From bad to worse for Liverpool with derby loss to Everton

Sports Desk, Feb 20 (efe-epa).- Everton beat Liverpool 0-2 Saturday on goals by Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson in a game that saw Reds captain Jordan Henderson leave the pitch injured in the 29th minute.

The Toffees first triumph in the Merseyside derby in more than a decade was a milestone of a different kind for the reigning Premier League champions, who lost a fourth straight home match in the top-flight for the first time since 1923.

Everton grabbed the lead at Anfield in the 3rd minute as Richarlison ran onto a great ball from James Rodriguez and bested Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson with a shot to the far corner.

The hosts, who would end the contest with 72 percent possession, poured on the pressure, but Everton keeper Jordan Pickford proved equal to the occasion, making saves against Henderon and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

At the opposite end, Alisson denied Seamus Coleman to keep the deficit at one.

Pickford was tested in the second half by Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah before Alexander-Arnold brought down Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson converted the penalty in the 81st minute to secure the win.

As much as losing the derby was a blow to Liverpool’s already battered pride, Henderson’s injury may prove even more costly.

The skipper, who normally plays as a midfielder, has been helping out on the back line for much of the season in the absence of the injured Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez.

Fabinho, another midfielder pressed into service as a defender, is also out of action.

The result leaves the two Merseyside clubs level on points at 40, but Liverpool are sixth thanks to a better goal difference, while the seventh-place Toffees have a game in hand.

Coach Jürgen Klopp acknowledged two weeks ago after a loss to leaders Manchester City that Liverpool’s title defense was over and the two defeats since then have cast doubt on whether the Reds can manage to finish in the top four.

Second-from-bottom West Bromwich Albion managed to salvage a point against Burnley with a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor despite their having to play two-thirds of the match with 10 men.

Sami Ajayi received a straight red card after he was deemed to have denied a goal-scoring opportunity when he handled the ball.

Yet even with the numerical advantage, the hosts created few moments of real danger for Baggies keeper Sam Johnstone.

West Brom, without a victory in their last seven matches, are on 14 points, 11 from safety. Burnley remain in the 15th spot with 28 points.

In London, 18th-place Fulham boosted their chances of staying up with a 1-0 win over Sheffield United, the worst team in the Premier League.

The hosts had 66 percent possession and outshot the Blades 15-4. The only surprise was that the goal, from Ademola Lookman, didn’t come until the 60th minute.

Sheffield are 14 points adrift. Fulham improve to 22 points, just 3 fewer than Newcastle United in the 17th spot, though the Magpies have a game in hand. EFE


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