Premier League - Everton own goals scupper Champions League ambitions

Premier League, St Mary’s – Southampton 2 (Alcaraz 1 OG, Coleman 31 OG) Everton 0

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Premier League - Everton own goals scupper Champions League ambitions
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Everton's Paraguayan defender Antolin Alcarez scores an own goal during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Everton at St Mary's

Everton’s hopes of Champions League football next season are all but over after two calamitous own goals gave Southampton a 2-0 win at St Mary’s.

The visitors went into the match with plenty to play for but their ambitions suffered an immediate blow, Antolin Alcaraz heading past Tim Howard after only 53 seconds from Rickie Lambert’s cross.

It was Southampton, not Everton, who looked as if they had more to play for - and worse was to follow 30 minutes later. This time it was Seamus Coleman left holding his head in his hands after nodding past the hapless Howard, Nathaniel Clyne having provided the tricky delivery.

Everton were slightly better after the break and should have been back in the game when Leon Osman was brought down in the box, but referee Michael Oliver inexplicably brandished a yellow card for simulation when it looked a clear penalty.

But Southampton ran out deserve winners as Everton next face Manchester City at home and Hull City away.

KEY MOMENTS

1’ – ALCARAZ HEADS INTO HIS OWN NET: It’s a nightmare start for Everton as Alcaraz thumps a header past Tim Howard from Lambert’s cross.

20’ – DAVIS FIRES JUST WIDE: Great play from Lambert who skips clear down the left before crossing to Davis. It’s a tough chance and his shot fizzes just wide.

31’ – COLEMAN HEADS INTO HIS OWN NET: Everton find themselves further behind after another headed own goal. This time Seamus Coleman the culprit, heading past Howard from Clyne’s cross.

37’ –LUKAKU HEADS OVER: The striker squanders the visitors’ best chance, heading over from a couple of yards from Deulofeu’s cross.

60’ – LAMBERT HITS THE POST: His free kick has Howard scrambling but it deflects off the woodwork.

62’ – OSMAN DENIED PENALTY: Instead he is strangely booked to diving and Michael Oliver perhaps got that one badly wrong.

KEY STATS

Luke Shaw has made more appearances (33) than any other current teenager in the Premier League this season.

Everton have not won four league away games in a row since December 1985.

Alcaraz becomes only the sixth player to net in the opening minute of a PL match.

Alcaraz scored the fastest PL own goal (54 seconds) since Wolves’ Richard Stearman put the ball into his own net after 45 seconds in their 3-2 home defeat by Bolton in November 2010.

This is the third instance this season of a side conceding two own goals in a top flight match – after Norwich’s 7-0 defeat at Man City on Nov 2 & Sunderland’s 4-0 loss at Swansea on Oct 19.

Southampton have benefitted from two own goals in the same PL match for the first time ever.

TALKING POINT: Aside from Everton’s own goals, the big talking point is the penalty that wasn’t given. Leon Osman poked past Dejan Lovren and looked to have been clearly brought down. How Michael Oliver saw it as a dive is difficult to see.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND PLAYER RATINGS

MAN OF THE MATCH

Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton): Quickly saw off Gerard Deulofeu and was as potent an attacking threat as he was solid in defence.

PLAYER RATINGS

Southampton: Boruc 6, Clyne 8, Fonte 7, Lovren 6, Shaw 7, Wanyama 6, Cork 6, S. Davis 6, Lallana 7, Lambert 6, Gallagher 6. SUBS: Ward-Prowse 6, Guly 6, Reed 6.

Everton: Howard 6, Coleman 4, Baines 6, Stones 6, Alcaraz 4, Barry 6, McCarthy 6, Naismith 7, Barkley 6, Lukaku 6, Deulofeu 6. Subs: McGeady 7, Osman 6, Garbutt 6.

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