April 7, 2018 / 1:40 PM / 3 months ago

Liverpool hold off late Everton pressure in goalless derby

(Reuters) - Liverpool survived a late spell of Everton pressure to stretch their record unbeaten run in Merseyside derbies to 17 games with a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park that consolidated their hold on third place in the Premier League on Saturday.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Everton vs Liverpool - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - April 7, 2018 Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin in action with Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

Neither Mo Salah nor Roberto Firmino featured in a Liverpool starting line-up that included five changes from the one that faced Manchester City in midweek but Juergen Klopp’s side still had the better of the game with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford pulling off impressive first-half saves from Solanke, Milner and Van Dyke.

Liverpool keeper Loris Karius also had to be at his best to deal with a curling shot from the otherwise ineffectual Yannick Bolasie although Everton seldom showed the forward momentum to threaten his goal.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Everton vs Liverpool - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - April 7, 2018 Liverpool's Sadio Mane in action with Everton's Morgan Schneiderlin Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

Wayne Rooney was clearly unhappy to be substituted for the fit-again Idrissa Gueye early in the second half but the impetus remained with Liverpool, who brought on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Firmino, until a frantic final 10 minutes in which Seamus Coleman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin went close to grabbing an unlikely winner for the home side.

Both keepers were predictably happy with not conceding in a game in which both delivered assured performances.

Karius, who faces constant speculation that Liverpool will replace him in the summer, said he did not feel under pressure to keep his place.

“I don’t feel on trial. If I believe everything I read we will have 10 goalkeepers at the club next season,” he said.

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“I was just happy to keep a clean sheet and get my fingertips to the shot (from Bolasie).”

On a slippery pitch, Pickford also impressed in front of watching England manager Gareth Southgate. “It was tough conditions for us keepers. If I keep a clean sheet I am happy.”

Everton manager Sam Allardyce defended his decision to take off Rooney, which he said was down to the need for “fresh legs” in midfield.

“I make the decisions and I thought we did the right thing to make those changes to give us a better chance,” he said.

The result means that both league games between the old rivals have been drawn this season following the 1-1 at Anfield.

Tottenham Hotspur can displace Liverpool in third place if they beat Stoke City by five goals or more later on Saturday.

Reporting by Neil Robinson; Editing by Clare Fallon

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