of the players will be with the Gulls next season.

Brighton already had a top-half defense in terms of goals allowed. This should only help that.

Statistical guide to 2017-18 Premier League season

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Sometimes statistics tell new stories.

Take 2014-15, when Burnley was relegated but Kieran Trippier sneakily lead the Premier League in crosses and Aaron Cresswell did the same in minutes.

Both have turned into league mainstays.

[ MORE: U.S. players in the Premier League ]

So let’s dig into the numbers from what should be a Man City heavy run through the league leaderboard.

Most wins: Man City (32)

Most losses: Swansea City (21)

Most draws: Southampton (15)

Most goals: Man City (106)

Least goals: Swansea City and Huddersfield (28)

Most goals allowed: West Ham and Stoke City (68)

Least goals allowed: Man City (27)

Best goal differential: Man City (+79)

Worst goal differential: Stoke City (-33)

Most goals: Mohamed Salah, Liverpool (32)

Most assists: Kevin De Bruyne, Man City (16)

Yellow cards: Oriol Romeu, Southampton (11)

Team yellow cards: West Ham and West Brom (73)

Red cards: Jonjo Shelvey, Newcastle and Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester (2)

Team red cards: Leicester City (5)

Saves: Jack Butland, Stoke City (141)

Clean sheets: David De Gea, Manchester United (18)

Shots on target: Harry Kane, Spurs (76)

Shots attempted: Kane, Spurs (184)

Shots per game: Man City (17.5)

Least shots per game: Swans (8.9)

Minutes played: Several with 3420 (Jack Cork, Burnley; Lukasz Fabianski, Swans; Alfie Mawson, Swans; Asmir Begovic, Bournemouth; Lewis Dunk, Brighton; Jordan Pickford, Everton; Mat Ryan, Brighton; Harry Maguire, Leicester; Jonas Lossl, Huddersfield; Mathias Jorgensen, Huddersfield).

Fouls suffered: Richarlison, Watford (96)

Fouls committed: Luka Milivojevic, Crystal Palace (69)

Fouls committed per game: Everton (12.1)

Least fouls committed per game: Bournemouth (8.9)

Offsides: Jamie Vardy, Leicester City (45)

Crosses: De Bruyne, Man City (313)

Corner kicks: De Bruyne, Man City (154)

Penalty kicks attempted: Milivojevic, Palace (8)

Penalty kicks converted: Milivojevic, Palace (7)

Penalty kicks converted without a miss: Sergio Aguero, Man City (4)

Total touches: Nicolas Otamendi, Man City (7820)

Passes: Nicolas Otamendi, Man City (2791)

Pass percentage: Man City (89 percent)

Worst pass percentage: Burnley (70.5 percent)

Possession: Man City (66.4 percent)

Least possession: West Brom (42.8 percent)

Interceptions: Dunk, Brighton (99)

Interceptions per game: Yohan Cabaye, Palace (2.5)

Blocks: Kyle Naughton, Swansea (120)

Tackles: Wilfred Ndidi, Leicester (121)

Tackles per game: Huddersfield (19.6)

Least tackles per game: Bournemouth (13.4)

Highest rated, WhoScored.com: Aguero, Man City (7.81)

Lowest rated, WhoScored.com: Andre Gray, Watford (6.24)

Highest rated per 90, Squawka.com: Eden Hazard, Chelsea (57.82)

Lowest rated per 90, Squawka.com: James McClean, West Brom (-18.53)

Combined goals-assists: Riyad Mahrez to Vardy, Leicester (7)

Aerials won per game: Peter Crouch, Stoke and Christian Benteke, Palace (7.8)

Passing percentage: Andreas Christensen, Chelsea (93.4)

Worst pass percentage, non-GK: Sam Vokes, Burnley (49.4)

Offsides won per game: Christian Kabasele, Watford (1.3)

Clearances per game: Shane Duffy, Brighton (8.8)

Own goals: Dunk, Brighton (4)

Key passes per game: Mesut Ozil, Arsenal (3.2)

Dribbles per game: Hazard, Chelsea (4.9)

Long balls per game, non-GK: Jordan Henderson, Liverpool (5.6)

Liverpool 4-0 Brighton: Top four finish secure

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  • Salah sets new PL record for most goals in a 38-game season
  • Liverpool finish fourth
  • Brighton finish 15th

Liverpool beat Brighton & Hove Albion 4-0 at Anfield on Sunday to secure their place in the UEFA Champions League for next season.

Mohamed Salah set Liverpool in their way and goals from Dejan Lovren and Dominic Solanke either side of half time, plus a late strike from Andrew Robertson, gave the Reds the win they ended to secure a top four spot.

With the victory Liverpool finished the season on 75 points and in fourth place, while Brighton finish in 15th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Liverpool had two early shouts for handballs in the box with Anthony Knockaert looking guilty of handling in the box but no penalty kick was given.

Salah then went down in the box under a heavy challenge from Shane Duffy and it looked like a certain penalty kick but, once again, no penalty was awarded.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Sadio Mane then had a glorious chance as he raced through but shot right at Mat Ryan instead of slotting the ball to Roberto Firmino to tap home, but soon Liverpool had the lead.

Dominic Solanke played in Salah and he finished superbly for his 32nd Premier League goal of the season (his 44th of the season in all competitions) to set a new record for the most goals scored in a 38-game season.

The chances kept coming for Liverpool with Firmino, Salah and Wijnaldum denied as Brighton struggled to get out of their own half. Before the break Lovren headed home Robertson’s brilliant cross to make it 2-0 to all but seal Liverpool’s spot in the top four.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

After the break that man Salah raced clear and he teed up Solanke who smashed home his first goal as a Liverpool player to make it 3-0.

Salah kept creating chances for Liverpool as Firmino went close but Ryan saved well and Liverpool then saw out the win easily.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Robertson added a fourth late on as he scored his first goal of the Premier League season to seal the 4-0 win.

With a two week break until the Champions League final, Klopp’s men had the perfect finish to the season.

Watch Live: Manchester City vs. Brighton

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Champions-in-waiting Manchester City hosts Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday (Watch live at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold and online via NBCSports.com) as the latter aims to leap all the way into the top 10 with a victory.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

For the Citizens, Pep Guardiola and Co. could equal or better Chelsea’s 95-point season set back in 2004/05 with a draw or win at the Etihad Stadium.

Claudio Bravo starts in net for City, while Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne are two notables on the bench. Yaya Toure will receive the captain’s armband on the day for the Premier League leaders.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Bravo, Danilo, Kompany, Laporte, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure (C), Gundogan, Sane, Bernardo, Jesus. Subs: Ederson, Foden, Diaz, Nmecha, De Bruyne, Mendy, Adarabioyo.

Brighton: Ryan, Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong, Knockaert, Stephens, Propper, Izquierdo, Gross, Ulloa.  Subs: Krul, Goldson, Schelotto, Kayal, March, Locadia, Murray.

Brighton safe after upset of Man Utd

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  • Gulls insure PL status
  • GDS defies Rojo clearing attempt
  • Gross scores 7th of season

Pascal Gross‘ 57th minute goal was enough to lead Chris Hughton‘s Brighton and Hove Albion past lackluster Manchester United 1-0 at the Amex Stadium on Friday.

The win boosts the Gulls to 40 points, good for 11th place in the Premier League. United stays second with 77 points,

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Marouane Fellaini looked to have a near trademark goal in the third minute, but he was offside and the linesman didn’t miss the call.

United should’ve went ahead in the 26th minute, but Marcus Rashford waited ages to find an unmarked-at-the-spot Anthony Martial before popping a meek shot wide. Martial was right to feel aggrieved.

Brighton wasn’t without its chances, and David De Gea made a terrific stop on Glenn Murray during the first 45.

All-in-all, Brighton out shot United 8-4 in the half. The Red Devils failed to muster a shot on target.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

It was Brighton who’d go ahead via Goal Decision System, as Marcos Rojo appeared to make a goal line clearance on Gross’ header only to be defied by the slimmest of margins.

Gross gave a chance to United when he pulled back Juan Mata on the edge of the 18, but the Spaniard overcooked his effort.

United’s efforts continued to miss the frame or bounce to a well-positioned Mat Ryan as the match reached its final 15 minutes.