Match Analysis: Liverpool 0-0 Everton

Match Analysis: Liverpool 0-0 Everton
© PA Photos
Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at an even Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton that ended goalless.

Liverpool and Everton shared the bragging rights in the Merseyside derby this afternoon, playing out a goalless draw at Anfield.

The visitors had a goal controversially disallowed in the second half when Sylvain Distin's header was ruled out by referee Michael Oliver, who spotted a foul in the buildup.

Marouane Fellaini squandered a good chance for Everton before the break, while Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge both came close for the Reds.

The match was boyhood Everton fan Jamie Carragher's 30th and final Merseyside derby.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at a very even 90 minutes.

Match statistics:

Shots 16
On target 8
Possession 54%
Corners 3
Fouls 10

Shots 11
On target 1
Possession 46%
Corners 5
Fouls 10

Was the result fair?

Absolutely. The match was very even throughout, with the only real spell of dominance coming from Liverpool at the start of the second half. Even that didn't last long and Everton were arguably on top for the rest of the half. There was nothing to separate the teams in the first 45 minutes especially as both teams looked to dictate the tempo of the game. Liverpool had the better chances in the second half, but Distin's disallowed goal more than made up for that and a draw was certainly the fair result.

Liverpool's performance

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard said after the game that their performance summed their season up. They played some nice football but couldn't make the scoreline reflect that. The Reds had a number of occasions where they created good chances with nice buildup play, but the opportunities they did get were wasted. Things may have been different if Daniel Sturridge had his shooting boots on, but overall the hosts put in a good, battling display in a tough match. A point isn't what they were after, but they won't be too disappointed with it given the way the match went.

Everton's performance

Very similar to Liverpool's. They didn't have as many clear chances as the Reds but were just as combative and competitive in the middle of the park. Their defence had a very good game, with Phil Jagielka in particular saving the Toffees on a couple of occasions. Their midfield also held their own against Liverpool's in what was probably the most important area of the field today. If either side gained control of the midfield, they would have gone on to win the match. Everton will be the happier of the two sides with a point, but they will also be aggrieved that it isn't three given Distin's disallowed goal.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Steven Gerrard: The Liverpool skipper is on the verge of completing his first ever-present Premier League season, and he showed that he is as fresh now as he has ever been. He ran the first half for Liverpool, spraying 50-yard passes for fun and making some important tackles and interceptions. He was also instrumental in the second half and almost nicked all three points for his side when he rounded Tim Howard, only to see Distin clear his shot off the line. Phil Jagielka deserves a mention, but it was hard to look past Gerrard for this one.

Biggest gaffe

Both sides will be relieved that they had a gaffe-free game this afternoon, leaving only referee Michael Oliver to pick up this 'award'. His decision to rule out Distin's header was the wrong one and it robbed Everton of two extra points. It looked like he gave the free kick against Victor Anichebe having previously spoken to him, but replays showed that Pepe Reina lost his footing and was not fouled by the Everton striker. The goal should have stood.

Referee performance

Other than that decision, which admittedly is an important one, Oliver had a very good game today. Merseyside derbies are always heated affairs and neither side was going to pull out of a challenge, but Oliver made allowances for the fixture and was very lenient. He only handed out three yellow cards and the first of those didn't come until the 56th minute. It was a wise move as it took the sting out of a potentially volatile opening, although it must be said that the players also played the game in the right spirit.

What next?

Liverpool: Liverpool's penultimate game of the season comes at Craven Cottage as they travel to London to face Fulham.

Everton: Everton, meanwhile, could clinch sixth place with a win over West Ham United next Sunday.

Steven Gerrard battles Leon Osman for possession during the Merseyside Derby on May 5, 2013
Read Next:
Result: Merseyside derby ends goalless
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