Liverpool, Sep 3 (IANS) Mohamed Salah struck the post for Liverpool while Conor Coady had a goal disallowed by VAR for Everton as the two clubs played out a goalless draw in the Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Darwin Nunez (Liverpool), Luis Diaz (Liverpool) and Tom Davies (Everton) also hit the woodwork in the first half, while Alisson Becker and Jordan Pickford each made crucial saves to preserve their respective clean sheets as the 241st derby ended all square.
Nunez was restored to Liverpool’s line-up ahead of Roberto Firmino as one of three changes made by Jurgen Klopp, with Kostas Tsimikas and Fabio Carvalho also starting in place of Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson respectively.
Amid a frenzied atmosphere, Liverpool settled quickly into an early rhythm of territorial dominance and, following a corner, Tsimikas hit a low drive from the edge of the box that was blocked.
Everton were content to play on the counter and Neal Maupay wasted a presentable chance after a Reds move had broken down, the forward dragging a close-range effort wide.
A frantic opening 20 minutes ended with a sprinting Trent Alexander-Arnold digging out a superb cross from the byline and Nunez climbing above Nathan Patterson at the back post, only for the Uruguayan to direct his header wide.
Either side could have taken the lead within an end-to-end passage of play midway through the half. Firmino was brought on for Carvalho ahead of the second period, which Liverpool began brightly.
Nunez twice had sights of goal, the No. 27 first scuffing his ‘hot from Diaz’s cutback and then seeing a volley saved by Pickford — efforts that sandwiched an opportunity for Tsimikas, who side-footed over the bar from a challenging angle.
Klopp again turned to his bench just before the hour, the boss opting to change in both full-back positions as James Milner and Robertson replaced Alexander-Arnold and Tsimikas, and soon after the derby ignited.
Firmino was twice denied by Pickford in quick succession before the Everton goalkeeper shoveled a low hit by Fabinho wide amid a flurry of Liverpool corners, the club said in a report on its website.
The last of those set-pieces nearly ended in an Everton goal, only for Alisson to intervene with a brilliant save as Maupay looked set to round off a counter with the opener.
The home team thought they had broken the deadlock in the 69th minute when Coady nudged Maupay’s cross over the line, but the defender was adjudged to have been offside following a lengthy VAR review.
Jota’s introduction ad’ed impetus to Liverpool’s attack but Alisson was again required to keep the visitors on terms, the Brazilian readjusting himself to claw Dwight McNeil’s deflected attempt over.
Late Liverpool pressure followed, with Firmino denied again by Pickford before Salah’s low, the first-time hit came back off the inside of the post deep into stoppage time as the points were shared.
In other matches on Saturday, Tottenham Hotspur beat Fulham 2-1, Newcastle was held 0-0 by Crystal Palace, Wolverhampton Wolves beat Southampton 1-0, Nottingham Forest went down AFC Bournemouth 2-3 while Brentford got the better of Leeds United 5-2.