The 231st Merseyside Derby ends goalless at Goodison park and wasn’t very interesting to say the least and it also means Everton have gone 17 Derby games without a win. Shocking.
Goalkeepers put in the effort
You can tell that Karius is playing with a lot of confidence at the minute and having been in the starting eleven for a while now and you can finally start to see the difference it has made. Although a very boring game, there were a few moments where both keepers stepped up with Pickford producing a few great saves to deny Dominic Solanke and James Milner, but I think Karius produced the best save of the game after Yanick Bolasie stepped aside from Clyne and Lovren and sent a curling effort at goal, a fingertip save from Karius denied Everton the opening goal.
Karius has now kept five Premier League lean sheets in 2018. Hugo Loris is the only other keeper who has more with 6.
Klopp plays it safe with his team selection.
After an unforgettable European night at Anfield on Wednesday night and a important second leg fixture coming up on Tuesday it was no surprise to fans to see Klopp play it safe with his selection today. No Mo Salah and Andy Robertson in the squad and with Roberto Firmino on the bench it was down to Danny Ings, Dominic Solanke, Nathaniel Clyne and Ragnar Klavan to fill the available spots.
Having a weakened side may have took the edge off the game but I was glad that Klopp did not risk the likes of Firmino or Oxlade-Chamberlain from the start and that he also took Milner off in the second half in order to make sure they are all fresh for Tuesday night.
It was also nice to see Nathaniel Clyne back on the pitch having missed majority of the season through injury. I think he put a great shift in and although you can see he lacked that bit of match fitness he still dealt with Bolasie well and managed to get forward to help the attack.
Solanke and Ings need time
The young forward was handed a rare start for today’s match and found himself leading the line for the reds alongside Danny Ings who also made his first start since October 2015. I think they both put themselves about a lot and both had a lot of the ball but their decision making and lack of urgency shows how important regular playing time is.
Solanke has the pace and physical presence that helps him stand up to defenders but at times he kept hold of the ball for too long instead of finding the easy pass and found himself being out muscled by the Everton defenders when challenging for a header.
Danny Ings also has the pace and you could see that at points during the game but because he lacks minutes on the pitch this season, you could see him struggling towards the end which lead to Klopp replacing him in the second half. Both strikers had a few opportunities and failed to make the chances count, especially Solanke who could have had two in the first half but Pickford managed to pull off a great save to prevent the Reds from taking the lead.
We all knew this was never going to be the typical Merseyside Derby but I didn’t expect it to be that boring. Considering the changes we made to the team from Wednesday night for today’s game we did quite well in the game and I’m content with a point, but Everton fielded a full strength team and still couldn’t overcome us.
The first half and the early stages of the second half where all Liverpool but towards the end Everton managed to find their second wind and pounced on a deflating Liverpool but all their promising attacks ended in off-target shots or misplaced passes proving that their ‘multi-million’ pound squad still needs a few more adjustments.
So to sum it up, the main thing we learned is that this was probably the most uneventful Derby we have seen for a while and Everton are still rubbish.
Article by Lauren Black – @LaurenBlack9
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