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Everton deal Liverpool big blow with shock 2-0 derby victory

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LIVERPOOL, April 25: Jurgen Klopp’s hopes of a dream send-off were left in tatters after a 2-0 loss at Everton dealt a major blow to Liverpool’s Premier League title bid on Wednesday.
Goals from Jarrad Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin at Goodison Park meant Klopp tasted a bitter defeat in his last Merseyside derby before standing down at the end of the season.
“I can only apologize for today to the people. We should have done better and we didn’t and that’s why we lost,” Klopp said.
The loss keeps Liverpool three points behind league leader Arsenal in second place and one ahead of defending champion Manchester City, which is in third and has two games in hand on both of its rivals.
Klopp had spoken last week of needing perfection to win his second title at the club. But this was the latest setback for his team, which has lost two of its last three games in the league.
While the result hurt Liverpool’s title chances, it delivered a boost to Everton’s survival bid, with the win moving Sean Dyche’s team eight points above the relegation zone.
That fact seemed to be of less concern to the home fans, who were too busy reveling in the damage caused to Liverpool’s season.
“You lost the league at Goodison Park,” they chanted as the final whistle approached and the majority of the 39,000 crowd remained inside the stadium to drink in the atmosphere as the players celebrated on the field.
“I’m very disappointed. We let it happen exactly the game that Everton wanted,” Klopp said.
Klopp had dominated this fixture since taking over at Anfield in 2015, winning nine of the past 16 derbies before Wednesday’s match.
Statistics showed Everton won 75% of all duels in the opening half hour, a league record for any top flight team this season.
UNITED SCARE
Manchester United survived another scare — twice coming from behind to beat last-place Sheffield United 4-2.
Having been taken to the wire by second-tier Coventry in the FA Cup semifinals on Sunday, Erik ten Hag’s team looked in danger of dropping points in its bid qualify for Europe.
Sheffield United led 1-0 and then 2-1 through goals from Jayden Bogle and Ben Brereton Diaz in each half at Old Trafford. But Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes from the penalty spot leveled on each occasion.
Fernandes put United ahead in the 81st and and Rasmus Hojlund sealed the points four minutes later.
United is up to sixth in the standings, 13 points behind fourth-place Aston Villa.
CHERRIES BEAT WOLVES
Antoine Semenyo scored to help 10-man Bournemouth beat Wolverhampton 1-0 on Wednesday in a Premier League match involving another contentious refereeing decision.
Wolves had a would-be equalizer by Hwang Hee-chan disallowed in the second half after referee Stuart Attwell adjudged Matheus Cunha to have fouled Justin Kluivert in an off-the-ball incident in the build-up.Attwell was the Video Assistant Referee in the spotlight after denying Nottingham Forest three penalties in their 2-0 loss at Everton on Sunday.
Cunha’s foul was not spotted in real time but Attwell opted to give the foul following advice from VAR Darren England to watch it again on the pitchside monitor at Molineux. Semenyo scored from close range in the 37th minute after Wolves failed to clear.
Attwell showed a straight red card to Bournemouth defender Milos Kerkez for a foul on Matt Doherty in the 79th minute.
PALACE SAFE
Crystal Palace made certain of Premier League safety after a 2-0 win against Newcastle on Wednesday.
Jean-Philippe Mateta scored for a fifth straight home match to secure the win and Palace’s resurgence under Oliver Glasner. Mateta broke the deadlock at Selhurst Park with a smart 55th-minute finish before he added a second late on to end Newcastle’s four-match unbeaten run. Mateta put Palace ahead after a slick one-two with Jordan Ayew before he slid a shot home.
It was Palace’s first goal against Newcastle in seven meetings.
Newcastle pushed for a late leveler, but Palace made sure of the points in the 88th.
Will Hughes exchanged passes with substitute Jeffrey Schlupp before he teed up Mateta, who scuffed a shot through the legs of Martin Dubravka for his eighth goal in nine games since the arrival of Glasner in February. (PTI)

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