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    Everton 0-0 Liverpool Match Report


    Everton were unable to make the most of some gilt-edged opportunities in the closing minutes as the 231st Merseyside derby between themselves and Liverpool ended in a disappointing goalless draw.

    The Toffees came on strong in the latter stages but Cenk Tosun, Seamus Coleman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin were all unable to test Loris Karius despite being well-placed to score the elusive goal.

    The majority of the encounter had been dominated by the visitors, who could have been forgiven for casting one eye on Tuesday's upcoming European tie against Manchester City and named an experimental line-up with that game in mind.

    Nathaniel Clyne made his first start of the season having recovered from a back injury, while Ragnar Klavan, Georginio Wijnaldum, Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke all profited from Jurgen Klopp's squad rotation.

    The changes didn't have any impact on the quality of Liverpool's performance in the first-half, however, as The Reds threatened to take an early lead through their youngster Dominic Solanke.

    The England striker headed James Milner's left-footed cross a yard wide of the far-post, while he was later denied by a point-blank save from Jordan Pickford after Seamus Coleman's miscued clearance inadvertently fell his way.

    Everton created very little throughout the first-half, although they did produce one rare moment of quality when Yannick Bolasie unleashed a strike from over 20 yards which forced Karius into making a fingertip save at full-stretch.

    James Milner then attempted a replica effort to that of Bolasie from a slightly tighter angle, which was pushed away by Pickford, as Liverpool resumed control of proceedings until the interval.

    The second-half proved to be a much more even affair, with Everton still lacking the confidence to cut-open the opposing defence as well as the guile that is usually provided by the injured Gylfi Sigurdsson.

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was brought on from the bench after 68 minutes, produced Liverpool's best opening of the second-half from a marauding run which ended when his 20-yard strike sailed over the crossbar.

    As the match headed towards the final stages, the home side began to release the shackles and created several clear-cut chances, with target-man Cenk Tosun proving to be a useful outlet in the Liverpool penalty area.

    Leighton Baines played an overlapping give-and-go with Tom Davies before his low delivery across the penalty area was heading towards the stretching Tosun, but he was inches away from turning the ball home.

    Tosun was heavily-involved once again as he headed Theo Walcott's pinpoint cross across the six-yard box but Seamus Coleman, who steamed in at the far-post, was unable to make contact from almost on the goal-line.

    The Toffees then produced their best opportunity of the contest with only two minutes remaining, as Idrissa Gueye diverted Coleman's right-wing cross into the path of Dominic Calvert-Lewin but the young striker horribly miscued from close-range.

    Although Sam Allardyce's side produced a more positive performance in the final stages, the all-important goal proved elusive as their frustrating wait for a victory in a Merseyside derby now extends to 17 matches.

    The Toffees, who remain in ninth-place in the table, must now switch their attentions to an away match against Swansea City on Saturday, with the 15th-placed Swans in desperate need of a victory in their battle to avoid the drop.

    Liverpool, meanwhile, missed the opportunity to pile pressure on second-place Manchester United, who won 3-2 at neighbours City later in the day to open-up a four-point advantage in the table over The Reds having played a game less.

    Jurgen Klopp's side return to action in midweek for the second-leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie against City, where they take a 3-0 lead to the Etihad Stadium and hope to reach the last-four for the first time since 2008.
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    Item Reviewed: Everton 0-0 Liverpool Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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