Liverpool might have to wait a little longer to lift their first Premier League title after being held to a goalless draw by Everton in the Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park.
Everton went closest ten minutes from time when Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s backheel flick evaded the bottom right corner, falling to Tom Davies whose rebound shot bounced off the left post to safety.
Naby Keita produced the Reds’ best effort shortly after half-time when he played an one-two with Roberto Firmino, who flicked the ball up for the Guinean international to drag just wide from close range.
James Milner gave Liverpool a scare when he was subbed towards half-time with a possible groin issue, which could rule him out for at least Wednesday’s game if not remainder of season depending on the severity of the injury.
Liverpool however can still win the title on Wednesday night at home to Crystal Palace, although Manchester City would need to drop points against Burnley tomorrow night for that to be achievable.
Everton return to 12th position with a hard earned point which keeps their slim top five hopes alive.Embed from Getty Images
A scrappy start saw both teams trade chances with the Toffees going closest in the fourth minute, when Richarlison’s counter-attack pullback evaded Calvert-Lewin and rolled out of play.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds ultimately struggled to create many chances in the first 30 minutes with Joel Matip going closest in the 29th minute, heading over from Alexander-Arnold’s free kick following Lucas Digne’s handball of Jordan Henderson’s cross.
Keita soon produced the best chance of the first half for Liverpool in the 44th minute, playing an one-two with Firmino before teeing up Sadio Mane to set up Firmino on the turn, only for the Brazilian’s shot to be blocked.
Keita then went closest in the early stages of the second-half, racing forward as he played an one-two with Firmino who flicked the ball up for Keita to volley in but instead he dragged the shot just wide of the bottom left corner.Embed from Getty Images
Richarlison dragged Alex Iwobi’s cross wide as Everton began to push forward on the hour mark, only for Liverpool to go up the other end and win a free kick after Digne fouled Mane just outside the box.
Alexander-Arnold curled in an excellent set piece which deflected over the wall and eventually looped just over the bar, winning a corner which was quickly cleared.
Both teams then traded chances until Andre Gomes intercepted Georginio Wijnaldum, unleashing Richarlison up the left with a pass, which found Calvert-Lewin’s backheel but rolled agonisingly wide of the bottom right corner for Davies whose rebound bounced off the left post.
Richarlison then went close just a minute later when he met a long ball and cut into the box, only for his shot to be blocked after failing to pass to Calvert-Lewin who was in space to calmly slot in a potential winner.
Liverpool then pushed forward with crosses and set pieces, yet failed to break Everton’s stubborn defence down to move themselves to within a win of a first Premier League title.
Everton meanwhile rose to 12th after being initially displaced by Newcastle who beat Sheffield United earlier in the day.
Everton travel to relegation battling Norwich on Wednesday in a 6:00pm (BST) kick-off, before Liverpool host Crystal Palace later that evening at 8:15pm (BST) in a game where they could win the title if Man City don’t win tomorrow night at home to Burnley.
Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Digne, Gordon (Gylfi Sigurdsson, 60), Gomes, Davies, Iwobi (Bernard, 88), Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin (Kean, 90+3)
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Matip (Lovren, 73), Milner (Gomez, 43), Henderson, Fabinho, Keita (Wijnaldum, 65), Minamino (Oxlade-Chamberlain, 45), Firmino (Origi, 65), Mane