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Premier League

Liverpool 4 Everton 0: Daniel Sturridge apologises to Liverpool fans - 'I let the side down and the fans down with my reaction'

The England striker had a chance to score a hat-trick

Daniel Sturridge scored twice in two minutes as Liverpool claimed their biggest victory over neighbours Everton since 1982 – but had to apologise after reacting badly having missed the chance for a hat-trick with a penalty that sailed well over the crossbar.

The striker had strong words with his manager Brendan Rodgers, at being substituted soon after the miss but said afterwards: “I would like to apologise for my reaction and for missing the penalty. I let the side down and the fans down with my reaction. At the time I was not happy but I apologise.”

Steven Gerrard, who had headed the home side in front after 21 minutes, added: “I told Daniel to take the penalty. I have scored a hat-trick in a derby and I wanted him to do it as well. “

Luis Suarez added a fourth five minutes into the second half after he had run the length of the pitch to round Phil Jagielka and slot the ball past an out of position Tim Howard, who was also at fault for Sturridge’s second.

The England striker’s miss provided some comfort for Everton, as Raheem Sterling was some distance from the ball when he went to ground.

Robin van Persie scored six minutes into his first Manchester United appearance for seven weeks in their 2-0 home win over Cardiff.  The move was started by Juan Mata, making his debut following his £37m transfer from Chelsea.

Mata, who manager David Moyes said gave United “craft”, said he felt “welcomed” by his new team-mates and added: “I’m looking forward to improve. We will try until the end [to finish in a Champions League place].”

Arsenal’s midfielder Mathieu Flamini was sent off for a two-footed tackle in his side’s 2-2 draw at Southampton.

Arsène Wenger said afterwards: “For our red card I would have to see it again. But to me it looked harsh. If you say every time a guy makes a two-footed tackle it’s a red card then he deserved it. But if you ask was it a violent tackle, I’d say no.”

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