Chelsea beaten by Everton; Manchester derby stalemate

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Aston Villa's Anwar El Ghazi, center, celebrates scoring their first goal with Matty Cash, right, and Jack Grealish during the English Premier League soccer match between Wolverhampton and Aston Villa at Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, England, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020. (Tim Keeton/Pool via AP)

MANCHESTER – The People's Club welcomed back its fans and Chelsea felt the full force.

With 2,000 supporters allowed back into Goodison Park after nine months, Everton won 1-0 on Saturday to end Chelsea's 17-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

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It means third-place Chelsea can be overtaken — if Leicester beats Brighton on Sunday — and front-runners Tottenham and Liverpool can pull further away at the top of the Premier League.

“I don’t think we were at our best,” Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said. “We have been on a really good run and we knew what was coming with Everton physically and we didn’t handle that well. We didn’t show enough to break them down.”

It was an uncharacteristic mistake by Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy —- bringing down Dominic Calvert-Lewin — that allowed Gylfi Sigurdsson to score a penalty in the 22nd minute and spark home celebrations as Everton rose to seventh.

“The impact was really strong — we were really pleased," Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti said. “It is really important to have the support. It’s a totally different environment, completely.”

And totally different about 30 miles (48 kilometers) away in Manchester, which remains in a higher level of coronavirus restrictions so no supporters were allowed into the city's derby match for the first time.

There was no atmosphere, no intensity and no goals as Manchester United and Manchester City drew 0-0 in the 183rd derby.

The rivals are both unusually low in the Premier League, too. United is eighth and City, which has won the league three times since its neighbor last lifted the trophy in 2013, is a point and place behind.

“We're not happy to draw 0-0 at home at Old Trafford," United captain Harry Maguire said, “and not create any big chances for fans to get off their seats and get excited about."

There has been little joy for them watching from home this season — with United failing to score in three games at Old Trafford.

After exiting the Champions League on Tuesday, a draw against its biggest rival is helpful for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“I was very, very pleased with it — exceptional attitude,” he said. "Of course, we had some moments where we had to defend ... or there were times that they really pegged us back. But we stuck at it, defended really well. So attitude-wise, recovery, mental recovery, they’ve done brilliant.”


Newcastle's 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion began with Miguel Almiron scoring the fastest goal this season at 19.98 seconds.

After Darnell Furlong scored a 50th-minute equalizer in the empty St. James' Park, Dwight Gayle headed in the winner off the crossbar in the 82nd to lift Newcastle up to 11th place. West Brom is next-from-last in the standings.


Just like in Manchester and Newcastle, Wolverhampton also remains unable to bring fans back as part of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Wolves fans missed losing a derby.

Anwar El Ghazi scored a penalty in the fourth minute of stoppage time — following Nelson Semedo’s foul on John McGinn — to give Aston Villa a 1-0 win in a game that ended with two players sent off .

Villa had Douglas Luiz sent off in the 85th minute after being shown a second yellow card for catching Daniel Podence with an elbow.

Wolves was also reduced to 10 men moments after the penalty when Jacob Ramsey was fouled and Joao Moutinho was booked again by referee Mike Dean.

Villa is 10th in the standings after 10 games, while Wolves is 12th after losing five of its 12 games.


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