Keepers shine as Everton hold Liverpool 0-0 in derby

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Liverpool’s Kostas Tsimikas reacts after missing a chance to score during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park, Liverpool, England on Saturday September 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

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Liverpool were denied another injury-time winner when Mohamed Salah’s shot hit the post in the 95th minute as an entertaining Merseyside derby against Everton somehow ended in a 0-0 draw Saturday.

Everton had already been denied a goal by VAR and a stellar save from Liverpool keeper Alisson, while counterpart Jordan Pickford also made a handful of good saves to keep the visitors at bay.

Liverpool scored a stoppage-time winner against Newcastle in midweek and nearly repeated the feat when Salah found room for a shot on the right edge of the area but his feeble effort slammed against the post close after brushing Pickford’s fingertips.

It was the third time Liverpool had hit the woodwork, with Everton also hitting the post in the first half of a game that could easily have seen a handful of goals.

Everton thought they had taken the lead in the 69th when ex-Liverpool player Conor Coady was on hand to fire a low cross from Neal Maupay at the far post, sparking massive celebrations among the home fans at Goodison Park. But a VAR review showed Coady was offside and the goal was disallowed.

As the hosts looked stronger towards the end, Dwight McNeil came close to scoring the winner in the 85th when his shot deflected off the back of a defender and looped towards the far post, but Alisson was all the way to push it above the bar.

Liverpool responded moments later, with half-time substitute Roberto Firmino forcing a low save from Pickford – the third time he had been beaten by the England keeper.

For Liverpool, the draw is another setback in a choppy start to the season which has seen Jurgen Klopp’s side drop points in four of the first six games. For his counterpart Frank Lampard, the result – and the performance – could boost his chances of staying on after a winless start to the campaign. It was Everton’s fourth consecutive draw.

The Merseyside derby is always among the most intense encounters of the Premier League season and the start to the game was more fiery than fluid. But the teams combined to hit the woodwork three times in the first half.

Everton nearly scored in the 33rd when Anthony Gordon shook off a defender to put the ball in the box, where Maupay’s shot was blocked by Virgil van Dijk and the ball fell on Tom Davies, who pushed it against the far post with the gaping goal.

Liverpool went even closer in the 44th, hitting the woodwork twice in a row.

Forward Darwin Nunez, returning from suspension, knocked a ball to his chest on the right edge of the area and hit a ferocious volley which Pickford slammed against the crossbar. Luis Diaz then collected the ball and cut in from the left and curled a shot against the far post.

During a period of end-to-end play midway through the second half, Pickford then had to make three saves in quick succession to keep the game scoreless.

He first deflected a low shot from Firmino and then fended off a header from the Brazilian striker from the resulting corner. Moments later he had to drop low to stop a shot from Fabinho.

It also resulted in a corner, but it was now Everton’s turn to launch a quick counter-attack, with Demarai Gray attacking Maupay in the box, but the striker’s shot was blocked by Alisson.

It was supposed to be goalkeeping day at Goodison Park.

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This story was originally published September 3, 2022 9:50 a.m.

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