Everton stop Chelsea from going top of Premier League

Sports Desk, Dec 12 (efe-epa).- Everton broke out of their slump Saturday with an impressive 1-0 victory against Chelsea, who missed a chance to go first in the Premier League, albeit if only for a day.

Facing a Blues side unbeaten in their last 17 games in all competitions, the Toffies seemed to draw strength from the presence of fans at Goodison Park for the first time in nine months.

Everton had only 28 percent possession, but they made it count.

As the match clock passed 20 minutes, Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy brought down Premier League top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin and the referee awarded a penalty.

Gylfi Sigurdsson fooled Mendy into going the wrong way and sent the ball into the opposite corner.

While Chelsea had the lion’s share of the ball, Everton allowed them only three shots on target and keeper Jordan Pickford proved equal to the task when called upon.

After what was only their second defeat of the season, the Blues are third in the Premier League with 22 points, 2 fewer than leaders Tottenham Hotspur and defending champions Liverpool, who each have a game in hand.

Everton moved up to seventh place.

In Manchester, United hosted City at Old Trafford with a chance to break into the top four, but the sides ended 0-0.

United, who won both editions of the derby in 2019-2020, were content to let City have more possession, yet the visitors, still without Sergio Agüero, failed to translate that advantage into greater pressure on the home goal.

Riyad Mahrez forced a stop from United keeper David De Gea in the first half, while a dangerous Kevin de Bruyne strike in the second was blocked by a defender.

Harry Maguire sent a header over the cross-bar and Bruno Fernandes fired the ball into the hands of City keeper Ederson.

The result leaves United eight on 20 points, one step above City with 19, though the Red Devils can take some satisfaction from keeping a clean sheet against their Manchester rivals for a third straight time in Premier League play.

Newcastle United edged closer to the top half of the table with a 2-1 victory over visiting West Bromwich Albion.

The Magpies jumped out to the lead just 20 seconds after the opening whistle as Joelinton delivered a great ball to an unmarked Miguel Almiron and the Paraguay international beat West Brom keeper Sam Johnstone.

Darnell Furlong equalized for the visitors in the 50th minute with an impressive strike after Matt Phillips lofted a cross into the area.

With eight minutes left in regulation, former Baggie Dwight Gayle stung his old club with a fierce header and Newcastle won their second Premier League game in succession.

With 17 points from 11 matches, the Magpies are 11th. West Brom sit second from the bottom with 6 points.

Anwar El-Ghazi’s successful penalty in the 94th minute allowed Aston Villa to come away from Wolverhampton with all 3 points.

Though they were missing top striker Raul Gimenez, Wolves put seven shots on target to just two for the visitors, who remained in the contest thanks to some solid saves by keeper Emiliano Martinez.

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