LIVERPOOL, England — Liverpool and Everton played out a goalless draw in a subdued Merseyside derby at Goodison Park in Saturday's late Premier League match.
The draw damages Liverpool's Champions League hopes. It is four points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, which can move further away from Brendan Rodgers' side with a win against West Ham on Sunday. Third-placed Southampton had earlier beaten Queens Park Rangers and Tottenham emerged victorious over Arsenal.
Everton remains 12th but the point signals a gradual upturn in form after recording its first win of the year against Crystal Palace last Saturday.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, appearing in his final game against Everton before leaving for the Los Angeles Galaxy in May, forced goalkeeper Joel Robles to tip his free kick over the bar after 10 minutes.
But it was Jordon Ibe, making his second start for Liverpool and his first against Everton, who went closest to scoring in the first half. He burst down the right, weaved inside and fired powerfully against the post from 25 yards.
Gerrard went close again on 53 minutes with an acrobatic strike from inside the area that was deflected over.
"I knew I got good contact on it, it would have been a great way to round off possibly my last time here at Goodison," Gerrard said. "I think all in all it was a fair result today. We maybe edged the chances but there was a lot of positives for us. Not least of all this guy (Ibe). He only found out he was playing yesterday (Friday) and he was man of the match, outstanding performance."
Ibe was the liveliest Liverpool attacker but for all their possession the visitors lacked the incisive edge to ever truly threaten Robles in the Everton goal.
Two minutes after Gerrard saw his shot go over, Daniel Sturridge came on for Philippe Coutinho but the striker could not offer Liverpool any extra attacking impetus.
Ireland international Seamus Coleman went nearest for Everton, bringing a good save out of Liverpool 'keeper Simon Mignolet from a narrow angle on 87 minutes.
But the shot was Everton's first and only on target during the game and defender Phil Jagielka was happy to take a point.
"It was a good clean sheet, there wasn't much to do for either goalkeeper and 0-0 was a fair result," Jagielka said. "They have got a lot of pace and we stopped them well. We have tightened things up which is a good starting point."
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