LONDON: Liverpool’s lingering Premier League title hopes virtually disappeared on Saturday when it lost 2-0 at Middlesbrough where the home side secured a first league win in 15 matches.
Coming three days after its victory at Real Madrid in the Champions League, the defeat leaves Liverpool seven points behind leaders Manchester United, which plays Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup final on Sunday and now has a game in hand.
Chelsea climbed above Liverpool into second place on goal difference after am injury-time winner by Frank Lampard gave it a 2-1 home victory over Wigan Athletic.
Arsenal’s struggles continued as it was held at home by Fulham for its fourth successive goalless Premier League draw, leaving it just two points ahead of sixth-placed Everton, which beat visitor West Bromwich Albion 2-0 in the early kickoff. Fulham dominated the early stages and had several chances to take the lead at the Emirates Stadium. And with less than a minute to go, Fulham striker Andy Johnson beat Arsenal’s offside trap but his shot across goal went wide.
Arsenal was also able to muster a few chances. The closest the Gunners came to scoring in the half was in the 10th minute when Van Persie’s header from a cross by Andrei Arshavin was tipped over the bar by Schwarzer.
Australian midfielder Tim Cahill kept Everton firmly on course for a top six finish in the Premier League as his header set up a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Cahill’s eighth goal of the season came late in the first half at Goodison Park and Louis Saha sealed the points with a sublime second after the break.
Everton had the first opportunity when Leighton Baines’s long ball was met by Cahill, who beat Scott Carson to the ball, but also cleared the bar.
Albion’s Marc-Antoine Fortune had two shots well held by Everton ’keeper Tim Howard before Robert Koren flashed a powerful strike wide of a post for the visitor.
Taking full toll
Moyes’s side took full advantage in the 36th minute. Ryan Donk gave away a needless free-kick with a foul from behind on Pienaar.
Baines curled a free-kick into the area and Albion’s defence went missing, allowing Cahill yards of space to head past Carson.
The result: Everton 2 (Cahill 36, Saha 70) bt West Brom 0; Arsenal 0 drew with Fulham 0; Chelsea 2 (John Terry 25, Frank Lampard 90+1) bt Wigan Athletic 1 (Olivier Kapo 82); Middlesbrough 2 (Xabi Alonso 32og, Tuncay Sanli 63) bt Liverpool 0; Everton 2 (Tim Cahill 36, Louis Saha 70) bt West Bromwich Albion 0. — Agencies