While many of the fans were eagerly waiting for the match between Real Madrid and Real Sociedad, they could not but miss the Derby at Goodison Park. After all, almost after 100-plus days, the toast of the English Premier League Liverpool would commence their title race.

But as the game progressed, it turned out to be an obdurate one. Everton and Liverpool were engaged in a defensive display, where Liverpool were lucky to survive as Jurgen Klopp said after the match, “It came out of the blue. We were lucky at that moment but apart from that, we were in control. We didn’t have a lot of chances; most of the time we were dominant but they had the biggest chance – that’s how it is”.

The Toffees came closest to breaking the deadlock 10 minutes from time, though, as Tom Davies hit the post after Alisson had kept out Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s clever flick.

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“Yeah, it was just instinct at the end, we had a few chances but it wasn’t our day. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t and unfortunately today it didn’t. Well take the point but that was a big chance for us today,” Calvert-Lewin said after the match.

Takumi Minamino dispossessed Andre Gomes in the 34th minute, allowing Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane to tee up Roberto Firmino, with Brazil forward pulling wastefully wide.

Michael Keane, booked for an earlier foul on Mane, produced a vital block to thwart Minamino before half-time, by which point Liverpool had lost James Milner to a hamstring injury and sent on Joe Gomez. It was a costly miss, which Klopp admitted by saying, “Millie’ felt a hamstring a little bit, but we had this in the past. ‘Millie’ is not often injured and hopefully, it is not serious”.

“He is smart enough to show up at the moment when he feels it, so hopefully it was the right moment. Maybe not Wednesday [against Palace], but after that, I would hope for”.

“Joel was unlucky and we had to make a quick decision. It was a situation with Richarlison and he bent or stretched his big toe”.

“I don’t think a lot of people have had that. It is really painful, but hopefully, it settles, the pain settles and then we will see. I hope nothing serious has happened, but I don’t know yet”.

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Firmino’s clever chested lay-off saw Naby Keita volley wide in the 51st minute, with Everton attacks having more or less disappeared from view.

It made Richarlison’s shank into the Gwladys Street End with Virgil van Dijk breathing down his neck all the more frustrating.

Trent Alexander-Arnold had a 63rd-minute free-kick deflected over before Joel Matip joined Milner on the injury list.

Klopp left Mohamed Salah unused on the bench and his team needs five more points to become champions, although that equation will change if Manchester City fail to beat Burnley.

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Regarding leaving out Salah, Jamie Carragher said, “The front three are as good as anyone in Europe but whenever one of them is out, there is a massive drop off”.

“When Liverpool dropped points at Manchester United, Salah wasn’t playing. That’s why Liverpool need to strengthen the front three. Divock Origi is a legend for Liverpool as he’s scored big goals at big moments but doesn’t have quite the quality”.

“Is Takumi Minamino part of the front three? Not for me. The front three are very robust and don’t miss many games but if Liverpool were to lose one of them, especially the two wide players, for a lengthy amount of time they could have a real problem next season”.

Naby Keita had been the only player from Liverpool to impress at Goodison Park.

He twisted and he turned, he tried to create and he resisted pressure superbly at times in the middle of the field. But once he left, to be replaced by Wijnaldum, Liverpool’s momentum seemed to vanish with him. It was Everton who looked the more likely winners in the final 20 minutes.

For the third season in a row, the Goodison derby ended goalless –April 2018, March 2020, and June 2020!

The Toffees are now winless in 19 Premier League matches against their local rivals, even though, numbers cannot only prove Carlo Ancelotti’s upperhand over his rivals.

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