After 100 days without football Sunday evening’s Merseyside derby was as highly-anticipated as any in recent memory, but the match was ultimately underwhelming and goalless — the third successive 0-0 draw in this particular fixture.
For the most part, Liverpool were the better team at Goodison Park. A midfield three of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Naby Keïta were very impressive, and dominated in the middle of the park.
The Guinean, often overlooked for big matches by Jürgen Klopp, was particularly impressive.
However, a series of substitutions — some forced, some tactical — appeared to disjoint Liverpool, and Tom Davies hit the post late on for an Everton side searching for a first derby win since 2010.
A draw is not a disastrous result for the Reds but, unless Burnley avoid defeat against Manchester City on Monday, they forfeit the chance to win the league against Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Here’s how the players rated:
Ali 7 — Virtually a passenger after an early stop from Richarlison, until a late Evertonian flurry called the Brazilian No.1 back into action. Won Liverpool a point.
Trent 5.5 — Gave away possession time and again. While that trait is normally counteracted by the quality of chances he creates, Trent never found his range on derby day.
Matip 7 — Played a couple of incisive passes out from the back early on. Impressive before hobbling off with an injury.
Big Virg 7 — Evertonian attacks tended to test the Liverpool right, but Virgil aerially dominated Dominic Calvert-Lewin — a player renowned for his ability to win the long ball.
Milly 6.5 — Unlucky to be booked early on before a first-half injury.
Hendo 7.5 — First to the loose midfield ball time and time again. Very good showing.
Fab 7 — Terrible first five minutes and was lucky to avoid a yellow card. Soon found his feet, though, and became one of Liverpool’s stand-out performers on the night. Tested Pickford from a late free-kick.
Naby Lad 7.5 — Really impressive when driving up the pitch from deep. Saw a volley drift wide after some delightful link up. Liverpool looked worse without the Guinean on the pitch.
Taki 6 — Underwhelming. Clearly desperate to make an impression but appeared lightweight at times.
Bobby 6 — Liverpool’s No.9 was substituted just as he was beginning to make his mark, after the interval. A quiet first-half, though, other than a scuffed left-footed shot.
Sadio 6.5 — Liverpool’s greatest threat throughout, but Seamus Coleman did brilliantly to nullify the Senegalese as best as one can.
JoGo 6.5 — Occasionally looked unsure of where to be on the left-flank, but found a pivotal touch to deflect Tom Davies’ late effort onto the post.
Ox 6.5 — Offered more in the physical battle than Minamino. Drifted in and out of the game, however.
Gini 6 — Struggled to attune to the tempo of the game.
Divvy 6 — While perhaps not Origi’s fault, the Belgian’s arrival saw Liverpool try to play more direct football and lose some control on the game in the process.
Degsy 5 — Having looked secure at the back all game, Klopp’s side looked vulnerable from the moment that the Croat came on. Floored twice by Calvert-Lewin in the space of ten nervy seconds.