The Merseyside derby finished goalless on Saturday – but what were the talking points from Everton and Liverpool’s clash at Goodison Park?
The home side came close to breaking the deadlock with several chances right at the end of the game, but were unable to find the net.
The result is a blow to Liverpool’s hopes of a second-place finish in the Premier League but Jurgen Klopp had used the game as a chance to rest players with the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City to come on Tuesday.
Here were the key discussion points from the game…
Everton’s derby wait goes on
The home side pushed hard for a winner late on, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin spurning a huge chance. Ultimately, however, yet another game has gone by for Everton without tasting victory against their rivals. They are now without a win in 17 games in all competitions against Liverpool – their longest ever winless sequence in this fixture.
Five of the last six Premier League meetings between these sides at Goodison Park have ended level and there was also a draw at Anfield back in December. But with Liverpool winning in the FA Cup tie between the clubs this season, it is another campaign in which the red half of Merseyside has had the better of it. No wonder there is an appetite for change.
Rooney furious at substitution
Wayne Rooney would have been dreaming of playing in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park when he made his switch from Manchester United back to his beloved Everton last summer. But his involvement in the contest on Saturday ended in fury, with Rooney making clear his anger at being substituted with only 58 minutes on the clock.
Rooney lasted a minute less against Manchester City last time out – another important game to him, given his Manchester United connections – and his frustration of not being given the chance to influence these key games for the full 90 minutes is clear. However, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp believes Everton boss Sam Allardyce had to make a change against Liverpool.
“At that moment he could have taken anyone off,” said Redknapp. “Liverpool’s midfield was dominating the ball. He had to make a change. It’s difficult and it’s a brave one, because you’re taking off an Evertonian, someone who loves the club and the fans weren’t happy with it. But he had to do something to try to change the dynamic of the game. And whichever way you look at it, it helped.”
Pickford shines in front of Southgate
England manager Gareth Southgate was at Goodison Park on Saturday and he’ll have been impressed by a couple of smart saves from Jordan Pickford, who is vying to start in goal ahead of Jack Butland and Joe Hart at the World Cup this summer.
Pickford’s clean sheet on England duty against the Netherlands last month will have helped his cause – particularly given his footwork in the build-up to England’s winner – and his shot-stopping ability was on show in the first half here.
The close-range block to deny Dominic Solanke highlighted his incredible reactions, while the parry to push clear James Milner’s curling effort was executed superbly.
Karius impressed as well
Pickford pulled off some good saves but the best of the match came from Liverpool’s Loris Karius when he denied Yannick Bolasie with his fingertips. Although the German made an error in conceding a penalty at Crystal Palace last week, his form has picked up in 2018 and this was another encouraging display. Is he the man for the job after all?
“He played well today and made a fantastic save,” Redknapp said. “At the moment he deserves to be number one. Long-term, who knows.” Karius himself is trying not to worry about it. “I don’t feel like I am on trial. It is my second season,” he told Sky Sports. “If I believed everything that’s said then we would have 10 keepers at the club next season.”
Ings gets his opportunity
The injury to Mohamed Salah, coupled with the decision to rest Roberto Firmino, presented an opportunity for Liverpool’s back-up strikers to show what they could do. It was Dominic Solanke’s first Premier League start since New Year’s Day and Danny Ings’ first since scoring Liverpool’s goal in this fixture in October 2015.
Ings made his presence felt, getting into one late spat with Seamus Coleman, but the chances fell to Solanke. The youngster headed an early effort just wide and then forced a good save from Pickford from close range with an instinctive snap-shot. There was no shortage of hard work but the anticipated drop off in quality was felt.
Source: Sky Sports
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