Goodison Park witnessed yet one more Merseyside derby draw on Saturday afternoon with Liverpool and Everton each left frustrated in a goalless – but entertaining – stalemate. Each teams hit the woodwork in the primary half while Everton had a Conor Coady goal ruled out by VAR on 69 minutes and Jordan Pickford and Alisson produced several effective saves to forestall a victor. Express Sport looks at what we spotted within the match.
One other Goodison blank
It’s official – no fixture within the history of English top-flight football has resulted in additional draws than this. This latest stalemate saw the Merseyside derby move level with Chelsea vs Manchester United on 25 draws. That it got here at Goodison ought to be absolutely no surprise to anybody.
Goodison and derby draws are all too familiar by now – nine of the past 13 matches at this ground have ended level. Everton’s winless home streak against their neighbours goes on having not beaten Liverpool at home since October 2010 while the Reds’ hopes of first back-to-back wins at Goodison for 13 years led to disappointment.
Jurgen Klopp went daring along with his Liverpool line-up, recalling Darwin Nunez to the forward line and naming an attack-minded midfield with Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho the 2 No 8s. Yet even still, it was a largely dull first half punctured with only a number of moments of real quality – Tom Davies and Nunez almost producing wonderful goals.
Roberto Firmino’s half-time introduction improved Liverpool – and the in-form Brazilian was twice denied by Jordan Pickford after the hour. It was a more enterprising second half from each side the truth is, with Alisson forced to disclaim each Neal Maupay and Dwight McNeil. But VAR overruling Coady’s finish meant there was nothing to separate the 2 teams over again.
Klopp nearly struck
Everton thought they’d broken the deadlock on 69 minutes when centre-back Coady – a boyhood Liverpool supporter – tapped in Neal Maupay’s low cross. Goodison Park erupted just for VAR, after a lengthy wait, to wreck the ecstasy of the house supporters and delight the away end.
And the frustrations were an excessive amount of for one supporter behind the dugouts and the press box within the Goodison Road Stand as a half-full plastic bottle was launched towards the pitch from the highest deck and landed in Klopp’s dugout to an enormous splash.
The thing was inches away from striking the Liverpool boss, who responded by turning round and producing a protracted stare up into the stands. You’ll be able to imagine the gestures he got back from the Everton fans in response.
Klopp’s Salah and Trent conundrum
The past few seasons, a lot of Liverpool’s success has come down the right-hand side where Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohamed Salah have combined to devastating effect. Six matches into this season, though the pair have each goals and assists to their names, it’s clear they aren’t as threatening as could or ought to be.
Salah has two goals and two assists in six Premier League matches but there is no such thing as a doubt that the Egyptian, particularly unstoppable in the primary half of last season, is nowhere near as dangerous to date this term. He’s being deployed far wider and fewer as an inside forward in a noticeable change of approach from Liverpool.
And Klopp will certainly be concerned at how uninvolved Salah has been for giant periods of matches – though he saw more of the ball after Firmino got here on and would’ve netted a late winner if not for a effective Pickford save. Immediately, Diaz appears a far more consistent threat throughout matches although he couldn’t find a gap goal either having been denied by the post in the primary half.
Alexander-Arnold, too, is struggling to affect matches in the way in which we’re used to seeing. He was substituted off here before the half-hour mark, having also been taken off early within the late midweek win over Newcastle. He didn’t look blissful about it on either occasion. And for Liverpool to place together the form of winning run they should rival Manchester City, they need the pair back to their best and quickly.
Van Dijk gets away with one
No fixture has produced more red cards within the Premier League era than this, with 22. Despite that, Liverpool have managed to avoid receiving a red within the derby since 2010 when Sotirios Kyrgiakos was given his marching orders. Their last Goodison red within the league was way back in 1999.
But Virgil van Dijk, who has had a rocky begin to the season by his standards and has been outshone by Joe Gomez, was awfully fortunate here to see out the complete 90 minutes. A studs-up challenge high on Amadou Onana’s left leg within the 76th minute might’ve resulted in a red on one other day. The Dutchman was given only a yellow but surely must have been dismissed by referee Anthony Taylor, who angered the house fans a number of times along with his decisions.
Peter Walton explained of the choice on BT Sport: “The edge on that one if there’s any force used against the foot it’s a yellow card. If the force is used to the shin it might be elevated to a red card. But on this instance Virgil van Dijk’s foot actually slipped down the shin and ended up on the foot which is why it’s a yellow card.” Nonetheless, Van Dijk was a lucky boy.
A greater point for Everton
While Everton got here agonisingly near their first win at home to Liverpool in 12 years – they were a mere matter of inches away each when Coady’s goal was ruled out and when Davies struck the post – the mood in Goodison at full-time summed it up. There have been no complaints after a battling display.
They might still be and not using a Premier League win this season but this was a promising performance off which Lampard will hope he can construct something. They’re still yet to attain greater than twice in a match this season and that’s something the Toffees will need to deal with, though there have been loads of promising counter-attacks here and Maupay looks a handy addition.
There was plenty of encouragement on this point for the Toffees and it was a match that can surely leave Liverpool way more frustrated than the hosts. There are more points on the board at Anfield than Goodison but not enough for a team of their ambitions with Klopp as manager. There’s a six-point gap to Arsenal – who face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday – despite having played one match more.