LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Everton enjoyed their first Premier League win at Liverpool since 1999 with a 2-0 victory at Anfield condemning Juergen Klopp's fading champions to a fourth straight home defeat on Saturday.
The win moved seventh-placed Everton, who had not won in 20 attempts in the league against their Merseyside rivals, level with Liverpool on 40 points.
While the victory boosts Everton's hopes of making a push for a top-four Champions League place, it continues the stunning collapse in form for last season's champions.
Liverpool have lost five of their eight Premier League matches in 2021, as many as they lost in 72 games in 2019 and 2020 combined.
Brazilian Richarlison put Carlo Ancelotti's side ahead in the third minute with a cool finish after a delightful through ball from James Rodriguez.
Liverpool's injury problems continued with Jordan Henderson limping off with a muscle injury in the 30th minute, forcing Klopp into another reshuffle at the back with Nat Phillips coming on to partner Ozan Kabak.
Seamus Coleman went close to a second goal before the break with a diving header that was saved by Alisson but Everton's victory was built more on solid defending.
Michael Keane was outstanding at the back and goalkeeper Jordan Pickford was faultless as Everton coped well with Liverpool's occasional threats.
The England keeper did well to come out and foil Mohamed Salah after Xherdan Shaqiri played in the Egyptian forward in the 69th minute.
SIGURDSSON SCORES PENALTY
The outcome was settled when Dominic Calvert-Lewin's shot was parried by Alisson and the Everton forward went down as he tried to leap over the fallen Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Referee Chris Kavanagh reviewed the incident briefly on the pitchside monitor and confirmed his decision with substitute Gylfi Sigurdsson then stroking the penalty into the corner.
Liverpool have not lost four home matches in a row in the league since 1923 and they are the first top-flight champions to suffer that fate since Everton in 1928-29.
While there has been much talk of Liverpool's injuries, particularly the long-term absence of central defender Virgil van Dijk, midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum said it was vital they did not start to feel sorry for themselves.
"We have a lot of games to turn it around –- if we’re going to look at the situation as victims it’s going to be worse," said the Dutchman.
“What we can do is just try to give everything, try to keep confident and work all together to bring it (the season) to a better end.
"You don’t want to feel sorry for yourself and don’t want to go into the victim role," he said.
Everton's long-serving skipper Coleman was delighted to have finally tasted success at Anfield.
"It’s an amazing feeling after coming here all those years and letting ourselves, and more importantly letting the blue side of the city, down. It’s been hard. We can try and brush it off but when you have lived in the city for 10 years it has been difficult to take," he said.
"I'm fed up with coming out with the same cliches after losing. I'd thank the manager for the way he set us up and the players put in an unbelievable shift. That was against the champions, so we are delighted."
Ancelotti has now beaten Liverpool eight times in 16 meetings with various clubs, having previously enjoyed success with Napoli, AC Milan, Real Madrid and Chelsea.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Clare Fallon)