EPL

Liverpool 2-0 Everton: Robertson and Origi maintain Reds' Premier League title charge

By Sports Desk April 24, 2022

Liverpool moved back to within a point of Premier League leaders Manchester City with a battling 2-0 win over Everton on Sunday thanks to second-half goals from Andy Robertson and Divock Origi.

The Reds were frustrated for the best part of an hour by Merseyside rivals Everton, who dropped into the relegation zone ahead of kick-off following Burnley's earlier win over Wolves.

Neither side registered an attempt on target in an at times feisty first half, but Robertson made the all-important breakthrough after 62 minutes with a header from close range.

Origi added a late second against his favourite opponents as Jurgen Klopp's side made certain of a 12th win in their past 13 top-flight outings to stay within touching distance of City with five games left to go.

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    Phil Foden is "disappointed" not to have made more starts in an "up and down" World Cup for the England attacking midfielder and hopes to play a big part against Senegal.

    Foden made his first start of the tournament in a 3-0 win over Wales on Tuesday that sealed the Three Lions' place in the round of 16.

    Gareth Southgate is facing a tough selection for the showdown with the Africa Cup of Nations champions at Al Bayt Stadium on Sunday, with Foden waiting to discover if he will keep his place in the team.

    It has been a mixed World Cup for the Manchester City star, who hopes the best is yet to come

    "It has been up and down," he told BBC TV. "[I am] disappointed not to start more games, but it is part of the tournament. I am a team player and when I get the opportunities I'll take them."

    Foden added: "I had seen a lot of media attention towards me to start, it is hard to get away from that.

    "There is a lot [of competition]. [Bukayo] Saka has done well and scored in the first game, [Marcus] Rashford has scored and did very well against Wales.

    "Everyone is scoring and everyone has proved a point, so it will be a headache for Gareth to pick the team for the next game.

    "[Scoring against Wales was] definitely up there for one of the best feelings in my career so far, a special moment.

    "I think I have every chance to start the next match. I played well against Wales, but we will have to see what happens."

  • Brazil pair Jesus and Telles ruled out of remainder of World Cup Brazil pair Jesus and Telles ruled out of remainder of World Cup

    Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles will not recover from knee injuries in time to play again at the 2022 World Cup, Brazil confirmed on Saturday.

    The pair had each been substituted in Friday's defeat to Cameroon, with team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirming afterwards they would have scans the following day.

    Brazil have already been playing without Neymar, Danilo and Alex Sandro due to injuries, and their latest two setbacks are significant.

    Reports in Brazil on Saturday had suggested Jesus would miss a month and Telles was potentially facing surgery, also representing blows to Arsenal and Sevilla.

    A statement from the CBF subsequently confirmed neither would feature for the remainder of the World Cup.

    "As announced by the CBF after the game against Cameroon, players Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus underwent tests this Saturday morning," the statement read.

    "Accompanied by the doctor of the Brazilian team, Rodrigo Lasmar, they performed an MRI on the right knee that confirmed the injuries and the impossibility of recovery in time to participate in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

    "The coordinator of the Brazilian national team, Juninho Paulista, is in contact with the sports directors of Arsenal and Sevilla to define whether Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus remain with the squad in Doha for continuity of treatment or if they return to their clubs."

    While Jesus was set to play only as Richarlison's back-up in the knockout stage, Telles could have been in line for a prominent role.

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    The New York Jets will undergo a fierce test of their playoff credentials on Sunday as they face the Vikings in Minnesota, where they will be hoping Mike White can deliver another inspiring performance at the quarterback position.

    At 7-4, the Jets occupy the final Wild Card spot in the AFC playoffs, but a victory over the Vikings would move them just a game behind the Buffalo Bills (9-3) in the race for the AFC East title. The 9-2 Vikings can clinch the NFC North crown if they win and the Detroit Lions lose at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Having replaced 2021 second overall pick Zach Wilson as the starter following Wilson's dismal performance in the Week 11 loss to the New England Patriots, White led an outstanding offensive performance from the Jets in their 31-10 win over the Chicago Bears in Week 12.

    White threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Chicago, his second career game with 300+ passing yards and at least three TD passes (in five career appearances).

    The last Jets quarterback with multiple career such games prior to White for the team was Ken O'Brien with seven (last occurrence was in 1991).

    White produced that display against a Chicago defense that has seen much of its top talent traded away and ranks 29th in the NFL by yards per play allowed (5.92).

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    And New York's defense is well-equipped to slow down the Minnesota attack. The Jets' win over Chicago marked the team's fourth time this season holding an opponent to 10 or fewer points, tied for the most such games in the NFL (with Dallas and San Francisco).

    The last time the Jets had at least that many games in a season was 2010 (five), their last campaign in which they made the playoffs.

    Minnesota's offense is powered largely by the continually superb exploits of wide receiver Justin Jefferson. 

    Jefferson and Adam Thielen each caught touchdown passes in the Vikings' Thanksgiving Day win over the New England Patriots. It was the ninth time each player has had a receiving TD in the same game, the most of any NFL team-mates since Jefferson debuted at the beginning of the 2020 season.

    The Jets have the talent in the secondary to potentially limit the Vikings' receivers, and the matchup between Jefferson and New York's rookie cornerback Ahmad 'Sauce' Gardner is an extremely intriguing one. Gardner has allowed receivers to get open on just 19.45 per cent of his matchups across man and zone coverage, the best rate of all cornerbacks, according to Stats Perform data.

    Yet if the game remains close, the edge appears to be with the Vikings.

    The Vikings are 8-0 in games decided by eight or fewer points this season after the 33-26 win over the Patriots on Thanksgiving. The only team in NFL history to finish a season 8-0 or better in such contests was the 2009 Indianapolis Colts (8-0).

    If Minnesota improve that tally to 9-0, rookie head coach Kevin O'Connell would join Jim Caldwell and Jim Harbaugh as the only head coaches this century to earn 10 wins in 12 or fewer games to start their career as an NFL head coach.

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