Liverpool lose lead after scoreless draw, Jorginho fires Chelsea win

Liverpool were left to regret two huge missed chances by Mohamed Salah as Everton held out for a 0-0 draw in the Merseyside derby on Sunday (Mar 3).

Jurgen Klopp's men now trail champions Manchester City by a point at the top of the Premier League with nine games remaining.

Salah was denied by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and a last-ditch challenge by Michael Keane either side of half-time as Liverpool dropped points for the fourth time in six league games.

Fabinho was also guilty of wasting a big opportunity 21 minutes from time as Lucas Digne cleared when the Brazilian took an age to control Virgil van Dijk's knockdown.

Everton remain without a win in the Merseyside derby in 20 matches stretching back to 2010 but may have done enough to stop their local rivals from winning the title for the first time in 29 years.

Salah has now scored just once in his past six matches and wasted by a distance the best chance for either side from the sort of situation he finished with ease in a 44-goal debut season at Anfield last year.Pickford was at fault for Liverpool's 96th-minute winner when the sides last met in December, but the England number one went some way to making amends by standing tall to block as Salah bore down on goal before Seamus Coleman threw himself in the way of a follow-up attempt from Jordan Henderson.

That was a rare glimpse of goal in a first-half which generated plenty of excitement and atmosphere but little in the way of goalmouth incident.

Everton have endured a disappointing season after spending big in the summer to back Marco Silva and their lack of quality on the ball showed despite their commitment and desire to close Liverpool down.

The hosts at least opened the second-half with slightly more urgency, Dominic Calvert-Lewin rising to meet an early Lucas Digne corner, with a header that was saved comfortably by Alisson Becker.

At the other end, Salah spurned another chance when the ball broke his way off Kurt Zouma, but the Egyptian took a heavy touch and allowed Keane to make a stunning recovery tackle.

Jorginho (R) of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his sides second goal. /VCG Photo

Jorginho (R) of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his sides second goal. /VCG Photo

Maurizio Sarri declared the Kepa Arrizabalaga controversy was over after the Chelsea goalkeeper began to make amends for his Wembley mutiny with an impressive display in Sunday's (Mar 3) 2-1 win at Fulham.

Sarri's side took the lead through Gonzalo Higuain before Calum Chambers equalized at Craven Cottage.

In an incident-packed first half, the much-maligned Jorginho restored Chelsea's lead with his first goal since the opening weekend of the season.

Chelsea were indebted to Kepa for a series of superb saves that preserved their lead after the break, lifting the sixth-placed Blues within two points of fourth-placed Manchester United, with a game in hand.

Sarri had dropped Kepa for Chelsea's 2-0 win over Tottenham on Wednesday as punishment for the Spaniard's refusal to be substituted during last weekend's League Cup final defeat against Manchester City.

But Sarri had insisted Kepa remained his "first choice" and the world's most expensive keeper returned in place of Willy Caballero after his one-game demotion.

Chelsea made the most of their escape to take the lead in the 20th minute.

Willian's pass picked out Azpilicueta's run down the right and Chelsea's captain whipped over a cross that Higuain met with an instinctive volleyed finish.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri (R) says he is "very happy" with the result. /VCG Photo 

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri (R) says he is "very happy" with the result. /VCG Photo 

It was Higuain's third goal in eight games since the Argentine striker joined on loan from Juventus in January.

Kepa redeemed himself with an acrobatic save to keep out Aleksandar Mitrovic's volley from Ryan Sessegnon's cross.

But from the resulting corner, Chelsea were punished for an awful piece of defending as Fulham grabbed a 28th-minute equalizer.

Chambers was left totally unmarked when Fulham took the corner quickly, Babel picking out his team-mate at the far post for a well-taken finish.

Three minutes later, Eden Hazard was the catalyst for Chelsea's second goal with an incisive run into the Fulham area, the Belgian laying the ball back to the Jorginho, who guided a superb strike into the top corner from 18 yards.

Source(s): AFP