Everton Suspend First-Team Player Over Alleged Child Sex Offences

 

 

English football club, Everton have suspended a member of the first team pending a police investigation.

The sanction was disclosed via the official website of the club on Monday.

According to media outlets in England, the player was arrested last Friday by Greater Manchester Police before being released on bail.

While details of the player involved have not been revealed due to legal reasons, the Toffees have however stated they would collaborate with the security agencies in their investigations.

The club declined to make any further statement.

In a statement, Greater Manchester Police confirmed the arrest saying, ”Officers arrested a man on Friday 16 July 2021 on suspicion of child sex offences. He is on police bail pending further enquiries.”

EPL: Leno Howler Helps Everton Defeat Arsenal

Arsenal's German goalkeeper Bernd Leno (2nd R) watches after deflecting the ball into his own het for an own-goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2021. Michael Regan / POOL / AFP
Arsenal’s German goalkeeper Bernd Leno (2nd R) watches after deflecting the ball into his own het for an own-goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 23, 2021.
Michael Regan / POOL / AFP

 

An own-goal from Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno handed Everton a 1-0 Premier League win on Friday as around 2,000 fans protested against Gunners owner Stan Kroenke outside the Emirates Stadium.

With both sides chasing places in Europe next season, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s side who came out on top with a first win in seven games.

German keeper Leno turned a Richarlison cross into his own goal in the 76th minute to give the Toffees victory.

Arsenal supporters had gathered outside the ground demanding Kroenke stand down after the club’s attempt to join the doomed Super League project.

The result left Everton in eighth place, three points off the Champions League places.

Arsenal are ninth, nine points off the top four.

 

AFP

EPL: Kane Injured As Spurs Draw With Everton

Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane holds his foot before leaving the pitch injured during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on April 16, 2021. PETER POWELL / POOL / AFP
Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane holds his foot before leaving the pitch injured during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on April 16, 2021. PETER POWELL / POOL / AFP

 

England forward Harry Kane suffered a worrying ankle injury ahead of this year’s delayed European Championships after scoring twice in a 2-2 draw away to Everton in the Premier League on Friday.

Gylfi Sigurdsson also grabbed two goals for Everton in a result that did little for either side’s European hopes.

Kane went off in stoppage time towards the end of the match after rolling his ankle when challenged in the box at an Everton corner.

Kane’s 20th league goal of the season put Spurs ahead in the 27th minute at Goodison Park only for Sigurdsson to equalise soon afterwards from the penalty spot.

It was the reverse story in the second half, Sigurdsson getting his second in the 62nd minute before Kane levelled six minutes later.

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Spurs remain seventh, five points off the top four having played one game more than West Ham.

Everton were left a place and one point further back than Tottenham, but do have a game in hand on Jose Mourinho’s side.

Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (R) scores his team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on April 16, 2021. Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP
Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane (R) scores his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on April 16, 2021. Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP

 

After an uninspiring opening, Spurs broke the deadlock with their first effort on target.

Everton’s Michael Keane missed Tanguy Ndombele’s cross and in the process allowed Kane to control the ball and shoot into the bottom corner past England team-mate Jordan Pickford.

This was Kane’s 20th goal of the Premier League season — the fifth time in his career he had achieved the feat.

Only Alan Shearer (seven) and Sergio Agüero (six) have done so in more Premier League seasons.

But the Londoners’ lead lasted barely four minutes, with Everton equalising after Sergio Reguilon charged into James Rodriguez and Sigurdsson beat Hugo Lloris from the penalty spot.

Lloris kept the game all square come half-time, however, by denying both Rodriguez and Richarlison with fine saves.

Spurs then squandered several chances to regain the lead and they were punished for their wastefulness when Iceland’s Sigurdsson fired into the far corner following a pull-back from Seamus Coleman.

But Kane ensured a point for the visitors when he pounced from close range after Everton’s Mason Holgate and Keane collided in the Merseysiders’ box.

 

AFP

Everton Blow Late Lead Against Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace’s Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring their first goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on April 5, 2021. Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP

 

Everton’s hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League were dented by Michy Batshuayi’s 86th-minute equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw for Crystal Palace at Goodison Park on Monday.

The Toffees were made to rue a string of missed chances either side of James Rodriguez’s opener as they only narrowly closed the gap on fourth-placed Chelsea to four points.

Rodriguez’s return from injury for the first time since Everton ended a two-decade wait to beat Liverpool away in the Merseyside derby in February sparked a far more enterprising performance from Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

Vicente Guaita was forced into fine saves from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison in a dominant first-half display from the home side.

Rodriguez finally broke the deadlock 11 minutes into the second-half when he fired home Seamus Coleman’s cut-back for his 100th goal in European football.

Another two fine saves from Guaita denied Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin from doubling Everton’s advantage.

And that proved vital as Everton ultimately dropped points for the seventh time in eight home games.

 

Everton’s English striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin reacts after Palace scored during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Crystal Palace at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on April 5, 2021. Jon Super / POOL / AFP

 

Batshuayi had only been on the pitch two minutes when he latched onto Jeffrey Schlupp’s through ball to fire low beyond Robin Olsen.

A draw leaves Everton in eighth, three points adrift of Tottenham, Liverpool and West Ham, who can move into fourth with victory at Wolves later on Monday.

Palace remain in 12th, but look safe for another season in the top flight as the Eagles edge 11 points clear of the relegation zone.

AFP

Manchester City Reach FA Cup Semi-Finals, Beat Everton 2-0

Everton’s Portuguese goalkeeper Joao Virginia (R) reacts as Manchester City’s German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan celebrates scoring his team’s first goal with teammates during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park in Liverpool, northwest England on March 20, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP

 

 

Manchester City’s quest for an unprecedented quadruple of trophies remains intact after seeing off Everton 2-0 to reach the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday as Southampton also booked their place in the last four.

City were far from their flowing best at Goodison Park after Pep Guardiola made six changes from the side that cruised into the Champions League quarter-finals in midweek with a routine 2-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach in Budapest.

But goals in the final six minutes from Ilkay Gundogan and Kevin De Bruyne booked City’s place in the semi-finals for the fourth time in five seasons under Guardiola.

City won the domestic treble of Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup for the first time in English football history two seasons ago and are firm favourites to repeat that feat.

Guardiola’s men are 14 points clear at the top of the Premier League and face struggling Tottenham in the League Cup final next month.

However, the Champions League is the trophy City most want and Guardiola showed where his priorities lie with a quarter-final clash with Borussia Dortmund to come after the international break by taking the chance to rest the likes of Joao Cancelo, Riyad Mahrez and De Bruyne from the start.

Oleksandr Zinchenko cleared Everton defender Yerry Mina’s header off the line with the best effort either side mustered before half-time.

Joao Virginia started in goal for The Toffees for just the second time due to injuries to regular goalkeepers Jordan Pickford and Robin Olsen.

However, the 21-year-old Portuguese stopper produced a brilliant save early in the second half to prevent Raheem Sterling from converting Fernandinho’s pinpoint low cross.

Guardiola was forced to introduce Mahrez and De Bruyne off the bench in the final quarter.

But it was the unlikely source of Aymeric Laporte who opened Everton up as he broke forward from centre-back before Virginia brilliantly turned the Frenchman’s initial effort onto the crossbar.

Gundogan was following up, though, to head into an empty net and end the resistence from Carlo Ancelotti’s men.

De Bruyne then wrapped up the tie with a thundering finish in stoppage time as Everton claimed in vain for a high boot by Mahrez on Mina.

 

Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (R) scores his team’s second goal past Everton’s English midfielder Ben Godfrey (L) during the English FA Cup quarter final football match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on March 20, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)

‘Big target’

Southampton cast aside their Premier League struggles to ease past Bournemouth 3-0 to reach the semi-finals.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side has slumped into the Premier League relegation battle after losing 10 of their last 12 top-flight matches.

But the Saints have been immune to those woes in the FA Cup this term and they booked a place in the Wembley semi-finals thanks to Nathan Redmond’s double after Moussa Djenepo’s opener.

While Premier League survival is the priority, Hasenhuttl insists the FA Cup was a “big target” and he made just two changes against a Bournemouth team who sat seventh in the Championship.

Redmond’s enterprising run took him, past two defenders, to the edge of the area and he slipped a deft pass to Djenepo, who guided a composed finish into the far corner to open the scoring eight minutes before half-time.

Having provided the assist for the Mali winger’s first goal since October, Redmond did it all on his own to double the lead in first-half stoppage-time.

Redmond put the result beyond doubt with his third goal of the season in the 59th minute, the midfielder slotting home from 10 yards after Stuart Armstrong’s shot bounced back off the post.

 

Manchester City’s German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan (L) scores his team’s first goal during the English FA Cup quarter final football match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on March 20, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)

 

In Sunday’s two quarter-finals, Manchester United travel to Leicester in a clash between the teams currently in second and third place in the Premier League respectively, while Chelsea aim to continue Thomas Tuchel’s unbeaten start in charge at Stamford Bridge against managerless Sheffield United.

Everton Extend Liverpool’s Losing Streak To End 11-Year Wait For Derby Win

Everton’s English goalkeeper Jordan Pickford tips the ball over the bar during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 20, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Everton ended a 22-year wait to win a Merseyside derby at Anfield as goals from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson earned a 2-0 victory that condemned Liverpool to a fourth consecutive Premier League defeat.

The Toffees had not won a derby on any ground in 23 previous meetings stretching back to 2010, but took full advantage of the English champions’ lost invincibility in front of empty stands.

Victory takes Carlo Ancelotti’s men level on points with their local rivals and with a game in hand to come in the battle for a top-four finish.

After a club-record 68-game unbeaten run at home in the league came to an end last month, Liverpool have now lost four consecutive home games for the first time since 1923.

 

Everton’s English midfielder Tom Davies (L) and Everton’s Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez (R) celebrate after the final whistle of the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 20, 2021. – Everton beat Liverpool 2-0 to win a Merseyside derby for first time in 11 years. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP)

 

Jurgen Klopp’s men remain in sixth, three points off the Champions League places, and suffered another major injury blow when captain Jordan Henderson limped off midway through the first-half with a muscle problem.

The destiny of Liverpool’s title defence was irrevocably damaged by the loss of Virgil van Dijk to a knee ligament injury when the sides last met in October.

Van Dijk was in attendance as he continues his rehabilitation, but the gap he has left was exposed inside three minutes.

Season-ending injuries to Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have exacerbated the talismanic Dutchman’s absence, forcing Liverpool to recruit two new centre-backs on the final day of the January transfer market.

 

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp reacts during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 20, 2021. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP)

 

Ben Davies has still to make his debut, while Ozan Kabak has made a far from promising start.

The Turkish international’s lack of pace was exposed in a 3-1 defeat to Leicester last weekend and he was again caught flat-footed when James Rodriguez released Richarlison in behind to fire confidently past Brazilian international teammate Alisson Becker.

Liverpool were furious at the lunge by Jordan Pickford that caused Van Dijk’s injury in the previous derby.

The England international has also received plenty of criticism for his performances this season but produced a stunning save to deny Henderson an equaliser from a dipping volley.

Moments later, Henderson, who has deputised at centre-back for the past three months rather than his normal midfield role, added to Liverpool’s long list of injuries as he pulled up.

Klopp could only produce a wry smile at the loss of his skipper, but was grateful to his under-fire goalkeeper to not be 2-0 down by half-time.

 

Everton’s Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson shoots from the penalty spot to score his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 20, 2021. (Photo by LAURENCE GRIFFITHS / POOL / AFP)

 

Alisson made a string of errors with his feet leading to goals against Manchester City and Leicester, but showed why he is still regarded as one of the world’s best stoppers with a reflex save from Seamus Coleman’s header.

Liverpool responded at the start of the second-half by penning Everton back, but again the Reds cutting edge was missing at Anfield.

Other than Mohamed Salah’s penalty in a 4-1 defeat to City, Klopp’s men have failed to score in their last five home games.

Sadio Mane planted a header straight into Pickford’s arms before the Senegalese was denied by a desperate last-ditch challenge from Michael Keane.

Ancelotti introduced top scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the final half-hour on his return from injury.

 

Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane (R) vies with Everton’s English striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin (L) and Everton’s English midfielder Ben Godfrey (C) during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 20, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)

 

And the gamble paid off on a rare counter-attack from the visitors as the England international was taken down by Trent Alexander-Arnold after Alisson had saved his first effort.

Sigurdsson kept his cool from the penalty spot to double Everton’s lead and sap any lasting belief from Liverpool of ending their losing streak.

 

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp (R) consoles Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (L) after the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on February 20, 2021. – Everton beat Liverpool 2-0 to win a Merseyside derby for first time in 11 years (Photo by Paul ELLIS / POOL / AFP)

 

Man Utd Title Charge Falters As Everton Snatch Late Equaliser

Everton's English striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin scores his team's third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on February 6, 2021. Michael Regan / POOL / AFP
Everton’s English striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin scores his team’s third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on February 6, 2021. Michael Regan / POOL / AFP

 

Manchester United missed out on a share of top spot in the Premier League after twice throwing away a lead in a 3-3 draw with Everton, while Arsenal’s top-four chances are fading fast following a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa on Saturday.

United looked set to move level on points with leaders Manchester City until Dominic Calvert-Lewin snatched a point for Everton in the 95th minute at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men continued on their goalscoring form from a 9-0 thrashing of Southampton in midweek as Edinson Cavani’s header and a sumptuous lobbed strike from Bruno Fernandes gave them a 2-0 half-time lead.

But the defensive problems that have blighted United’s chances of a first league title in eight years were exploited by Carlo Ancelotti’s men after half-time.

Two goals in seven minutes from Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez brought Everton level.

Scott McTominay’s header restored the Red Devils’ lead 20 minutes from time, but they could not hold on as Calvert-Lewin slotted home a hopeful free-kick into the box with virtually the last kick of the game.

A point aids Everton’s bid for Champions League qualification as they close to within three points of fourth-placed Liverpool, who host City on Sunday.

Villa dream

Arsenal’s hopes of a top-four finish are receding fast as they remain in 10th after a second defeat to Villa this season.

The Gunners fell behind after just 74 seconds to Ollie Watkins’s deflected shot and were unable to muster a convincing response.

Villa, on the other hand, can dream of making the Champions League as they climbed up to eighth, five points off fourth-place with a game in hand to come.

Aston Villa's English striker Ollie Watkins (L) takes on Arsenal's Brazilian defender Gabriel (R) during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on February 6, 2021. Nick Potts / POOL / AFP
Aston Villa’s English striker Ollie Watkins (L) takes on Arsenal’s Brazilian defender Gabriel (R) during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Arsenal at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on February 6, 2021. Nick Potts / POOL / AFP

 

“We have the quality to score goals in abundance and we showed that today,” said Villa coach Dean Smith. “I was most pleased with the desire to see the game out at 1-0.”

The closest Mikel Arteta’s men came to a response was a stunning save from former Arsenal ‘keeper Emiliano Martinez to turn Granit Xhaka’s free-kick behind.

“In the Premier League when you give a goal to the opponent — and we gave them another three opportunities to be fair, just giving them to them — and then you are not ruthless in the opponent’s box, you don’t win games,” said a frustrated Arteta.

‘Embarrassing’ Soucek red

West Ham remain fifth, but did little to aid their chances of a top-four finish with a 0-0 draw at struggling Fulham.

Scott Parker’s Fulham are still without a win in 12 games, but could easily have shaded a game of few clear-cut chances when Ademola Lookman’s free-kick flew just wide.

However, the result was overshadowed by a controversial refereeing decision by Mike Dean deep into stoppage time when West Ham’s Tomas Soucek was sent-off after a VAR review for an unintentional clash with Aleksandar Mitrovic.

“I’m actually quite embarrassed for Mike that he would have made that decision,” said West Ham boss David Moyes.

Fulham are still eight points adrift of safety after Burnley came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw against Brighton.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s equaliser made amends for an earlier mistake when he let Lewis Dunk’s header squeeze past him on the line for Brighton’s opener.

A six-game unbeaten run has allowed Brighton to open up a 10-point gap on the bottom three.

Newcastle also pulled clear of the drop zone with a thrilling 3-2 win at St James’ Park to ease the pressure on beleaguered boss Steve Bruce.

Southampton got off to another nightmare start as Joe Willock struck on his Newcastle debut before two goals from Miguel Almiron, either side of Takumi Minamino’s reply for the Saints, put the Magpies 3-1 up.

A fine James Ward-Prowse free-kick dragged the visitors back into it and Southampton should have taken advantage after Jeff Hendrick’s red card and Fabian Schar’s premature departure through injury — which left Newcastle down to nine as they had used all their substitutes.

But Newcastle held on to claim just their second win in 14 attempts in all competitions as they moved 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

Callum Wilson’s Double Stuns Ancelotti’s Everton

Newcastle United’s English striker Callum Wilson celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on January 30, 2021.
Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP

 

Callum Wilson eased the pressure on Newcastle manager Steve Bruce as his late double sealed a vital 2-0 win against Everton on Saturday.

Bruce has been under fire from Newcastle fans after a wretched run plunged his team into the Premier League relegation battle.

But Wilson netted twice in the last 17 minutes at Goodison Park to give Newcastle their first victory in 12 matches in all competitions.

Having ended a dismal streak of five successive defeats, Newcastle are now nine points above the bottom three.

Their first win in 10 league matches gives Bruce some breathing space, but he still has only minimal margin for error given the ever-present gloomy mood on Tyneside.

Everton remain seventh after a first defeat in three league games.

Carlo Ancelotti kept faith with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford despite the England international’s latest costly mistake in the midweek draw against Leicester.

Pickford produced the best save of the game to divert Wilson’s flicked header onto the crossbar as the visitors began to generate some momentum before half-time.

Everton’s Yerry Mina twice headed over as James Rodriguez’s delivery caused problems.

Wilson should have done better when he swept Ryan Fraser’s pass just past the far post from a counter-attack not long after the restart.

The substitution which Newcastle hoped would change things up came in the 66th minute when Allan Saint-Maximin replaced Fraser.

And they made the breakthrough in the 73rd minute when Wilson lost his marker at a Jonjo Shelvey corner and looped a header across Pickford and inside the far upright.

Wilson was then denied by the post after rounding Pickford, but the former Bournemouth striker made no mistake when Newcastle countered quickly in stoppage-time.

Firing a low shot past Pickford, Wilson turned away in celebration as Bruce punched the air on the touchline.

 

 

West Ham Grab Late Winner To End Everton’s Winning Run

West Ham United’s Italian defender Angelo Ogbonna (L), West Ham United’s Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek (C)and West Ham United’s Czech defender Vladimir Coufal react at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on January 1, 2021.
Jan Kruger / POOL / AFP

 

Everton missed the chance to go a point behind local rivals Liverpool at the top of the Premier League as Tomas Soucek’s late strike earned West Ham a 1-0 win at Goodison Park on Friday.

In a disappointing game of few chances, Soucek was in the right place to stab home Aaron Cresswell’s deflected shot four minutes from time as David Moyes enjoyed a winning return to his former club.

Victory for the Hammers moves them to within three points of third despite sitting 10th in the table.

Everton on the other hand were left to rue a huge missed opportunity to bolster their European credentials.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men had enjoyed nearly a week off after their clash with Manchester City on Monday was postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak among the City squad.

Ancelotti was able to welcome back Richarlison from a concussion and James Rodriguez made his return from injury off the bench in the second-half, but the Toffees rarely put West Ham stand-in goalkeeper Darren Randolph under any pressure.

The visitors had the best chance of the first-half when another Cresswell shot flew across goal and this time beyond Jarrod Bowen at the back post.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a hat-trick when the sides met in the League Cup in September, but the England international was largely anonymous.

West Ham were playing for the third time in six days, yet it was Moyes’s men who ended the game stronger and grabbed the late winner.

Soucek’s goals from midfield have played a big part in his side’s success this season and the Czech international scored for the fourth time in seven games when Cresswell’s effort broke kindly to him.

Later, Manchester United have the chance to move level on points with Liverpool when they host in-form Aston Villa, who could go third with victory at Old Trafford.

-AFP

Everton Pile Pressure On Arteta As Arsenal Lose Again

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta reacts during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on December 19, 2020. Jon Super / POOL / AFP
Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta reacts during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on December 19, 2020. Jon Super / POOL / AFP

 

Everton piled more misery on Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta as the Toffees moved second in the Premier League with a 2-1 win in front of 2,000 delighted fans at Goodison Park on Saturday.

At the other end of the table, the Gunners remain 15th after just one win in their last 10 league games to leave Arteta’s position under mounting pressure just over four months on from winning the FA Cup.

After red cards undid Arsenal in their previous two games, much of the damage was again self-inflicted as Rob Holding’s own goal opened the scoring.

Nicolas Pepe’s penalty briefly levelled, but Yerry Mina’s header in first-half stoppage time secured a third consecutive win for Carlo Ancelotti’s men to move within five points of Merseyside rivals Liverpool at the top.

Arsenal were dealt a major blow before kick-off as captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed out due to a calf injury.

He had just refound his scoring touch with a first goal from open play in the Premier League since September in a 1-1 draw at home to Southampton on Wednesday.

Arsenal's Brazilian defender David Luiz (L), Arsenal's English midfielder Joe Willock (C) and Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (R) leave the field after the English Premier League football match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on December 19, 2020. Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP
Arsenal’s Brazilian defender David Luiz (L), Arsenal’s English midfielder Joe Willock (C) and Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (R) leave the field after the English Premier League football match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on December 19, 2020. Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP

 

That point briefly stemmed the spiral of decline at the Emirates, but Arsenal, who have been in English football’s top flight since 1919, find themselves in unchartered territory facing a relegation battle.

Should results go against them on Sunday and Monday, Arteta’s men could be just two points above the drop zone with Chelsea to come on Boxing Day.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was usurped by Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah as the Premier League’s top scorer earlier in the day and while the England international failed to score for the third straight game, he did have a big part to play in the opening goal.

Former Arsenal winger Alex Iwobi’s cross was headed towards goal by Calvert-Lewin, but his effort was going off target until it was turned in by Holding’s thigh.

Arsenal had been thoroughly outplayed in the opening half-hour, but were gifted a route back into the game when Ainsley Maitland-Niles was fouled by Tom Davies inside the area.

In the absence of Aubameyang, Pepe took responsiblity from the spot and sent Jordan Pickford the wrong way.

However, Everton’s power from set-pieces caused problems all night for the visitors and it was from a corner that the winner arrived, as Gylfi Sigurdsson’s wicked delivery to the near post was headed home by Mina.

Arsenal responded with a bright start to the second half and they came close to a second equaliser when Pickford, who returned in goal after being rotated for Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Leicester, dropped a cross into the box and David Luiz’s shot came back off the post.

Thereafter, Everton were happy to let Arsenal have the ball without ever looking capable of getting back into the game until deep into stoppage time when Pickford made amends for his earlier error by saving from Bukayo Saka.

At the start of the campaign, Arsenal’s target was a return to the Champions League next season. Now they hope just not be in the Championship, while it is the Blues who are the contenders for a top-four finish.

 

AFP

Everton End Chelsea’s Unbeaten Run

Everton's Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson (L) scores the opening goal from the penalty spot as Chelsea's French goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (R) dives the wrong way during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on December 12, 2020. Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP
Everton’s Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson (L) scores the opening goal from the penalty spot as Chelsea’s French goalkeeper Edouard Mendy (R) dives the wrong way during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on December 12, 2020. Clive Brunskill / POOL / AFP

 

Chelsea spurned the chance to go top of the Premier League as Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty earned Everton a vital 1-0 win in front of 2,000 fans at Goodison Park.

A first defeat in 18 games, excluding penalty shootouts, leaves Frank Lampard’s men still two points adrift of Tottenham and Liverpool at the top of the table.

They can extend that advantage to five points when they are in action on Sunday.

Victory lifts Everton up to seventh and within just one point of the top four.

Reece James and Mason Mount hit the post for the visitors, but they were made to pay for one rash moment from goalkeeper Edouard Mendy as he bundled over Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Sigurdsson coolly slotted home the resultant spot-kick.

A £220 million ($291 million) spending spree had seemingly transformed Chelsea into title contenders, but the Blues badly missed the creativity of the injured Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic to break Everton down once the Toffees went in front.

Carlo Ancelotti’s men had slid down the table after a blistering start to the season and the need for Everton’s own big spending to finally pay off with European football was laid bare when the club announced losses of nearly £140 million for the 2019/20 season on Friday.

However, it is Calvert-Lewin, signed for just £1.5 million from Sheffield United four years ago, who is keeping Everton’s European ambitions afloat.

The Premier League’s top scorer failed to add to his 14 goals this season, but was too quick for both Thiago Silva and Mendy to a loose ball and was wiped out by the Senegalese ‘keeper.

Richarlison had to be convinced to allow Sigurdsson to take the penalty and the Icelandic international made no mistake.

Chelsea were nearly level almost immediately as James’s shot from outside of the box was turned onto the inside of the post by Jordan Pickford.

Kurt Zouma then fired too close to the England number one, whilst Olivier Giroud was crowded out when the goal was gaping after Pickford crashed into his own defender Yerry Mina from a long ball forward.

Everton had one just one of their previous seven games after a blistering start had taken them top of the table in October.

However, the limited number of home fans, returning to Goodison for the first time since March, were given a huge win to cheer as the hosts held out with relative comfort after the break.

The closest Chelsea came to an equaliser was a Mount free-kick that came back off the post after wrong-footing Pickford 10 minutes from time.

AFP

Calvert-Lewin’s Brace Hands Everton First Win In Five League Games

Fulham’s Portuguese striker Ivan Cavaleiro (C) slips as he takes a penalty, putting the ball high over the crossbar and failing to score during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Everton at Craven Cottage in London on November 22, 2020.
JOHN SIBLEY / POOL / AFP

 

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored after just 42 seconds as Everton ended their losing run with a 3-2 win at Fulham, while injury-ravaged Liverpool prepared for their crucial clash with Leicester on Sunday.

Calvert-Lewin maintained his fine form to put Carlo Ancelotti’s side ahead inside a minute at Craven Cottage.

Bobby Decordova-Reid equalised for Fulham, but England striker Calvert-Lewin netted again and Abdoulaye Doucoure got Everton’s third before half-time.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek reduced the deficit in the second half, but Everton held on to win for the first time in five league games.

After a three-game losing streak dented their bid to finish in the top four, Everton are up to sixth place.

“The most important part of the game was to be back to winning,” Ancelotti said.

“We lost energy in the second half, the players were tired. I changed to put more fresh legs on the pitch but we had to defend. In the end it went well.”

Fulham’s Portuguese striker Ivan Cavaleiro (2R) slips as he takes a penalty, putting the ball high over the crossbar and failing to score during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Everton at Craven Cottage in London on November 22, 2020. Julian Finney / POOL / AFP

 

Everton made the perfect start when Richarlison advanced into the Fulham area before whipping over a low cross that Calvert-Lewin bundled in for 12th goal of the season.

Fulham equalised in the 15th minute when Tom Cairney’s pass picked out Decordova-Reid and he eased clear of Yerry Mina to fire in.

Everton hit back as Calvert-Lewin netted again in the 29th minute from Lucas Digne’ cross.

Digne was the provider once more in the 35th minute when his cross was headed home by Doucoure.

Ben Godfrey gave away a 68th minute penalty with a trip on Loftus-Cheek.

Ademola Lookman had missed embarrassingly from the spot against West Ham in Fulham’s previous game, so Ivan Cavaleiro stepped up, but the winger slipped as he took his kick and the ball flew high over the bar.

Loftus-Cheek got one back in the 70th minute when he met Lookman’s pass with a shot that deflected in off Mina.

Fulham remain one place above the relegation zone after their third defeat in four games.

– Haller ends drought –
Bottom of the table Sheffield United’s wait for their first win this season goes on after they were beaten 1-0 by West Ham at Bramall Lane.

Chris Wilder’s side have lost eight of their nine league games, shattering the feelgood factor after last season’s impressive first campaign back in the top-flight.

Sebastien Haller broke the deadlock in the 56th minute with his first goal since September.

When Pablo Fornals’ blocked effort ricocheted to Haller just outside the area, the Ivory Coast striker unleashed a fierce shot that flashed into the roof of the net.

It was Haller’s first goal from outside the area in 190 games across the Eredivisie, Bundesliga and Premier League combined.

Declan Rice headed against the bar as West Ham looked for a second, but Oli McBurnie was inches away from equalising when he crashed a left-footed strike off the woodwork.

The game of the day is at Anfield, where Leicester would replace Tottenham on top of the table if they can beat champions Liverpool, who will climb to second with a victory.

Already rocked by the long-term injury to Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool’s defensive resources were further depleted during the international break with Joe Gomez ruled out for the remainder of the season.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is out for a further two weeks, while Jordan Henderson is an injury doubt after picking up a muscle strain on international duty.

Top scorer Mohamed Salah will also be missing after testing positive for coronavirus while in Egypt.

There is a huge opportunity for former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers to become the first man to lead a visiting side to a league win at Anfield since April 2017 with no such injury concerns for the third placed Foxes.

Jamie Vardy’s retirement from England duty means Leicester’s top scorer has had two weeks off, while Rodgers could have full-backs Ricardo Pereira and Timothy Castagne back from injury.

In Sunday’s other game, Leeds host Arsenal.

AFP