Carlo Ancelotti handed Alex Iwobi is first league start since February – his 14th of the season – and he did his bits as Everton held Liverpool to a stale draw at the Goodison Park on Sunday evening.
The Reds missed Mo Salah’s cutting edge up front and had to settle for a point, with the Toffees proving a hard nut to crack.
In the 236th Merseyside derby between these two sworn rivals, Everton were keen not to lose while Liverpool looked three months rusty, resulting in just a few chances created in the opening 45 minutes.
Joel Matip had the best opening when he connected with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick, only to head his effort wide of the post.
Everton’s clearest opportunity fell to Richarlison, but he could only fire wide with his left foot from a tight angle.
Goalless it was at the break at an empty Goodison Park.
On the hour-mark, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison combined to get the Brazilian behind the Liverpool defence but, under pressure from Van Dijk, he blasted his effort over the bar.
Aside from that chance, it was all Liverpool in the early stages of the second half. But the Reds failed to create any clear chances to breach their hosts’ defence.
Everton, however, came the closest to breaking the deadlock in the 80th minute, but Jurgen Klopp’s men were saved by the posts after Gomez deflected a Davies’ shot.
The Toffees sensed blood and up the ante.
Calvert-Lewin then headed wide from a Keane flick-on off a Sigurdsson corner.
The Blues were the more satisfied of the two sides at the end, but Liverpool would take heart in the knowledge that they only need five more points to clinch their first league title in 30 years.