Naby Keita shines but Liverpool’s title celebrations may be pushed back after Everton stalemate

Naby Keita & Andre Gomes

Liverpool’s drab 0-0 draw with Everton this evening featured one shining light, in the form of the performance of the impressive Naby Keita.

Everton vs Liverpool

The latest edition of the Merseyside derby took place at Goodison Park a short time ago.

The matchup came as both sides’ first since March, on the back of the resumption of top-flight football in England following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Visitors Liverpool understandably headed into proceedings as heavy favourites to bag all 3 points, with the Reds’ league form having been close to flawless to this point in the campaign.

Despite Manchester City’s midweek victory over Arsenal, Jurgen Klopp’s men maintained a 22-point advantage over the chasing pack, leaving the champions-in-waiting requiring just 2 more wins to clinch their first title in 30 years.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool celebrates scoring during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Liverpool FC at The King Power Stadium on December 26, 2019 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus)

Everton, on the other hand, sat 13th in the Premier League table ahead of kick-off this evening.

The Toffees, for obvious reasons, though, no doubt entered the derby keen to defy the odds, to make their city rivals’ wait for glory just a little bit longer.

Reds held

And, when all was said and done, this is precisely what Carlo Ancelotti’s men managed.

An altogether lacklustre affair, during which Liverpool unsurprisingly dominated possession, saw the Reds nevertheless struggle to break down a resolute Everton backline.

The best of the first-half’s chances fell to Roberto Firmino, with the South American having wasted a promising breakaway for the visitors by pulling a low effort beyond Jordan Pickford’s far post from the edge of the box.

And proceedings following the interval did not exactly prove much more inspired.

Everton, to their credit, executed their game plan to perfection, with the Toffees’ two blocks of 4 having proven extremely difficult to break down, and the attacking duo of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison providing a consistent threat in behind.

As such, it came as little surprise when it was this pair who combined to create the hosts’ best chance of the evening.

With a little over 10 minutes remaining, and Liverpool looking in control of proceedings, an Everton breakaway saw Andre Gomes slip Richarlison in down the left.

The Brazilian international squared up substitute Dejan Lovren, before rolling the ball across to strike partner Calvert-Lewin.

And the latter’s inventive flick was only kept out courtesy of a fine save from Alisson.

Tom Davies’ follow-up then looked destined for the bottom corner, only for the slightest of touches from Joe Gomez to take the ball onto the post and to safety.

This was, in truth, the only clear-cut opportunity of the entire 90 minutes, with both sides having eventually been forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

Keita shines

This evening’s result means that Liverpool’s chance to mathematically secure the Premier League title with a victory over Crystal Palace on Wednesday night looks to have passed.

With Manchester City set to take on Burnley in the Citizens’ game in hand at the Etihad tomorrow night, and Pep Guardiola’s men widely expected to secure all 3 points, the long overdue title celebrations on the part of the Reds may need to wait just a little longer.

As outlined above, though, while there weren’t exactly a host of positives to take away from the derby from a Liverpool perspective, one shining light at Goodison came in the form of Naby Keita’s performance.

Guinean dynamo Keita was given the nod over Gini Wijnaldum at the heart of Jurgen Klopp’s midfield, with the former RB Leipzig man having gone on to take full advantage of the opportunity afforded to him.

Keita looked, by some distance, the visitors’ standout performer during his hour on the pitch, linking defence to attack, bursting forward with intent at every opportunity, and adding some desperately needed energy to an otherwise flat outing.

The 25-year-old’s heavy influence on proceedings was evidenced by the fact that Liverpool’s flow essentially fell apart following his substitution early in the second-half.

And this was clearly a viewpoint shared by fans of the champions-elect, with some of the social media reaction to Keita’s derby display showcased below:

Sadio Mane in surprise Liverpool exit link – Reds ‘fear’ departure

Jurgen Klopp’s tactical revolution & how Liverpool have crushed Man City & Man United in recent transfer markets

This article was edited by Josh Barker.

Live streaming: Featured matches on Tuesday July 14, 2020
GameTimePrediction/Live ScoreHow to Watch
Chelsea FC vs Norwich City51'1-0📺
Sheffield Wednesday vs Huddersfield Town78'0-0📺
Millwall FC vs Blackburn Rovers77'1-0📺
Luton Town vs Queens Park Rangers85'1-1📺
Cardiff City vs Derby County81'2-1📺
Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio vs Brescia Calcio40'4-1📺
SL Benfica vs Vitoria Guimarares14 July, 21:30 (In 1 hours)1-0📺

101 Great Goals provides ways to watch and bet on football matches. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Liverpool betting odds, next game:

Arsenal vs Liverpool odds: result, both teams to score, correct score & goalscorers

Arsenal vs Liverpool Full time result
Arsenal vs Liverpool Result/Both teams score
Arsenal vs Liverpool Correct Score
Arsenal vs Liverpool Goalscorers
Mohamed Salah7/47/420/21
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang7/47/421/20
Alexandre Lacazette9/49/46/4
Sadio Mane9/49/46/5
Divock Origi5/25/213/10

Liverpool's latest videos

Jürgen Klopp's pre-match press conference | Arsenal
Jürgen Klopp's pre-match press conference | Arsenal
Inside Anfield: Liverpool 1-1 Burnley | Exclusive behind the scenes with the Reds
Inside Anfield: Liverpool 1-1 Burnley | Exclusive behind the scenes with the Reds
Highlights: Liverpool vs Burnley | Robertson scores, but Reds held at home
Highlights: Liverpool vs Burnley | Robertson scores, but Reds held at home
Klopp's Reaction: Robbo, Firmino's influence & the youngsters | Liverpool vs Burnley
Klopp's Reaction: Robbo, Firmino's influence & the youngsters | Liverpool vs Burnley
Premier League table
1Liverpool FC354993
2Manchester City355772
3Chelsea FC351460
4Leicester City352959
5Manchester United352659
6Wolverhampton Wanderers351155
7Sheffield United35554
8Tottenham Hotspur35952
9Arsenal FC35750
10Burnley FC35-850
11Everton FC35-1145
12Southampton FC35-1345
13Newcastle United35-1643
14Crystal Palace35-1542
15Brighton & Hove Albion35-1636
16West Ham United35-1534
17Watford FC35-2134
18AFC Bournemouth35-2431
19Aston Villa35-2730
20Norwich City35-4121
Premier League 19/20
Vardy, JamieLeicester City23
Aubameyang, Pierre-EmerickArsenal FC20
Salah, MohamedLiverpool FC19
Ings, DannySouthampton FC19
Sterling, RaheemManchester City17
Mane, SadioLiverpool FC16
Jimenez, RaulWolverhampton Wanderers16
Rashford, MarcusManchester United16
Martial, AnthonyManchester United16
Aguero, SergioManchester City16
Abraham, TammyChelsea FC14
Kane, HarryTottenham Hotspur13
Calvert-Lewin, DominicEverton FC13
Jesus, GabrielManchester City12
RicharlisonEverton FC12
De Bruyne, KevinManchester City11
Pukki, TeemuNorwich City11
Wood, ChrisBurnley FC11
Son, Heung MinTottenham Hotspur10
Mahrez, RiyadManchester City10