Liverpool title on hold after draw with Everton

Everton, without win over local rivals since 2010, came closest to taking the points

epa08501037 Everton's Richarlison (L) in action against Liverpool's  Virgil van Dijk (C) during  the English Premier League soccer match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC in Liverpool, Britain, 21 June 2020.  EPA/JON SUPER/ NMC / AP POOL EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
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Liverpool may have to wait a little longer for their Premier League title celebrations after they were held to a 0-0 draw at Everton in a closed-doors Merseyside derby on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side went into the game, their first competitive match in 103 days, knowing a victory would help them to secure their first league title in 30 years with a win at home to Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

With eight games remaining of the season, which has resumed after the coronavirus interruption, Liverpool need five more points to be sure of their first title of the Premier League era, unless Manchester City lose at home to Burnley on Monday.

There were few chances in a tight game at Goodison Park but it was Everton, without a win over their local rivals since 2010, who came closest to taking the points.

With 10 minutes remaining Dominic Calvert-Lewin's clever flick from a low Gylfi Sigurdsson cross was pushed out by Liverpool keeper Alisson and Tom Davies's follow-up shot hit the post.

Liverpool, who left Mohamed Salah on the bench, lacked their usual potency in attack.

Their best opening came in the 35th minute when Roberto Firmino screwed a shot wide from a promising position, while Fabinho went close late on with a curling free kick.

Both Klopp and Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti gave players their first league starts.

Japan's Takumi Minamino was in the Liverpool attack while Anthony Gordon, 19, was up-front for the home side, although neither made much impact.

Calvert-Lewin felt his side should have shown a little bit more self-belief.

"We take the point but I thought there was a big chance there for us today," he said.

"We had a few chances but it wasn't our day. We should have backed ourselves more in the battle."