Everton ensured Manchester City remained top of the English Premier football League as they produced a battling performance to hold Liverpool to a goalless draw at Goodison Park.

Liverpool needed victory to leapfrog City after their win at Bournemouth yesterday but Jurgen Klopp’s side lacked the cutting edge to break the deadlock in a tense Merseyside derby.

City have 71 points, Liverpool 70, Tottenham 61, Manchester United 58 and Chelsea 57.

Mohamed Salah had the two best openings for Liverpool before the break but his soft 15th minute shot barely troubled Jordan Pickford and then the Everton keeper was swift off his line to foil the Egyptian as he raced goalwards.

Everton’s approach was to harry and disrupt Liverpool and they did that task well but struggled to create opportunities with Theo Walcott unable to capitalise on a rare opening, screwing his shot wide.

Salah threatened again in the 57th minute as he bore down on Pickford but Everton defender Michael Keane stopped a near certain goal with a perfectly timed last-ditch sliding tackle.

Klopp threw on Roberto Firmino in the 63rd but the striker was unable to open up an Everton defence that raised their game to deal a blow to their local rivals’ title hopes.

Earlier Chelsea beat Fulham 2-1 and Watford beat Leicester 2-1.

RNZI

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