Premier League Match Report (21/06/20): Everton 0-0 Liverpool
The Premier League's ninety-two remaining games, spread across nine rounds of games are set to play out beginning June 17th 2020, with Project Restart's health and safety conditions meaning the remaining games of the season will be played out behind closed doors. We will be providing match reports from these behind closed doors competitive encounters as the league campaign nears its end-game. All aboard.
Match Report (GW30): Everton 0-0 Liverpool
The Gameweek's main event saw the soon-to-be champions elect Liverpool make the short trip to Goodison Park and much like Merseyside derbies in years past at this ground, both sides locked horns in a chess match that never threatened to really open the scoring.
Richarlison, who has been making bold claims about the ability of Virgil van Dijk, went close when he glided past Joel Matip down the left, with the Brazilian's cross-shot causing issue and could have resulted in an early goal had Dominic Calvert-Lewin been a couple yards higher up the pitch.
Liverpool had the bulk of the 'real' chances to open the scoring, with Minamino unable to test Jordan Pickford from range at the 9-minute mark, before Joel Matip headed wide at the 30-mark. Richarlison headed over before being called offside, before Mane and Keita provided the best inter-play sequence, passing nicely between Davies and Gomes before setting up Firmino to test Pickford.
Trent Alexander-Arnold drew a save from Pickford after 41-minutes, though in truth we're grasping at straws here in what is a nervy, tense chess match betwen a pair of clubs that aren't ready to take big risks in the game and were happy to waste time. At the half-time mark, the lasting impression that we took away was how comfortable Everton are playing out from the back, and how impressive Liverpool have been when fizzing the ball around with speed and intensity.
To begin the second-half, Calvert-Lewin played a ball over the top for Richarlison, with the Brazilian blazing over the bar after being closed down by Matip and Joe Gomez.
The best chance of the match came in the 79th minute when Andre Gomes robbed Gini Wijnaldum and Fabinho of the ball before setting Richarlison free down the left. The Brazilian's low cross was delightfully flicked towards goal by Calvert-Lewin, with Alisson making a good save, with Davies' rebound deflected superbly away from goal by Gomez.
Less than two minutes later, the right-hand side of Liverpool looked vulnerable again as Richarlison got in past Dejan Lovren. Taking his time and measuring his option, Richarlison opted to take a shot at Alisson's near-post and saved comfortably before The Reds were able to clear their lines.
The game pretty much ground to a halt, with Everton happy to run down the clock in a snooze of a Merseyside derby.
Man of the Match: Alisson (LIV)
There is very little to discuss as Everton set out to frustrate Liverpool from the first minute, though Alisson was called to action on a couple of occasions to spare Liverpool's blushes, with Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin providing the odd moment of worry for Liverpool fans. This was a dull encounter, with the shot-stopper composed throughout and proving to be a class act yet again.
EVE 0-0 LIV - Insight and Analysis:
I just want to open by stating that I've just had to suffer with @HypeTrainSam moaning at me for 45 minutes about Everton being an 'anti-football' side that did nothing but time waste and refuse to play, but in truth the home side did a very good job at managing the occasion and it is a result that they're quite fond of replicating...
The Last 3 Merseyside games at Goodison Park:
2017/18: Everton 0-0 Liverpool
2018/19: Everton 0-0 Liverpool
2019/20: Everton 0-0 Liverpool
Liverpool have moments in games where they show urgency to win a game. Today was not that day. Klopp was forced into making a lot of substitutions earlier than he would of liked. It was not his day. Both sides lacked any real punch, and it was Everton who will probably be thinking that they had the chances to win the game. By this merit, it was not Ancelotti's day in the opposite dugout as his master plan to frustrate didn't quite reap its full rewards.
We have so far watched all 11 Premier League games since the league's return and have provided match reports on every game. By far, this was the worst game of them all. The only other 0-0, which was between Aston Villa and Sheffield United, at least had the Hawkeye controversy that saw Sheffield United robbed of a goal before half-time. This game had nothing.
Looking on the positives, I was a fan of how Everton applied themselves defensively, you can tell that Carlo Ancelotti is starting to get his fingerprints all over this team, though there is a long way to go before they find the right balance - the Italian needs a couple of transfer windows to bring in a player of Coutinho's quality (not that they'll sign him of course) who can turn these dull affairs into a game of memorable moments.
Anyone expecting anything else from this fixture might be more annoyed, and it seems that these 90 minutes are there to just survive as a viewer, though the urge to call for an early night is strong after watching the future champions-elect grind out a woeful, sterile goalless draw.
Venue: Goodison Park
Manager: Carlo Ancelotti
GK: J. Pickford
DEF: S. Coleman
DEF: M. Holgate
DEF: M. Keane
DEF: L. Digne
MID: A. Gordon (Sigurdsson 60')
MID: Andre Gomes
MID: T. Davies
MID: A. Iwobi (Bernard 88')
FOR: D. Calvert-Lewin (Kean 90+3')
Baines, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Stekelenburg, Kean, Martina, Virginia, Baningime, Branthwaite
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
DEF: T. Alexander-Arnold
DEF: V. van Dijk
DEF: J. Matip (Lovren 73')
DEF: J. Milner (Gomez 43')
MID: J. Henderson
MID: N. Keita (Wijnaldum 65')
FOR: T. Minamino (Oxlade-Chamberlain 45')
FOR: R. Firmino (Origi 65')
FOR: S. Mane
Wijnaldum, Lovren, Salah, Gomez, Adrian, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Origi, Elliott, Williams.
Want to know more about The Hype Train?
The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.
We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.
In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles.
The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.