Liverpool downs Everton in derby

Chelsea wins; Arsenal v Portsmouth rained off; Spurs v West Brom on Monday; Reading wins promotion.

By JEREMY COLLINS, AP
March 26, 2006 08:44
3 minute read.
Liverpool downs Everton in derby

Garcia 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Liverpool outclassed archrivals Everton 3-1 in the English Premier League on Saturday, completing a great fortnight in which the European champs have scored 18 goals in four games. Everton had the better of the opening exchanges, creating a number of spurned chances. Ironically, the game turned as Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was sent off after 18 minutes for a second yellow card. Despite the setback, the reds managed dominate the game, and their efforts were rewarded on the stroke of half time with an own goal by Everton's Phil Neville. The second half continued in the same vein and Liverpool doubled its lead on 47 minutes as Garcia raced through to make it 2-0. Tim Cahill gave the traveling fans hope on the hour mark, heading in from a corner kick. Yet Liverpool continued to dictate the game with their midfield strength provided by Momo Sissoko and Xabi Alonso. A bold triple substitution by Everton manager David Moyes failed to provide the additional impetus for the blues. As Everton's frustration rose the game grew increasingly scrappy, and it was little surprise when substitute Andy Van Der Meyde was red carded on 73 minutes for an elbow on Luis Garcia. Liverpool stormed forward in the closing quarter of an hour, with Alonso hitting the bar, and Hyypia having a goal disallowed for offside. The decisive third goal came on 84 minutes as Kewell struck a vicious 25-meter effort past the hapless Everton 'keeper. Didier Drogba's two first-half goals lifted Chelsea to a 2-0 victory over Manchester City on Saturday, giving the Blues a 14-point lead atop the Premier League. Liverpool moved into second place, with Manchester United playing on Sunday. Arsenal's game at Portsmouth was called off because heavy rain made the field waterlogged and unplayable. Officials postponed the game about an hour before the kickoff. No new date was immediately set for the game. In other Saturday games: Aston Villa 0, Fulham 0; Sunderland 0, Blackburn 1; Wigan 1, West Ham 2. Three games are scheduled for Sunday: Middlesbrough vs. Bolton, Charlton vs. Newcastle, Manchester United vs. Birmingham. On Monday, Tottenham hosts West Bromwich Albion. Chelsea leads the Premier League with 78 points, followed by Liverpool (64), Manchester United (63), Tottenham (52), Blackburn (52) and Arsenal (50). Bolton is next with 48 with Wigan on 46 and West Ham on 45. At the bottom, Sunderland has only 10 points with Portsmouth and Birmingham City on 24. In Chelsea's victory, Drogba scored in the 30th and 33rd. His second was controversial with TV replays showing he handled the ball before scoring behind 'keeper David James. Last week in a 1-0 loss to Fulham, Drogba also scored what appeared to be the equalizer, but the goal was called off on a handball. TV replays showed the Ivory Coast striker handled the ball. Man City's Sylvain Distin was sent off in first-half injury time for his second yellow card. Steven Reid scored the winner in the 15th minute of Blackburn's 1-0 victory over Sunderland. In West Ham's victory over Wigan, Nigel Reo-Coker scored the decider in secondhalf injury time. Lee McCullough gave Wigan a 1-0 lead late in the first half with Marlon Harewood making it 1-1 in the 52nd. In the League Championship, leader Reading clinched promotion to the Premier League with a 1-1 draw at Leicester. With Leicester leading 1-0 on Iain Hume's 38th-minute goal, Kevin Doyle equalized in the 85th. It was the goal that meant promotion. With six games to play, Reading has 92 points, with Sheffield United on 78. Watford and Leeds have 72 points. Although Reading has not clinched first place, it clinched one of the two top spots. The top two teams get promoted automatically to the Premier League. The next four teams play off for the other promotion spot.

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