Liverpool drop more points at Everton in thrilling Merseyside derby

LIVERPOOL — everton and Liverpool played a goalless draw at Goodison Park in a Premier League Merseyside derby that was far more entertaining than the result might suggest. Both teams hit the post more than once and each goalie had to make multiple saves. Everton thought they had scored the opening goal midway through the second half but VAR ruled Conor Coady was offside when he tapped in from close range.

– Match report: Liverpool held at Everton | Premier League table | Upcoming appointments

Here’s our reaction to Saturday’s thrilling Mersyside derby at Goodison Park.

GO TO: Player Ratings | Best/worst performers

Fast reaction

1. Liverpool lose more points in thrilling Merseyside derby

Liverpool’s sluggish start to the season continued with a 0-0 Merseyside derby draw against Everton at Goodison Park, with a VAR offside decision denying Frank Lampard’s side their first home win over their neighbors since 2010.

Coady appeared to have opened the scoring for Everton in the 69th minute when he tapped in at the far post to deflect Neal Maupay’s cross into the net but after a lengthy VAR check the Wolves defender on loan saw his goal ruled out.

Although defeat would have been tough for Liverpool, who hit the woodwork three times, at Goodison Everton produced their best derby performance in a number of years and apart from Coady’s unrecognized goal, midfielder Tom Davies also hit the woodwork and saw Maupay denied by a Goal from a brilliant save by Alisson.

The draw left Everton still in search of their first win of the season and Liverpool are also without a win away this season. But the greater significance for Liverpool is the number of points they have lost in six games this season. Jurgen Klopp’s side have now lost as many points as they gained – nine – and they finished that game four points behind champions Manchester City, who have played a game in hand.

However, Liverpool could have been worse if VAR had checked a bad challenge from Virgil van Dijk against Amadou Onana late in the game. Had Van Dijk’s foul been assessed by the VAR, the Liverpool defender could have been sacked for a serious foul, but he survived the incident and stayed on the pitch.

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2. Nunez keeps his nerve in a frustrating return

Darwin Nunez could have picked a better game to return from a three-game suspension than a Merseyside derby at Goodison Park, but Liverpool’s record signing survived the hostile environment without being lulled into another disciplinary problem. The Uruguay international, who was sent off for violent behavior against Crystal Palace last month, had to face the attention of defenders James Tarkowski and Coady, as well as a passionate home crowd ready to goad the former Benfica forward at any opportunity.

But Nunez kept his cool and showed flashes of why Liverpool expect him to be the focal point of their attack for years to come. He almost scored a volley towards the end of the first half, only to see goalkeeper Jordan Pickford brilliantly tip his shot over the crossbar. Pickford denied Nunez again early in the second half when the Everton No.1 saved a well-hit half-volley from the Liverpool striker.

Having been forced to sit out three games so soon after arriving, Nunez may have felt he needed to build bridges with his team-mates and the club’s supporters against Everton. But while he couldn’t find a goal to repay them for his red card at Palace, Nunez showed plenty of other qualities and it’s clear he will be a positive addition to Klopp’s squad at Anfield.

3. Everton are finally making proper recruitment

Everton’s poor record on transfers in recent seasons has been one of the main reasons the club has failed to impress on the pitch, but their performance against Liverpool showed that recruitment this summer has finally had a positive impact on the team.

Largely owing to the financial implications of big backer Alisher Usmanov being sanctioned by the UK government earlier this year for ties to Vladimir Putin, Everton have had to get back to basics in the transfer market by scouting for bargains and loan signings.

Free transfer James Tarkowski and Coady on loan are two examples of smart acquisitions, with the two England internationals forming a reliable partnership in central defence. Tarkowski and Coady had to keep Nunez and Mohamed Salah calm but they managed well even when Roberto Firmino came on Liverpool’s front line in the second half.

Idrissa Gueye, signed from Paris Saint-Germain this week, also proved his worth at Everton during a previous stint at the club and Maupay made a lively debut after arriving from Brighton. Onana, a £33m signing from Lille, has been the big expense this summer and the Belgium midfielder dominated midfield against Liverpool.

Everton are yet to win this season but manager Frank Lampard has his side on the right track thanks to summer recruitment

Player Ratings

Everton: Pickford 9; Patterson 8, Tarkovsky 8, Coady 8, Mykolenko 7; Onana 7, Davies 6, Iwobi 6, Gordon 8, Maupay 7, Gray 6.

Subtitle: Gueye7, McNeil6

Liverpool: Alison 8; Alexander-Arnold 5, Gomez 6, Van Dijk 6, Tsimikas 6; Fabinho 6, Elliot 7, Carvalho 6; Salah 7, Nunez 7, Diaz 6.

Subtitle: Firmino 7, Robertson 6, Milner 6, Jota 6, Matip 6.

Best and worst performers

BEST: Jordan Pickford

The Everton keeper made a number of high-profile saves, notably from Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino, to keep his team in the game. Pickford can be unpredictable at times but this was one of those days when he acted like England’s best goalkeeper.

Worst: Trent Alexander-Arnold

The Liverpool right-back was substituted by Jurgen Klopp for the second game in a row and lasted less than an hour against Everton. Defensive weaknesses and failure to bring his usual quality up front led to his early retirement. Liverpool drop more points at Everton in thrilling Merseyside derby

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