Everton 0-0 Liverpool: Brilliant Pickford keeps out Reds in derby thriller

·4-min read

Jordan Pickford frustrated Liverpool with a stunning goalkeeping performance in an absorbing 0-0 draw with Everton at Goodison Park.

The England number one made a string of excellent saves, while opposite number Alisson also had to be sharp to prevent a home win in a Merseyside derby that could have been flooded with goals.

Both sides rattled the frame of the goal in the first half, Everton through Tom Davies before Liverpool's Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz followed suit, while Mohamed Salah was also denied by the woodwork late on.

Chances flowed in an open game, and Everton thought they had snatched the lead midway through the second half when former Liverpool academy player Conor Coady touched in Neal Maupay's cross, only to be denied when a VAR checked showed he was inches offside.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson made a smart early save to gather Anthony Gordon's fizzing strike after an Everton corner was only half-cleared, and the hosts came within a whisker of the opener when Davies smacked a shot from 12 yards against the left post.

Jurgen Klopp's visitors showed their threat before the break, though, when Nunez's excellent strike was tipped against the crossbar by Pickford, and from the rebound Diaz crashed a howitzer of a drive against the right post.

Seeking greater control, Klopp withdrew youngster Fabio Carvalho and brought on the experienced Roberto Firmino for the second half, with Liverpool soon asking more questions of Frank Lampard's men.

Nunez saw a volley comfortably gathered by Pickford, then Nathan Patterson went close for the Toffees, as Virgil van Dijk deflected his shot wide.

Amid a determined effort from the Reds to find a breakthrough, Pickford saved from Firmino twice in quick succession, firstly tipping a shot wide before parrying the Brazilian's header from a corner.

The goalkeeper thwarted Fabinho from close range too, before Everton debutant Maupay wasted the biggest chance of the game after a rapid counter-attack, shooting straight at Alisson who made himself big and pulled off the save.

Coady thought he was the hero, but closer examination of his 69th-minute tap-in left Everton deflated, their winless run at home in the league against their city rivals extending to 12 games.

It could have been worse, as Salah, quiet for so much of the game, almost won it in stoppage time, his shot cracking off the foot of the right post after one final intervention from the inspired Pickford.

What does it mean? Reds still searching

After a hugely entertaining tussle, Klopp must be wondering what more Liverpool could have done, but Lampard may also have similar thoughts. Nunez made a nuisance of himself, Firmino was a pest in the second half, and at the other end Maupay almost took glory on his Toffees bow, while Coady's big moment ultimately came to nothing. Liverpool's starting XI had an average age of 25 years and 296 days – their youngest in the Premier League since December 2018, also against Everton (25y 184d). The young legs were needed for a gripping game, but Liverpool now have two wins from six, not the start they were after.

Perfect Pickford

Pickford made eight saves in all to earn his team a point. That is the most he has ever made in a Premier League game when he has kept a clean sheet. It was an exhibition from the often criticised shot-stopper, Liverpool left flummoxed by his brilliance.

Liverpool's pre-interval blues

Klopp's team used to be renowned for their all-out early assaults on goal, which were often productive, but Liverpool have failed to score a first-half goal in five of their six Premier League games this term. In fact, the Reds have failed to score in the first half of all three of their away matches in the competition, having only missed out on a goal before the interval in three of their 19 away trips last term. Nunez had their most attempts before the break on this occasion (3), missing the target with two headers before his shot was saved superbly by Pickford.

Key Opta Facts

- Everton v Liverpool has seen more goalless draws than any fixture in both English top-flight history (36) and Premier League history (12).

- Nine of Everton’s last 11 Premier League meetings with Liverpool at Goodison Park have been drawn (two Liverpool wins), with five of those finishing 0-0.

- Everton have failed to win any of their first six matches of a Premier League season for only a third time, also doing so in 1994-95 and 2010-11.

- Liverpool’s tally of nine points from their first six Premier League games this season (W2 D3 L1) is their lowest at this stage under Jurgen Klopp, having last had as few or fewer from their first six in 2015-16 (eight under Brendan Rodgers).

What's next?

Liverpool have a Champions League group game at Napoli on Wednesday evening, before returning to Premier League duty against Wolves at Anfield next Saturday. Everton do not play until next weekend, when they have a Sunday game at Arsenal.