The points were shared in the Merseyside derby as the goalkeepers shined in a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park. Liverpool came close to winning the match at the death as Mohamed Salah forced Jordan Pickford into a big save deep into stoppage time but ultimately although both sides had their chances over the course of 90 minute, a draw was a fair result. Slow starts continue to hurt the Reds as they've now suffered their worst start to the season under Jurgen Klopp, taking only nine points from a possible 18. Everton still seek their first win of the season, but this doesn't feel like a relegation-bound team under Frank Lampard.
It was certainly a match fit for a derby with attacks on both sides of the ball having ample opportunity to impact the match. Neal Maupay made his Everton debut and Darwin Nunez showed that he still has Jurgen Klopp's trust, returning to lead the line following his red card suspension for a headbutt. Klopp played an ultra-attacking team with Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho starting alongside Fabinho in midfield. While it again was a demonstration of trust from Klopp, it also displays how thin his midfield corps is with Jordan Henderson, Thiago, and Curtis Jones missing the squad while Arthur Melo hasn't had enough time with the team to feature after .
Frank Lampard had more experience at his disposal and the Toffees could have gotten all three points in the match on another day. Ceding possession to Liverpool, the Conor Coady led defense marshaled shots into areas where Pickford could deal with them and when Liverpool flowed forward and caused trouble, Pickford held strong -- with a little help from the woodwork on a few occasions.
One of those occasions came just before the half when Liverpool almost broke through as Darwin forced Pickford into a fingertip save on a volley from a tight angle, with the ball ultimately clattering off the crossbar. Luis Diaz was there for the follow-up, but again the bar was there to come to Everton's rescue. But outside of those chances, Everton were the more dangerous team in the first half as only Darwin caused trouble consistently. Everton ended the first period with 0.46 xG to 0.34 for Liverpool.
Klopp looked to change the intensity after the half by hooking Carvalho for Roberto Firmino hoping to use the Brazilian's ability on the ball to apply more pressure. Liverpool as a team used to their forwards dropping back and being involved in build up and Darwin doesn't do that. With as many shots (6) as passes completed passes, it's clear that Darwin wants the game funneled to him, but as Liverpool works out how to do that, Everton were able to organize their defense to cause issues.
The return of Thiago to Liverpool's midfield will eventually help with that but with Liverpool on nine points through six matches, it could come too late with them already falling behind some of the top teams in the league. As the second half progressed, Klopp continued to tinker, taking out Trent Alexander-Arnold and Konstantinos Tsimikas around 60 minutes for James Milner and Andrew Robertson. The move improved their attack at one end, but the Reds couldn't get past Pickford, and on the other end Everton targeted Milner mercilessly at right back.
Everton turned up the pressure but Alisson held strong on Maupay's excellent chance.
Former Liverpool academy player Coady thought he had the winner in the 71st minute following a shot from Maupay but the delirium at Goodison was brought to a halt by a VAR review. Coady was judged to be offside rolling the score back to level. Still, Maupay's involvement was crucial. Everton having a striker that isn't Salamon Rondon made a big difference as Maupay took five shots for an xG of 0.89 while also creating four chances for his teammates. Of the Toffees 14 shots, Maupay was involved in nine of them.
It's hard to take moral victories when Everton are seeking their first win of the season but the improvement from last season is clear. Nathan Patterson in defense and Amadou Onana in midfield had massive games holding Liverpool in check while the Reds did the rest in being their own worst enemies.
For Liverpool, while their attack has reliably improved in matches this season as they game progresses, it seems that they're still missing Sadio Mane as they can't snap into gear begin matches. The improvements come when Klopp tinkers but with Champions League kicking off this week, Liverpool will have to get comfortable with each other from kickoff quickly as it will only take a couple of these slow starts to cost them enough points to crash out of the group stages. It only gets harder from here with an away trip to Napoli Wednesday in what feels like a game where the team needs a positive result to shake off their malaise.