Everton savour first win at Liverpool since 1999, Chelsea held

Saturday February 20 2021
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Everton players celebrate their second goal against Liverpool at Anfield on February 20,2021. PHOTO/AFP.

By AFP

Everton earned their first win at Liverpool since 1999 as the troubled Premier League champions crashed to a 2-0 defeat in the Merseyside derby, while Chelsea's revival under Thomas Tuchel stalled in a 1-1 draw against Southampton on Saturday.

Richarlison gave Carlo Ancelotti's side the perfect start with his third minute strike.

Gylfi Sigurdsson's late penalty sealed Everton's first triumph at Anfield in the 21st century.

Having dominated their Anfield clashes with Everton for the last 22 years, Liverpool finished a home derby empty-handed for the first time since Kevin Campbell's winner for the Toffees.

It was also Everton's first victory against their hated neighbours in any venue in 24 matches in all competitions dating back to 2010.

Jurgen Klopp's team have suffered four successive league defeats and a run of just two wins in their last 11 games in the competition has left them in grave danger of missing out on a top four finish.

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The Reds are languishing in sixth place and would be five points adrift of the Champions League places if fifth-placed West Ham beat Tottenham on Sunday.

After a run of 68 league games unbeaten at home, injury-ravaged Liverpool have lost their last four on home turf for the first time since 1923.

The sting from defeat in the 238th Merseyside derby will linger even longer given it was a bad tackle from Everton keeper Jordan Pickford in their meeting earlier this season that left Virgil van Dijk sidelined ever since with a serious knee injury.

Without the influential Dutch centre-back, Liverpool have endured a wretched time and their defensive flaws were exposed by Everton after just 145 seconds.

A weak headed Ozan Kabak clearance fell to James Rodriguez, who slipped in a pass behind the on-loan Schalke centre-back and Richarlison ran on to fire an angled drive past Alisson Becker.

Liverpool applied all the pressure in the second half but they were hit with a sucker punch seven minutes from time when Dominic Calvert-Lewin was brought down by Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Referee Chris Kavanagh was asked by VAR to look at the pitchside monitor, but the official took just a few seconds to decide he had made the right decision and Sigurdsson stroked home the penalty.

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Everton players celebrate their opening goal at Anfield against Liverpool FC on February 20,2021. PHOTO/AFP.

Everton are now level on points with Liverpool and have a game in hand on their rivals.

Chelsea held
Meanwhile, Tuchel remains unbeaten in seven games since replacing the sacked Frank Lampard last month.

But the German endured some of the same frustrations that Lampard suffered earlier in the season as the Blues domination of the ball created little, while one slack moment defensively cost them two points.

On-loan Liverpool midfielder Takumi Minamino did his parent club a favour by opening the scoring with a cool finish after sitting down Edouard Mendy and Cesar Azpilicueta on 33 minutes.

Tuchel sent on Callum Hudson-Odoi for the second-half but was less than impressed with the England international as he was replaced just 21 minutes later by Hakim Ziyech.

By that point the visitors were level as Mason Mount converted from the penalty spot after he had been chopped down by Danny Ings.

"We brought in Callum Hudson-Odoi but I was not happy with his attitude, energy and counter-pressing. I took him off and we demand 100 percent," Tuchel said.

"I feel he is not in the right shape to help us. I was not happy with his body language."

After losing six consecutive league matches for the first time in their history, even a scrappy point was a welcome boost for Southampton.

Burnley were held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man West Bromwich Albion, who had Semi Ajayi sent off after 30 minutes for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity with a deliberate handball.

The Baggies have won just once in 13 games since Sam Allardyce took charge to remain second bottom and 11 points adrift of safety.

But it was West Brom who had the better chances to take all three points as Mbaye Diagne smashed against the bar, while James Tarkowski cleared Matheus Pereira's shot off the line.

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