Everton ensured Manchester City remained top of the Premier League as they produced a battling performance to hold Liverpool to a goalless draw at Goodison Park.
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, the villain when Divock Origi scored Liverpool’s 96th-minute winner at Anfield in December, was the hero with a brilliant first-half save from Mohamed Salah, who was denied by a superb last-ditch challenge from Michael Keane after the break.
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was rarely troubled apart from
Manchester City now
Liverpool frozen out once more
Everton followed Manchester United’s lead in simply refusing to let Liverpool’s much-vaunted attack pass.
Klopp’s side created more opportunities and looked the more likely winners but the cutting edge was missing, with Salah the main culprit.
The Egyptian looked back to his best in Liverpool’s 5-0 win against Watford on Wednesday but here he was short of his best, denied by Pickford in the first half and then hesitating just long enough to allow Keane to make that outstanding late intervention.
Liverpool created a few scrambles to play on Goodison Park’s nerves as the seconds ticked down but they could not make the breakthrough they needed.
They are right in this title hunt but this was a long way from their best and it is the first time since 7 December that they have not been top of the table having played the same number of games as Manchester City.
Manager Klopp looked happy enough at the final whistle but Liverpool
|Race for the Premier League title|
|Date||Liverpool fixtures||Date||Man City fixtures|
|10 March||Burnley (H)||9 March||Watford (H)|
|17 March||Fulham (A)|
|31 March||Tottenham (H)||30 March||Fulham (A)|
|5 April||Southampton (A)||6 April||Cardiff (H)(could change due to FA Cup)|
|14 April||Chelsea (H)||14 April||Crystal Palace (A)|
|21 April||Cardiff (A)||20 April||Tottenham (H)|
|24 April||Manchester United (A)|
|26 April||Huddersfield (H)||28 april||Burnley (A)|
|4 May||Newcastle (A)||4 May||Leicester (H)|
|12 May||Wolves (H)||12 May||Brighton (A)|
Everton and Silva can take heart
Everton’s supporters relished the final whistle and putting a dent, albeit a small one, in Liverpool’s title aspirations as they taunted their counterparts from across Stanley Park.
And this was an occasion when Goodison Park was at its atmospheric best, an air raid siren blaring around the stadium before kick-off and the traditional playing of Z Cars.
Marco Silva’s defence, so often criticised this season, stood firm, helped by Pickford, and this may well have been defender Keane’s best game for the club since his £30m move from Burnley in summer 2017.
Silva waved his appreciation to Everton’s fans at the final whistle and they certainly appreciated the good signs they saw.
The trick for Everton is
The occasional rousing of the spirits is not enough. Consistency must be found.
This performance, and
Man of the match – Michael Keane (Everton)
‘The wind did not help – manager reaction
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told Match of the Day: “Situations like today you have to finish it off. To be successful in football you have to be stable and we were the better side today. The wind does not help and there was a lot today. We had five or six big chances but Jordan Pickford or defender was in between. I don’t think they had a real chance. Not perfect but good enough, getting a point from Everton is always a success because it is our most difficult away game of the season.
“Who wants to be top of the table at beginning of March? It is nice but there are lots of games to play.
“I watched Match of the Day last night and saw the celebrations of Man City, they had 900 chances and scored one goal shot with the wrong foot. You have to be ready for these
Everton manager Marco Silva told Match of the Day: “I’m proud of my players and the desire they showed.
“It felt amazing in our stadium. Our fans were amazing and they pushed the team from the first minute. It was a tough match but a balanced match.
“I told them before the Cardiff game that every match has to be a final for us. There are many games to play and many points to win before the end of the season. Nothing is finished for us.”
Liverpool’s barren spell – the best stats
- 34 of the 200 league meetings between Everton and Liverpool have finished goalless, 15 more 0-0s than any other fixture in English league history.
- Liverpool have failed to score in two of their past three Premier League games, having failed to find the net in just one of their previous 27 in the competition.
- Three of the past five Premier League meetings between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park have finished 0-0.
- Liverpool did not record a shot on target after Trent Alexander-Arnold’s effort in the 54th minute.
- Two of Everton’s three shots on target came via their substitutes (one for Richarlison, one for Cenk Tosun).
- Mohamed Salah has gone three Premier League games without a goal for the first time as a Liverpool player.
- Liverpool’s Alisson has kept 17 clean sheets in the Premier League this season – the most by a keeper in their debut season in the competition since Pepe Reina in 2005-06 (20), also for Liverpool.
Liverpool could be four points behind Manchester City when they play their next game at home to Burnley on Sunday, 10 March (12:00 GMT kick-off), with City hosting Watford a day earlier.
Everton travel to Newcastle on Saturday (15:00).