Everton holds up Liverpool’s title charge in goalless Merseyside derby

It wasn’t the result that Jurgen Klopp’s men wanted when they returned to action after a three-month hiatus, but with a 23-point lead over Manchester City, the celebrations will not be long.

Everton, improved by new manager Carlo Ancelotti, came closest to victory with Tom Davies when he saw his late effort against a post and Brazilian striker Richarlison forcing an intelligent stop by Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker.

Despite the concerns of fans gathering near the stadium with Anfield in Liverpool less than a kilometer away, permission has been given for the match to take place at Goodison. But in an empty stadium, the usually feverish atmosphere of the derby was lacking.

He also lacked clear chances for each side, with Liverpool, leaving a Mo Salah not in top form on the bench, rarely disturbing goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.

Joel Matip should have done better with a free kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold in the first half and Liverpool started the second half well with Roberto Firmino and Naby Keita who teamed up to create a chance.

But Everton survived the pressure and came very close to causing an upheaval in the final minutes as a clever shot from Dominic Calvert-Lewin was averted by Alisson with Davies’ first attempt to hit the woodwork and s ‘remove.

The draw leaves Liverpool undefeated in the last 22 Merseyside derbies, but five points behind the coveted English Premier League crown.

The Liverpool manager said his team had not created enough opportunities for the duration of possession.

“Most of the time, we were dominant, but they had the biggest chance out of the blue, we were lucky at the time,” said Klopp.

“Both teams showed that it was a derby, even without a crowd,” said Klopp.

Players and officials take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter before the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park.

Before the game, the two teams took their knees in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and stood up for a minute of silence in honor of those who died in the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Chelsea strengthens Champions League bid

Earlier on Sunday, Chelsea consolidated their hold on fourth place with a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa, threatened with relegation.

Kortney Hause put Villa in the lead against the end of the game just before half-time, but after the break he continued to be one-sided as Chelsea dominated possession without cutting a chain of chances.

Manager Frank Lampard sent American international Christian Pulisic to kick off his attack and paid almost immediate dividends as he connected with Cesar Azpilicueta’s half-volley equalizer in the 60th minute .

The winner came just two minutes later, Olivier Giroud had time to turn into the penalty area and his deflected shot defeated Orjan Nyland in the Villa goal.

French Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud scores his team's winning goal as his shot diverts the boot from the tough Conor Hourihane to beat Orjan Nyland in the Aston Villa goal.

Villa had a late chance to return to the level as Jota shot widely, but Dean Smith’s team was well beaten and remains in second place in the standings.

The victory closed a good week for Chelsea, who strengthened their workforce with the acquisition of RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, and deviated by five points from Manchester United in fourth place and only three drift away from the third place in Leicester City.

Sheffield United failed to apply for a place in the Champions League, losing 3-0 to Newcastle, which could be held by a controversial Saudi-backed consortium.

Coach Steve Bruce admitted before the game that it had been a “distraction” but that did not stop his team from achieving an impressive victory, helped by the dismissal in the second half for two yellow cards by defenseman John Egan.

The lively Allan Saint-Maximin scored the first game soon after Egan left and Matt Ritchie doubled Newcastle’s lead with a hard strike 14 minutes later.

The icing on the cake for Newcastle fans was the third – a rare goal for Brazilian striker Joelinton, who had previously missed a chance in the first half in cast iron to put his team forward.

It was his first league goal since August 25 against Tottenham and only his fourth of the season after his transfer from Hoffenheim of 40 million pounds (44 million) last year.

Despite a draw and a loss since the campaign restarted, Chris Wilder’s United is just two points behind fifth place from Manchester United, who drew 1-1 with Tottenham on Friday.

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