Everton 0-0 Liverpool
Liverpool and Everton played out a goalless draw at Goodison Park on a sunny Sunday evening on Merseyside, and that means the Reds’ wait to win the 2020 title could stretch to another week.
This Premier League fixture is always a special one, and it was even more meaningful as a welcome return to normality. But in terms of a football match, it wasn’t the best. Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp was smiling at the end of the game, but in truth, Everton had the best chances to win it.
Highlights of the game
The Merseyside Derby always matters, whatever the circumstances, and the first half was a lesson in concentration, taking care of the ball and giving nothing, absolutely nothing to the opposition. Neither side had a shot on target and the millions of fans watching at home watched a game of chess.
Everton’s Brazilian striker Richarlison set his sights early in the game, firing a warning shot at Liverpool keeper Alisson but it zipped just wide of the post. And there was very little goalmouth action for the rest of the first half.
The big pre-match Premier League 2020 news was that Jurgen Klopp was to begin with top scorer Mo Salah on the bench, preferring to start with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Takumi Minamino up front.
The Japanese newcomer created the best chance of the first half, nicking the ball of Andre Gomes to launch an attack. He released Jordan Henderson who, in turn, passed to Mane who fed Firmino, but he could only drive his shot wide with plenty of time to pick his spot.
Minamino then had a shot charged down just before the break as the teams headed into the half-time break having hardly broken sweat.
Liverpool’s Naby Keita curled a shot just wide in the first attack of the second half but the pattern continued with few scares at either end. Everton almost caught the Reds on the hop when Dominic Calvert-Lewin chipped a ball over the top for Richarlison to chase, but he took the ball a little wide and thrashed his shot high and wide.
And the Toffees were inches away from taking the lead 11 minutes from time when Richarlison slid the ball across to Calvert-Lewin. He executed a clever flick which Alisson did well to keep out, but Tom Davies picked up the rebound and fired his cross-shot against the foot of the post.
This was one of the blockbuster matches we picked here at SBOBET, and it was certainly one for the purists. There was plenty at stake and neither side gave way any ground in an intense first half.
The pre-match Premier League 2020 odds had the draw at 4.10 but the outcome wasn’t really a surprise. It was the third derby draw in a row at Goodison Park and the Toffees deserved their point. While Liverpool enjoyed 70 per cent possession they won the shot count by a narrow margin, ten to nine, and both teams had just three shots on target.
Liverpool’s passing accuracy of 85 per cent didn’t really get them anywhere, while the Toffees’ 67 per cent accuracy carved out a couple of very good chances.
But Everton’s ten-year wait for a derby win goes on, as does Liverpool’s wait for a first league title in 30 years.
A point moves Liverpool 23 points clear at the top of the league table, but now they must wait for at least three more days before they have another tilt at winning the title.
Tomorrow evening Manchester City host Burnley. The Sky Blues began their restart by dismantling Arsenal, but they may find the Clarets more difficult to roll over.
Then Liverpool are at home to Crystal Palace on Wednesday and, if matters still aren’t resolved, they head to the Etihad on the 2nd July to face Manchester City and maybe take the title from the holders in their own back yard.
Everton can still make a dart at the European places; they still have the bottom-three sides to play starting with a trip to Carrow Road to play bottom club Norwich City. The Canaries were woeful in their first game back after the break, losing to Southampton and the Toffees should collect three points.
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