Saints beat Brighton to boost EPL survival hopes

              Southampton's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the English Premier League soccer match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Southampton at the Amex Stadium, Brighton England. Saturday, March 30, 2019. (Gareth Fuller/PA via AP)/PA via AP)

BRIGHTON, England (AP) — Southampton enjoyed a double boost on Saturday by taking a significant step toward English Premier League survival with a 1-0 win over Brighton, and increasing the relegation concerns of its south coast rival.

Saints captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg earned the visitors victory at Amex Stadium by scoring his first goal since December.

Southampton winger Nathan Redmond’s driving run and perfectly weighted pass slipped Hojbjerg in on goal and he produced a composed poke past Mathew Ryan and into the bottom right corner in the 53rd minute.

Brighton almost leveled when right back Martin Montoya crashed a shot against the crossbar from the edge of the box with 18 minutes to go. Chris Hughton’s side, which grabbed a last-gasp equalizer at St Mary’s in September, was unable to salvage a draw.

The result moved Southampton level on points with the Seagulls, five above the drop zone ahead of 18th-placed Cardiff’s clash with Chelsea on Sunday.