Everton deal huge blow to Liverpool's title hopes with derby win

Everton inflicted a potentially fatal blow to Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes and took a huge step towards safety with a deserved 2-0 win over their Merseyside rivals at Goodison Park.

Liverpool, needing a win in Jurgen Klopp’s final derby as manager to move level on points with leaders Arsenal, were second-best throughout as the excellent hosts claimed only their second Premier League win over the Reds in 27 Premier League meetings.

Jarrad Branthwaite hit the opener midway through the first half following a ferocious opening spell from Sean Dyche’s side, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin capitalising on more poor Liverpool defending to head in their second from a corner after half-time.

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Jarrad Branthwaite gave Everton the lead in the first half

Liverpool were unable to cope with Everton’s set-piece threat and, at the other end, they were beset by familiar finishing issues as Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah wasted chances.

The defeat leaves Klopp’s side three points behind Arsenal in second place with only four games to play and means Manchester City, who have two games in hand, can move two points above them with a win over Brighton, live on Sky Sports on Thursday.

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin added the second with a towering header

Everton, meanwhile, now sit eight points clear of the relegation zone in 16th place, Premier League safety within their reach as they celebrate a memorable Merseyside derby triumph.

How Everton stunned sloppy Liverpool

Everton came into the game having not even scored in any of the last four Merseyside derbies but their determination to change the record was obvious from the outset.

Team news

  • Dominic Calvert-Lewin was fit to start despite picking up a knock in Everton’s win over Nottingham Forest. James Garner and Ben Godfrey came into the team.
  • Jurgen Klopp made six changes from Liverpool’s win at Fulham, with Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Alexis Mac Allister among those coming back in.

The excellent Calvert-Lewin saw an early penalty award overturned for offside following a VAR check, but that disappointment did not affect the hosts, who continued to tear into Liverpool in transition and bombard their penalty area from set-pieces.

Ben Godfrey cleared a Salah cross-shot off the line in one of few awkward moments at the other end of the pitch, but Everton soon made a deserved breakthrough when Branthwaite stabbed a low finish over the line after Liverpool had failed to clear a free-kick.

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Ben Godfrey makes goal-saving challenge

Alisson had already bailed his side out once at that point, making a close-range save from Calvert-Lewin, who was bullying Liverpool centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate. It was only after the goal that the visitors were able to gain any kind of foothold.

Their problem was a familiar one, though, as their finishing once again let them down. Nunez was the main culprit, shooting straight at Jordan Pickford when put through on goal, while Diaz and Andrew Robertson were also denied before the break.

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Wasteful Nunez fires straight at Pickford

Everton, emboldened by those wasted chances, came out for the second half with fresh intensity and Calvert-Lewin’s towering header from Dwight McNeil’s corner nearly lifted the roof off the stadium.

Liverpool tried to muster a response, going closest when Diaz cracked a diagonal effort off the post, but they could find no way past the superb Pickford despite racking up 27 shots on goal.

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Luis Diaz rattles the woodwork as Liverpool search for a goal at Goodison.

The result never really looked in doubt for Everton, despite those Liverpool efforts to reduce the deadlock, and Goodison Park erupted for a third time when the final whistle sounded, leaving Klopp and his players to reflect on a result which may well prove terminal to their hopes of finishing the campaign as champions.

Carra: This is the end of Liverpool’s title run

Sky Sports Jamie Carragher:

“It’s Everton’s night. You have to give it to them. You have to accept that as a Liverpool fan.

“This is the end of the title run for Liverpool. It almost feels like the end. They just have to make sure they finish the season strongly.

“They had enough chances in the game but at the moment they are not clinical enough in both boxes.

“I don’t think you can get too angry with the team or Jurgen Klopp. It’s been a great ride and a great journey. But tonight is Everton’s night and you have to take it on the chin.”

What’s next?

Everton are back at Goodison Park on Saturday when they host Brentford, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 5.30pm. Everton feature on Sky Sports again on Friday May 3 for their trip to relegation rivals Luton. Kick-off 8pm.

Liverpool head to West Ham on Saturday with kick-off at 12.30pm. They return to Anfield on Sunday May 5 to host Tottenham, live on Sky Sports. Kick-off 4.30pm.

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