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Distin error may cost Toffees

EVERTON v/s SPORTING LISBON

SYLVAIN DISTIN went from hero to villain as a late penalty ensured Everton were still sweating on their place in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Distin handed his side a comfortable 2-0 lead just after half-time but then got himself sent off four minutes from the end after bringing down Liedson in the box.

Miguel Veloso made him pay by slotting home the resulting penalty to hand the Portuguese side a lifeline ahead of the second leg in Lisbon in eight days time.

The Toffees got off to a flying start and almost took the lead on 12 minutes – keeper Rui Patricio making a fine double save to deny Louis Saha and Leon Osman before Tim Cahill headed wide from a corner.

But the hosts eventually struck on 35 minutes when Phil Neville released Cahill, whose brilliant back-heel found Steven Pienaar, who swept the ball home.

This gave David Moyes’ side the incentive they needed and four minutes into the re-start they doubled their lead when Patricio failed to gather Leighton Baines’s corner and Distin guided the ball home at the far post.

Patricio then prevented Landon Donovan and Yakubu from adding a killer third goal, and it proved decisive when Liedson got the wrong side of Distin, forcing the referee to dismiss the Frenchman, and Veloso did the rest from the spot.

Fellaini out for the rest of the season
MAROUANE FELLAINI has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering an ankle injury in last week’s Merseyside derby with Liverpool.

The Belgian international requires surgery and is facing a lay-off of at least six months.

Boss David Moyes said: “It’s a very serious injury and needs an operation. It’s the same as Robin van Persie’s, so he will be out for six months.”