Liverpool and Everton shared the points in a competitive but nonetheless forgettable Merseyside derby, as the sides could only manage a goalless draw at Anfield.
However, Everton will feel hard done by, after Sylvan Distin’s headed goal was controversially ruled out for a push on Pepe Reina.
The two sides went into the game with nothing left to play for except for their pride and the chance to finish above each other in the final league standings. However the supporters of both teams still demanded effort and commitment and that is exactly what they got.
The first half was a tight and keenly fought affair, full of the passion and competitive tackles; that are typical of a Merseyside derby. The home side looked more comfortable on the ball in the first fifteen minutes, with captain Steven Gerrard pulling the strings in Liverpool’s midfield.
He also had the Reds best chance, as he saw his goal bound shot blocked by Phil Jagielka.
That aside, both teams were limited in their goal scoring opportunities; with neither ‘keeper having a save to make in the first period. Daniel Sturridge had two chances, which he dragged well wide, whilst Maruanne Fellaini came close for the visitors. He latched onto a Leighton Baines free kick but could only poke his shot wide.
As the second half got under way, it was Liverpool who were quickest out of the blocks as they increased the tempo and pressurised the Toffees defence. However, it was a similar story to the first half, in that they could not find the cutting edge in attack and were unable to get the breakthrough.
The moment that may have changed the course of the match arrived in the 56th minute, as Everton thought they had taken the lead through Sylvan Distin.
The Frenchman powered home a Leighton Baines corner, only for referee Michael Oliver to chalk it off because of a foul on Reina. However TV replays show minimal contact and Liverpool had a lucky break.
Soon after the home side had two great chances to take the lead. Firstly Daniel Sturridge latched onto a sublime through ball from Philippe Coutinho and managed to round Toffees keeper Tim Howard, but could not force the ball past the American who stood strong.
Minutes later skipper Steven Gerrard had a similar chance, but saw his tame shot easily cleared by Sylvan Distin.
Overall a draw was a fair reflection on the game, with both teams limited to half-chances. However, Jamie Carragher would have loved to have claimed victory against the team he supports in what is his last Merseyside derby for Liverpool. It wasn’t to be but the versatile defender will still leave the Reds as a club legend.
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