Liverpool may have to wait a little longer for their Premier League title celebrations after they were held to a 0-0 draw at Everton in the behind closed-doors Merseyside derby.

But it could have been worse for the leaders after Tom Davies hit the
post in the 80th minute for Everton, who will feel a little
disappointed that they did not take full advantage of a below-par
peformance from the European champions.

Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool side went into the game, their first
competitive match in 103 days, knowing a victory would allow them to
secure their first league title in 30 years on Wednesday with a win at
home to Crystal Palace.

With eight games remaining of the season which has resumed after the
novel coronavirus stoppage, Liverpool need five more points to be sure
of their first title of the Premier League era, unless Manchester City
lose at home to Burnley on Monday.

Liverpool have 83 points from 30 games, while Pep Guardiola’s second-placed City are on 60 from 29.

“It was very intense,” said Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk. “Both
sides created small opportunities, they had the big one against the
post. Everyone is just happy to be back, we didn’t lose and it is
another point towards our goal.”

There were few opportunities for either side in a tight and
ultimately disappointing game at Goodison Park but it was mid-table
Everton, without a win over their local rivals since 2010, who came
closest to taking the points.

With 10 minutes left Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s clever flick from a low
Gylfi Sigurdsson cross was pushed out by Liverpool keeper Alisson and
Tom Davies’ follow-up shot hit the post.

Liverpool, who left Mohamed Salah on the bench, lacked their usual
potency in attack with their best opening coming in the 35th minute when
Roberto Firmino screwed a shot wide while Fabinho went close late on
with a curling free-kick.

Klopp and his Everton counterpart Carlo Ancelotti handed players first league starts with Japan’s Takumi Minamino in the Liverpool attack and 19-year-old Anthony Gordon up front for the home side – although neither were able to make much impact.

RNZ/Reuters

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