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Everton 0-0 Liverpool: 5 Hits and Flops as Merseyside derby ends in stalemate | Premier League 2019-20

Honours were even at the end of a dull Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park
Honours were even at the end of a dull Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park
Vaibhav Joshi
ANALYST
Modified 22 Jun 2020
Top 5 / Top 10

Liverpool's imminent coronation as Premier League champions was delayed after they played out a rather dull 0-0 draw against Everton away from home.

The 236th edition of the historic Merseyside derby saw the Reds dominate possession without offering much in the way of a goal threat, while Everton carved out the more promising chances. Although the Reds moved a step closer to their first Premier League title, there will be concerns about the quality of their performance on the night.

Jurgen Klopp's side were dealt with injury blows before the start of the game, with talismanic forward Mo Salah only fit for a place on the bench and left-back Andy Robertson missing out entirely. Takumi Minamino and James Milner were named in the starting XI at Goodison Park, as the Reds aimed to record their 28th victory of the season.

Similarly, Everton, who were winless in 18 Premier League meetings with Liverpool, handed a full debut to 19-year-old Anthony Gordon. The first half seemed to feature both teams getting back up to speed again, with chances few and far between. 

The second half headed in the same direction as the first, as Liverpool dominated possession without testing Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal. The hosts seemed to be content with playing on the counter, as Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin ran at Virgil van Dijk and co in the Liverpool backline.

However, the Toffees came to life towards the end of the game and almost snatched a winner, as Calvert-Lewin was denied by Alisson and Tom Davies hit the post.

Although the eventual draw will most likely prove insignificant in Liverpool's title charge, Everton will no doubt take great heart from their resolute defensive display. On an evening where neither goal was threatened, here are some of the hits and flops from the game.


#5. Hit: Joe Gomez

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Gomez stepped into the role of left-bac with remarkable ease
Gomez stepped into the role of left-bac with remarkable ease

Dropped to the bench to accommodate the returning Joel Matip, Gomez would not have expected to feature for as long as he did in this game. However, not only were the services of the young Englishman required in the first half, Gomez found himself deployed at left-back after James Milner went off with a hamstring injury.

Gomez continued his excellent pre-lockdown form in an unfamiliar role, locking down the Liverpool left-wing while also sending in a few searching crosses into the box on his forays forward.


#4. Flop: Dejan Lovren

Lovren
Lovren's cameo provided a few heart-in-mouth moments for Liverpool
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Although he spent just over 25 minutes on the pitch after replacing the injured Joel Matip, Lovren had a few nervy moments as Everton sensed an opportunity and pushed forward.

Richarlison, in particular, seemed to enjoy going up against Lovren and beat him with relative ease on more than one occasion. With his contract expiring at the end of next season, it's hard to see Lovren staying at Anfield beyond the summer, as Liverpool could look to cash in on the Croatian international.


#3. Hit: Mason Holgate

Holgate put in a commanding display at centre back for the home side
Holgate put in a commanding display at centre back for the home side

The young English defender has been one of the bright sparks of the season for Everton and has made himself something of a permanent fixture in the Toffees' back four.

Holgate has started 20 of Everton's last 21 Premier League games and assured displays like these show exactly why Ancelotti favours him in the centre-back position.

Alongside Michael Keane, Holgate repelled everything Liverpool threw at the Everton goal with relative ease and emerged as one of the few star performers on the night.


#2. Flop: Takumi Minamino

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A disappointing outing for Minamino ended in him being replaced at half time
A disappointing outing for Minamino ended in him being replaced at half time

Much was made of Takumi Minamino's arrival at Anfield from Red Bull Salzburg in January, but the Japanese international has not yet had the impact at Anfield that he had been predicted to have.

Having replaced Salah in the front three on this occasion, Minamino failed to provide much despite seeing a fair bit of the ball during his time on the pitch.

Although it was a tough afternoon for attackers in general, Minamino was perhaps the one with the most to prove and would have hoped to put on a better showing. His manager did not seem too impressed with his performance either, as the Japanese international was replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at half time.


#1. Hit: Carlo Ancelotti

Ancelotti masterminded a fine defensive effort and continued his superb run of form against Klopp
Ancelotti masterminded a fine defensive effort and continued his superb run of form against Klopp

Although the gap between the two Merseyside rivals might have widened over the past few years, Carlo Ancelotti certainly seems to have had the measure of Jurgen Klopp during that time.

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Klopp has never won an away game against a team managed by the Italian and Liverpool were also beaten by an Ancelotti-led Napoli side earlier this season.

The lockdown period seems to have helped Ancelotti instil his team with a sense of determination and excellent organisation, both of which had been lacking in the first half of the season.


Published 22 Jun 2020, 02:53 IST
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