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Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2010

Everton pours fuel on Liverpool's fire

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) Liverpool's relegation troubles deepened with a 2-0 loss at neighbor Everton on Sunday, with the arrival of new owners failing to inspire the players to turn their miserable season around.

News photo
Too close for comfort: Everton's Yakubu (right) and Liverpool's Jamie Carragher vie for the ball in Sunday's English Premier League match at Goodison Park. AP PHOTO

The 18-time English champions are only off the bottom of the Premier League standings on goal difference.

The 214th Merseyside derby was settled by goals either side of the break from Tim Cahill and Mikel Arteta, lifting Everton, which had started the game just a place above Liverpool, up to 11th.

At the top of the table, where Liverpool is more accustomed to being, second-place Manchester City beat Blackpool, with Carlos Tevez's double and David Silva's strike clinching a 3-2 win.

City took full advantage of Chelsea being held 0-0 by Aston Villa on Saturday to trim the defending champion's lead to two points.

Liverpool, though, couldn't take advantage of the hope of a new era free and is still looking for its second win of the season.

New England Sports Ventures bosses John Henry and Tom Werner watched as Liverpool went most of the match at Everton without threatening — two days after Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. were ousted from a bitter court battle.

It took almost 25 minutes for Liverpool to get sight of goal, with struggling striker Fernando Torres flicking in a header that was turned over by goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Everton was overwhelming its visitors and Pepe Reina was beaten at his near post by Cahill in the 34th minute.

Seamus Coleman did all the hard work, forcing his way down the left flank to the byline and then cutting the ball back for Cahill.

Everton extended its lead five minutes after the break when Arteta picked up Leighton Baines' corner on the edge of the penalty area and unleashed a fierce volley past Reina.

"This would have been the ideal opportunity to really turn things around on the back of the positive entry of the new owners — to win the game would have been utopia," Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson said. "There's no point attempting to analyze dreams. We had to play a game of football . . . we suffered at the hand of an early onslaught."

Liverpool has collected just six points from eight matches.

"We're not trying to disguise the fact this is a predicament," Hodgson said. "For any team to take six points from eight games from the start of a season, is a predicament."

Everton manager David Moyes, though, was celebrating the end a run of three successive league derby losses.

"The smile's not come off my face," he said. "It's been a long time. I'm really disappointed I've not been able to win more derbies. In the past we've probably lacked the quality to match Liverpool. I don't think we do now."

At Blackpool, City manager Roberto Mancini was happy to win with an ugly performance against a robust side.

"Sometimes it is important to win like we did today," he said. "We didn't play well. It was important at the end that we scored three goals. It is not easy to score three goals away from home."

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