CHERRIES’ Premier League status has been mathematically confirmed as Everton were defeated by Manchester City.

Alongside already relegated Southampton and Leeds United, the Toffees are now unable to eclipse Cherries’ current points tally of 39, meaning they can no longer finish in the bottom three.

A point at Crystal Palace on Saturday would have done the job, but Cherries were made to wait another 23 hours.

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City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan continued his scoring streak, scoring in either half and setting up Erling Haaland as City won at Goodison 3-0.

The German took his tally to four in two matches with a brilliant double, one a superbly-executed over-the-shoulder volley and the other an exquisite curling free-kick up and over the wall.

In between Haaland scored his almost mandatory goal to make it 52 for the season, with former Everton centre-forward Dixie Dean’s record of 63 still realistically within his reach.

Even a City side registering four changes – Kevin De Bruyne was one of those left out with Wednesday’s delicately-poised Champions League semi-final at home to Real Madrid in mind – was barely tested in registering an 11th successive league victory in an 21-game unbeaten run.

Everton could slip into the relegation zone if Merseyside rivals Liverpool are defeated by 19th place Leicester on Monday evening. The Toffees remaining two games are against two sides formerly in this season’s relegation battle, visiting Wolverhampton Wanderers next weekend before hosting Cherries on the final day of the season.

In a potential twist of fate, Cherries could potentially relegate their hosts if results go against Everton. Eddie Howe’s final game in charge of Cherries was a 2-1 victory over the Toffees at Goodison, with the victory not enough for the Dorset club to beat the drop in the 2019-20 campaign.

With two games remaining, there are five teams still threatened by the possibility of relegation – although West Ham’s far superior goal difference and six-point gap above 18th placed Leeds means they are all but safe.

Across the New Forest, Southampton became the first team to be relegated this season after a 2-0 defeat at home to Fulham.