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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Liverpool back on top as Everton push on for top four

PHOTOS: Liverpool back on top as Everton push on for top four

Last updated on: April 06, 2014 23:15 IST

PHOTOS: Rampaging Everton crush Arsenal

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Steven Gerrard scored two penalties as Liverpool went back to the top of the Premier League with a 2-1 win at West Ham United to complete a Merseyside win-double over London clubs on Sunday.

Earlier Everton crushed a woeful Arsenal side 3-0 at Goodison Park to boost their chances of a top four finish and a possible place in next season's Champions League for the first time in nine seasons.

The two vitally important games had a big bearing on the top of the table with Liverpool top with 74 points from 33 matches, two ahead of Chelsea who have also played 33.

Manchester City, who play Liverpool next week, have 70 points and two matches in hand, followed by Arsenal on 64 from 33 and Everton 63 from 32.

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Image: Steven Gerrard (C)of Liverpool celebrates with teammate Raheem Sterling (L) after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Ninth successive league win

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Liverpool continued where Everton left off by chalking up their ninth successive league win after Gerrard put them ahead in the 44th minute with his first penalty after James Tomkins handled a Luis Suarez cross at close-range.

West Ham equalised a minute later with a controversial goal from Guy Demel after former Liverpool striker Andy Carroll appeared to foul Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet in the build-up. The ball dropped to Demel who swept it in.

Referee Anthony Taylor had a long discussion with his assistant before allowing the goal to stand, but there was also controversy surrounding Liverpool's next goal.

Taylor ruled that West Ham keeper Adrian brought down Jon Flanagan although TV replays showed the goalkeeper got a hand to the ball first.

Gerrard, who also scored two penalties against Manchester United last month, made no mistake with his second spot kick, blasting the ball past Adrian into the corner of the net.


Image: Steven Gerrard
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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PHOTOS: Rampaging Everton crush Arsenal

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Everton crushed a woeful Arsenal side 3-0 at Goodison Park on Sunday to boost their chances of a top four finish and a possible place in next season's Champions League for the first time in nine seasons.

Everton's sixth successive Premier League win meant that although they stayed in fifth place, one behind Arsenal, they are only a point behind the Gunners with a match in hand.

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Image: Steven Naismith of Everton scores the first goal during the Barclays Premier League match against Arsenal at Goodison Park
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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PHOTOS: Rampaging Everton crush Arsenal

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Goals from Steven Naismith after 14 minutes, a superb solo effort from Romelu Lukaku after 34 and a third after 62 when a Kevin Mirallas shot went in off Arsenal's former Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta for an own goal, sent Arsenal crashing to another heavy defeat on Merseyside two months after they lost 5-1 at Liverpool.

Arsenal last failed to play in the Champions League in 1997-98 but on this form their record is under serious threat.

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Image: Thomas Vermaelen of Arsenal tackles Romelu Lukaku of Everton
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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PHOTOS: Rampaging Everton crush Arsenal

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Everton took part in the qualifiers in the 2005-06 season but were eliminated and have never played in the Champions League proper.

On this form Arsenal will need a massive improvement in the closing weeks of the season to stop Everton finishing above them.

They posed little to worry the Everton defence apart from a rasping late shot from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain which Everton keeper Tim Howard tipped on to the bar, and their gloom was completed with Mathieu Flamini's 10th booking of the season ruling him out of next weekend's FA Cup semi-final against holders Wigan Athletic at Wembley.


Image: Ross Barkley of Everton shoots at goal during the Barclays Premier League match against Arsenal
Photographs: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

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