McBride on target as Everton falter


London : Everton lost ground in the race for the fourth Champions League qualifying slot as Brian McBride’s header gave struggling Fulham a crucial 1-0 win at Craven Cottage Sunday.

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Fulham however remain second bottom, but are now just three points from safety after their first win in five matches.

Brian McBride got the only goal of a dismal game 67 minutes in, as he stooped to nod in after Everton defender Joseph Yobo had got a touch on Simon Davies’s cross from the left.

Liverpool had pulled three points clear of their city rivals with a 2-1 home win over Reading Saturday and retained that advantage as Everton turned in a lethargic display.

Injuries and the after-effects of Wednesday’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Fiorentina in the UEFA Cup left Everton with three full- backs on the bench, and their problems were compounded with the loss of forward Andy Johnson to injury after 15 minutes.

By the end, as they chased the game, Everton were reduced to playing centre-back Joleon Lescott as a makeshift centre-forward.

Wigan Athletic did their hopes of survival the world of good as they survived the dismissal of Jason Koumas after five minutes to beat Bolton Wanderers 1-0.

Emile Heskey got the only goal seven minutes before the break to lift Wigan to twelfth, six points above Bolton in the last relegation place.

Manchester City enjoyed the benefit of two debatable offside decisions to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1.

Spurs took a first-half lead through Robbie Keane, but faded after the break.

Stephen Ireland scuffed in an equaliser from what appeared to be an offside position, before Nedum Onuoha headed his first goal for the club from a right-wing corner.

Spurs rallied late on, and Darren Bent had a header ruled out on a marginal offside call.