Sports Desk, Mar 13 (efe-epa).- Everton suffered their seventh home defeat of the Premier League season on Saturday, falling 1-2 to Burnley.
Playing without the injured James Rodriguez, who was a big part of their surprisingly good start, the Toffees suffered a possibly decisive blow to their aspirations to finish in the top four for the first time since 2014.
The result leaves Everton in the sixth spot on 46 points, 1 ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who will be at the Emirates on Sunday for a North London derby with Arsenal
While Burnley, currently 15th, may have secured their permanence in the top-flight for another year with an impressive performance that put them 7 above the drop zone.
Chris Wood opened the scoring for the Clarets in the 13th minute. Dwight McNeil doubled the advantage with a spectacular goal in the 24th.
Only the post stopped Johann Gudmundsson from making it 0-3 before the half-hour mark.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin responded for the hosts in the 32nd minute with an assist from Tom Davies and Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope needed to be sharp to prevent Richarlison from bringing the Toffees level just two minutes later.
Everton keeper Jordan Pickford left the pitch just before the break after getting hurt in a scrap for the ball with Gudmundsson.
In the absence of backup Robin Olsen, himself still on the mend from an injury, Portuguese youngster Joao Virginia made his debut with the Merseyside club.
The second half saw multiple chances for the Clarets, while Pope had to make only one stop.
“We were stretched to the limit at the start of the season,” Burnley coach Sam Dyche said after the final whistle. “When I look at the amount of work we’ve asked these players to do. When you see the work ethic out there today, I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
In London, Luka Milivojevic’s successful penalty turned out to be all Crystal Palace would need to dispatch West Bromwich Albion 1-0.
The Serb converted from the spot minutes after forcing a tremendous save from Baggies keeper Sam Johnstone in the same sequence that led to the Palace penalty for a handball by defender Darnell Furlong.
West Brom never put any real pressure on Palace, who needed another good save from Johnstone to prevent Christian Benteke from making it 2-0 early in the second half.
The Baggies look doomed to relegation. They are second-from-bottom with 17 points, 9 from safety, with just 10 games to play.
Palace improve to 37 points and sit 10th in the table. EFE