AAP Soccer

Liverpool back to EPL summit, Chelsea lose

By AAP Newswire

A combination of goalkeeping errors and penalties have earned Liverpool a return to the English Premier League summit, while Chelsea lost at Everton.

James Milner converted an 81st-minute spot kick - after two mistakes in a matter of seconds by Fulham goalkeeper Sergio Rico - to secure the Reds a 2-1 win, lifting them two points clear of Manchester City in the title race.

City has a game in hand in its quest for a quadruple. Pep Guardiola's side has already won the English League Cup, is into the Champions League quarter-finals, and will play Brighton in the last four of the FA Cup.

Chelsea, however, were beaten 2-0 at Everton and missed a chance to move level on points with fourth-placed Arsenal.

Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson, with a rebound off his saved penalty, scored for Everton, while Liverpool's Sadio Mane remains in the form of his life.

The Senegal international made it 11 goals in his last 11 games by putting Liverpool ahead at Craven Cottage, and now has 17 league goals for the season, the same as Mohamed Salah.

Mane was also influential in Liverpool's second goal after he was dragged down by Rico, moments after the goalkeeper failed to hold a weak effort from Salah. Milner calmly floated his penalty down the middle.

Fulham had earlier equalised against the run of play through former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel, who capitalised on a defensive mix-up between Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

"I have no doubt about my players' nerves," manager Jurgen Klopp said.

"I always want perfection but it's rare that you get it. People will say we should be more convincing in games like this but this is us, we are in the middle of a development, not at the end."

With eight games left in the Premier League, Chelsea is in sixth place after the loss at Goodison Park and appear unlikely to sneak back into the top four.

Coach Maurizio Sarri was at a loss for words post-match.

"The players don't know what happened. At the moment, I don't really know the change," Sarri said of his side's second-half performance.