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Luton relegated from Premier League after one season

LUTON, England (AP) — Luton has been relegated after just one season in the Premier League.

The team lost 4-2 at home to Fulham on the final day of the season on Sunday and joins Sheffield United and Burnley in going down to the second-tier Championship.

Luton needed to beat Fulham and for Nottingham Forest, which began the day in fourth-to-last place, to lose at Burnley. There also needed to be a 12-goal swing in goal difference in Luton's favor. Forest wound up winning 2-1.

It means all three teams who were promoted have been relegated immediately

Last season, all three promoted teams staved off relegation for the first time since 2018.

It was Luton's first year in the top flight since the 1991-92 campaign — the last season before the Premier League was founded.

Luton manager Rob Edwards, whose captain Tom Lockyer missed much of the season after a cardiac arrest at Bournemouth in December, said injuries played their part in the relegation but acknowledged the task “almost became impossible” after last week's loss at West Ham.

“We did our all,” Edwards said. “There are reasons for it and I think in the end we were just a little bit thin. We missed him (Lockyer) and we missed a number of players as well. The job almost became impossible.

“When you have eight, nine, 10, 12, 13 players missing ... it became too much. I understand why we were the favorites to go down and ultimately people were right.”

Edwards expects some changes in the offseason but wants to keep the squad together ahead of next season’s promotion push.

“We have no financial worries at all so we don’t have to sell anybody," he said. “It’s inevitable there will be change — that happens. It has to be right for us, first of all.”

On the future of midfielder Ross Barkley, who has impressed since joining from Nice last summer, Edwards added: “We’ve had a chat. The fans showed their love for Ross, he’s adored by everyone here, we will see what happens. He’s contracted to the club and I expect to see him in preseason.”

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer