LIVERPOOL, England — Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite and Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored in a pulsating 2-0 home victory over Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday that could prove to be the death of the visitors’ withering Premier League title hopes.

Everton’s first derby victory at Goodison Park in more than 13 years prevented Liverpool from climbing level with Arsenal at the top of the league table. Juergen Klopp’s men are three points behind the Gunners (77) with four games to play.

Holders Manchester City remain in the driver’s seat on 73 points but with two games in hand, while Everton’s victory has them breathing easier, eight points above the relegation zone in 16th.

Everton were sharper from the start and won a penalty when Mr. Calvert-Lewin was tripped by Liverpool keeper Alisson only for it to be overturned by the VAR for an offside.

Yet it wasn’t long before Mr. Branthwaite had the old stadium shaking in the 27th minute when he capitalised on poor defending from Liverpool, slotting home from close range after the Reds missed several attempts to clear the ball.

Mr. Alisson could not quite get his hands on the ball which rolled off the post and in.

Mr. Branthwaite is the first Everton player to score against Liverpool since Demarai Gray in a 4-1 league home loss in late- 2021.

Mr. Calvert-Lewin leapt to head home from a corner kick to double the Toffees’ lead in the 58th minute, and while Liverpool have mounted some masterful comebacks this season, Everton held strong to hand Mr. Klopp, who is leaving his role at the season’s end, his first defeat at Goodison in his final derby.

Liverpool kept Everton keeper Jordan Pickford busy in the dying minutes as he leapt to bat Harvey Elliott’s shot over the crossbar and then dived to save a shot from Reds talisman Mohamed Salah while Everton manager Sean Dyche looked at his watch in frustration, desperately wanting the final whistle to blow.

It was joyful bedlam when it finally did, with Everton’s faithful serenading the team off the pitch.

While Liverpool, who had 77% possession and seven shots on target to Everton’s six, won the League Cup earlier this season, the Premier League is the final trophy up for grabs for the Reds after they were eliminated from the FA Cup and Europa League. — Reuters