Honours even in goalless Merseyside derby at Goodison Park
Everton 0 - 0 Liverpool

Honours even in goalless Merseyside derby at Goodison Park

08/04/2018

Everton and Liverpool had to settle for a share of the spoils as the Merseyside derby ended in a goalless stalemate at Goodison Park.

The home side made the brighter start on a rainy afternoon, Liverpool's Virgil Van Dijk heading a promising early Seamus Coleman cross clear.

Georginio Wijnaldum sent a long-range effort off target as Jurgen Klopp's side hit back, and when James Milner crossed soon afterwards Dominic Solanke headed wide.

Back came Everton and, when Cenc Tosun tried a first-time effort from 20 yards, it dipped too late and went over the bar.

But moments later the home side were indebted to goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who got in the way of a close-range Solanke strike after the ball had rebounded off a defender.

At the other end, Ragnar Klavan miscued an Everton free kick wide of his own goal and then the home side wanted a penalty when Tosun went down under a challenge from Van Dijk, but their half-hearted appeals were waved away.

Liverpool's Loris Karius produced a superb fingertip save when Yannick Bolasie fired in a curling strike from outside the box, with Dejan Lovren heading the corner clear.

Another fine save from Pickford followed on the half-hour as Milner cut in and saw his curling effort, heading for the far corner, tipped around the post before the Everton keeper held a long-ranger from Van Dijk.

With half-time approaching, Bolasie was jeered by frustrated home fans when his misplaced pass gifted the ball to Danny Ings, but the Liverpool player was unable to make anything of it.

And with the final action of a disappointing first period, Sadio Mane shot over from 25 yards.

Phil Jagileka began the second half with a crunching challenge on Solanke to give Liverpool a free kick that came to nothing before Milner hooked in another dangerous cross that Everton scrambled away.

Everton were continuing to sit deep as Liverpool dominated possession and manager Sam Allardyce prepared an early change as Solanke tried and failed to trick his way into space inside the area.

With 57 minutes gone, Allardyce made that change, replacing Wayne Rooney with Idrissa Gueye -- a decision reacted to angrily by Rooney as he made his way to the bench.

A second switch soon followed as Yannick Bolasie was replaced by Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but Everton remained ragged in possession and Ings again stole possession before Jagielka stepped in to clear.

Jurgen Klopp, with an eye on next week's Champions league quarterfinal second leg against Manchester City, took off Milner and replaced him with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Liverpool substitute was quickly into the action, firing a 25-yard effort over the bar, but there remained little sign of a break in the deadlock as the game reached its final quarter of an hour.

Calvert-Lewin's deflected effort from an angle span away from his waiting colleagues and, with the final 10 minutes approaching, Allardyce made another change as Tom Davies was replaced by Beni Baningime.

Then Theo Walcott slipped when it looked as though the ball might find its way to him after Tosun's strike was deflected.

And with four minutes to go, Everton were within a whisker of snatching the three points as Tosun's header drifted wide after Walcott had crossed, with Coleman unable to reach the loose ball, and then Calvert-Lewin fired wide.

Liverpool replaced Ings with Trent Alexander-Arnold, but neither side could break through in three added minutes.

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