Everton and Liverpool played out an entertaining goalless draw in an action-packed Merseyside derby at Goodison Park in the Premier League on Saturday.
It was a game of close calls with goalkeeping excellence and the woodwork denying both sides, before VAR made the biggest intervention with 20 minutes to play, chalking off Conor Coady’s close-range finish with the defender just offside, leaving the teams to share the points.
A game of fine margins in the first half as both sides entered the break wondering how the nets were not left bulging. Tom Davies’ curling outside-of-the-foot shot evaded Alisson, but not the Brazilian’s far post.
At the other end, Jordan Pickford superbly tipped a Darwin Nunez effort onto the crossbar, before Luis Diaz was denied by the post on the follow-up – a finger tip and a lick of paint was all that prevented a breakthrough before half-time.
Normal service was resumed in the second half with the goalkeepers stealing the show. Pickford produced a tremendous triple save to deny Roberto Firmino twice and then Fabinho, before Alisson was equal to Neal Maupay’s close-range effort.
With 20 minutes to play, Everton thought they had taken the lead when Coady tapped home from just yards out, but VAR ruled him offside to silence the celebrations with the sides forced to share the spoils.
Everton have a full week to recover and prepare for their trip to Arsenal in the Premier League next Sunday at the Emirates Stadium. As for Liverpool, they begin their Champions League campaign with a trip to Napoli on Wednesday night.
TALKING POINT – STICKY TOFFEES
The Merseyside derby is always a spectacle, it has traditionally been one of the most eagerly awaited fixtures on the calendar – this was no different. From the off, the Everton fans played their part impeccably and have driven their players on to collect a valuable point against one of the best teams in Europe. This will work wonders for the confidence and belief of Frank Lampard’s squad. There was a refreshing resilience about the Toffees who refused to be beaten, they made life difficult for Liverpool and on another day, could have been walking away with all three points. Liverpool will feel that they too could have been worthy of all three points with the chances created, but a point apiece feels like the right result on the balance of play. Lampard knows where Everton should be and it will take them time to get there, but there is a gradual evolution happening at Goodison Park which looks to be heading in the right direction. Results like this can only facilitate that progress.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH – JORDAN PICKFORD
Undoubtedly, it was the goalkeepers who stole the show, but Pickford will take most of the plaudits from the home faithful. He had an answer for everything that Liverpool threw at him. Their entire front line was left frustrated by the man between the posts. He was pivotal for Everton in their battle against relegation last season and he stepped up to the plate again. With a World Cup on the horizon, Pickford is doing everything to nail down his place as England’s No. 1. For now, his focus is on Everton and he can be hugely satisfied with this display.
Everton: Pickford 9*, Patterson 7, Coady 7, Tarkowski 7, Mykolenko 7, Davies 7, Onana 7, Iwobi 7, Gray 7, Gordon 7, Maupay 7.
Subs: Gana 6, McNeil 5.
Liverpool: Alisson 8, Alexander-Arnold 7, Gomez 7, Van Dijk 7, Tsimikas 7, Elliott 7, Fabinho 7, Carvalho 7, Salah 7, Diaz 7, Nunez 7.
Subs: Matip 5, Robertson 6, Firmino 6, Jota 5.
68’ GOAL! EVERTON 1-0 LIVERPOOL (COADY)
Wow, wow, wow! Everton have taken the lead and the roof has been lifted off Goodison Park courtesy of the former Liverpool man, Coady! Maupay’s ball across the box is met by Coady, who taps the ball home from close-range to send the Everton fans into raptures! However, VAR is checking for offside!
70’ GOAL DISALLOWED! EVERTON 0-0 LIVERPOOL (OFFSIDE)
By the finest of margins, Coady is ruled offside, and the goal has been chalked off! The score returns to 0-0 and with 20 minutes left, it’s all to play for. Relief for Liverpool!