Dublin: 12ยฐC Sunday 20 June 2021


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Everton 0-0 Liverpool

Hello, and welcome to the first liveblog I’ve done for a very, very long time.

Hope you’re as glad to be back as I am.

Liverpool know they are just two wins away from guaranteed Premier League glory.

A victory today against Everton will be a big step in the process, but the Reds’ bitter rivals will be desperate to prolong their wait for a first title since 1990.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be aiming to become just the third side to take points off Liverpool in the league this season, with Jurgen Klopp’s men on a remarkable 27 wins from 29 games before the coronavirus pandemic interrupted proceedings.

Join us for this hotly anticipated game, which kicks off at 7pm in a near-empty Goodison Park.

Who do you think will win?

Poll Results:

Liverpool (494)
Draw (158)
Everton (105)

We’re underway…

Richarlison escapes the attention of Fabinho — who gave the ball away with a misplaced header in the build-up — inside the box and his shot from a tight angle has to be parried away by Alisson.

Decent start by Everton!

The youngster Gordon gives the ball away cheaply in midfield, allowing Liverpool to counter.

However, Minamino slices his shot from just outside the area and fails to hit the target as a result.

Sky’s canned crowd noise continues to be a talking point.

It’s been a fairly even start with few openings.

That Richarlison effort is the closest we’ve come to a goal, and even that was only really a half chance.

According to Sky, Liverpool have had 63% possession in the last 10 minutes.

They’ve scarcely threatened in front of goal though — Everton have so far coped well with the Reds’ attackers, barely giving them a sniff.

We’re now at the midway point in the half, with players taking a water break.

As has been the case with many of these opening fixtures, it’s been a sluggish start by both sides in a game so far characterised by a lack of goalmouth action.

According to Sky’s stats, there has been just one attempt apiece from Everton and Liverpool.

Richarlison, meanwhile, is the only player to hit the target with a shot.

Alexander-Arnold whips in a dangerous free kick.

Matip leaps highest in the area, but can’t find the target with a downward header.

It’s another attempt on goal at least.

Everton go close this time.

Gordon curls in a free kick and Richarlison’s header goes narrowly over the bar.

He looked offside judging from replays though, and it’s likely officials would have ruled it out had the ball found the net.

Decent opening for Firmino, after good link-up play involving Henderson and Mane.

However, the Brazilian can only drag his shot a few inches wide from the edge of the area.

Mane escapes away from Coleman.

He can’t go much further though, as he is chopped down by Keane, with the defender receiving the game’s first booking as a result.

The ensuing free kick by Alexander-Arnold is comfortably saved by Pickford.

Blow for Liverpool as Milner is forced to go off with a hamstring injury.

Joe Gomez comes on in his place, with the new man slotting into the unfamiliar role of left-back, which Milner had previously occupied in the absence of Andy Robertson.

The Scottish international was ruled out of this game through injury but is expected back for the Reds’ midweek encounter with Crystal Palace.

Half-time and it’s been pretty underwhelming stuff so far.

Everton will be the happier of the two sides, as you get the sense they’d be more than happy with a point from this game given their decidedly cautious approach to it.

Liverpool have unsurprisingly looked rusty and they’ve been too predictable in attack, with their opponents’ defence looking comfortable for the most part.

Richarlison, Firmino and Matip have had efforts at goal, though they were half-chances at best, with little in the way of goalmouth action during that opening 45 minutes.

The Reds’ fans shouldn’t get too downhearted though — before the break this season, they were renowned for finishing games strongly and getting a positive result while not always playing scintillating football.

Liverpool have made a change at the break following that indifferent first half.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is on in place of Minamino, who had very little impact in the opening 45 and has yet to really kick-start his Reds career.

The second half has so far continued in a similar vein to the first, with little of note happening.

As I type though, Keita plays a clever one-two with Firmino before firing the ball a few inches wide.

That’s an example of the kind of sharpness and ingenuity Liverpool need to show more of against their stubborn opponents.

Mane bursts down the left wing, but Coleman does well to track back and make the tackle.

It’s been a bad day for two of Ireland’s first-choice back four already, but in contrast, the Donegal native has made a solid return so far.

Everton make a first change, with Sigurdsson replacing 19-year-old youngster Anthony Gordon.

Moments later, the Toffees break. Calvert-Lewin delivers a good ball for Richarlison to run onto, but the attacker does not show the required composure from a tricky angle, and shoots well off target while under pressure from Liverpool defenders.

There has definitely been an increase in the intensity of this game since the break.

A double change for Liverpool.

Origi and Wijnaldum are on in place of Firmino and Keita.

Liverpool’s attack has simply failed to fire, as indicated by Klopp’s substitutions. 

20 minutes left.

Everton routinely have every player back defending in their own half.

They deserve a point on the basis of their performance so far.

More injury woe for Liverpool.

Joel Matip is forced off, with Dejan Lovren taking his place in the team.

everton-v-liverpool-premier-league-goodison-park Everton's Seamus Coleman and Liverpool's Sadio Mane (right) battle for the ball. Source: Peter Powell/PA Wire/NMC Pool

Liverpool breathe a sigh of relief.

A clever pass from Sigurdsson puts Calvert-Lewin through on goal, before it becomes apparent that the striker has strayed offside.

The Reds would have been in serious trouble there if the 23-year-old timed his run better.

Moments later, Richarlison crosses for Calvert-Lewin. His effort is saved, before Davies’ deflected shot on the rebound hits the post amid Everton’s best chance of the game.

Calvert-Lewin is in the thick of it again from the ensuing corner. Holgate flicks on a corner, but the lively attacker can’t quite steer his subsequent header on target.

Liverpool are starting to look very vulnerable at the back.

Coleman is chopped down by Origi, resulting in a booking for the Liverpool substitute.

That moment prompts Sky’s Gary Neville to praise the Irish captain’s “really good” defensive work.

Everton make another change.

Alex Iwobi is replaced by the Brazilian Bernard.

There will be three minutes of stoppage time…

everton-v-liverpool-premier-league-goodison-park Everton's Tom Davies (centre) sees his shot hit the post. Source: Jon Super/PA Wire/NMC Pool

Fabinho’s curling free kick is tipped over the bar by Pickford.

This game isn’t over yet, though you feel Everton deserve at least a point for their efforts.

Meanwhile, Seamus Coleman has been named man of the match by Gary Neville.

So that’s that. 

Liverpool earn a point and in the process, take a marginal step closer to the title.

In truth, it’s the most Jurgen Klopp’s men deserved from this game.

The Reds looked rusty throughout, despite dominating possession and territory.

Everton worked hard and were well organised, continually frustrating their rivals in the process.

They might have even nicked it in the end, with Tom Davies agonisingly close as he saw a shot deflected onto the post as Everton finished strongly.

The Toffees are now 19 games without a win in the league against the Reds, but you get the sense Carlo Ancelotti won’t be overly concerned with that stat.

Liverpool must now prepare for Crystal Palace on Wednesday, and even a win there might not be enough to secure the title depending on how Man City get on against Burnley on Monday.

Right, that’s all from me for now.

It wasn’t the best of games, but it certainly feels great to have Premier League football back to complain about.

Thanks for reading and following, and we’ll have more reaction to follow on the site.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy


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