Liverpool vs. Everton: Final score 0-0, Stalemate at Anfield, but Toffees see goal disallowed

Laurence Griffiths

A poor match saw a scoreless draw at Anfield in the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton, although the visitors controversially had a goal ruled out.

It was a surprisingly muted start from both sides, who took to the game with nothing like the usual bluster, both sides more content to pass and probe than go hell-for-leather from the first whistle. Everton had the best chance to score early on from a Leighton Baines free-kick, Marouane Fellaini just getting ahead of Jamie Carragher, but the Belgian's effort was just wide of goal.

As the game developed into a more typically thunderous affair, it was Liverpool who seized the advantage, forcing Everton into a series of last-ditch tackles and blocks to maintain the deadlock. First Phil Jagielka made a sprawling block to deny Steven Gerrard from Stewart Downing's cross, before Sylvain Distin was also called into action to stop Jordan Henderson running into a loose ball in the area.

Half-time dawned after a poor half with few chances on either side, but immediately after the restart Liverpool had their best chance of the game, Philippe Coutinho sliding in Daniel Sturridge after a silly giveaway by Fellaini, but the former Chelsea man was once again wasteful, taking too long for his shot and ending up forced into too acute an angle by Tim Howard.

Everton soon appeared to take the lead after Sylvain Distin rose highest to head in from a corner at the far post, but the referee chose to rule the goal out for a push by Victor Anichebe. It was a shockingly harsh decision on the visitors, who perhaps by the letter of the law were guilty, but of no more than the standard rough-housing that has taken place at virtually every corner kick in every game for about ten years.

Everton began to smell blood and pour forward, but the result was that Liverpool enjoyed the better opportunities in taking advantage of the space at the back as the Toffees wasted the ball. The Everton defence went AWOL to allow Sturridge to pick out Gerrard with a through ball, but rather than hit it first time, the veteran midfielder took it wide to round Tim Howard, with his attempted cutback-cum-shot easily dealt with by the returning Distin.

Everton had a late chance as Anichebe cut in from the right and let fly at goal, and saw his effort take a deflection and almost loop over Pepe Reina, but the goalkeeper managed to deal with it at the expense of a corner, although the visitors couldn't fashion anything from it. In the end, Everton had to settle for a point - a creditable result, but a controversial and no doubt bitter one following their disallowed goal.

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