SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) - Everton self-destructed in its quest for a Champions League spot, scoring two own goals in a 2-0 loss to Southampton on Saturday that seriously dents the team’s chances of finishing in the top four in the Premier League.
Antolin Alcaraz headed into his own net in the opening minute, and Seamus Coleman repeated the feat in the 31st as Everton missed a chance to provisionally move above Arsenal into fourth place. Arsenal remained one point in front ahead of its home game against Newcastle on Monday, after which both teams will only have two matches remaining.
Romelu Lukaku missed two good scoring chances for Everton in the first half and Leon Osman appealed for a penalty in the 62nd minute but was booked for diving instead.
Southampton is lodged firmly in eighth place and now has its best ever Premier League tally of 52 points.
Everton was coming off a 2-0 win over Manchester United last weekend, but went behind after just 53 seconds when Alcaraz dived to clear a cross from Rickie Lambert but sent his header past goalkeeper Tim Howard instead.
Coleman fed Lukaku with a cross shortly afterward, but the Belgium striker only managed a poor shot off target.
Lukaku missed a close-range header as Everton pushed forward, but the visitors never came close to a comeback - and now find themselves a lot farther from the Champions League.