Cape Town -Liverpool extended their unbeaten run in the Merseyside derby to 10
games but departing captain Steven Gerrard had to content himself with a
0-0 draw at Everton on Saturday.
Gerrard was playing in his 33rd
and last Premier League game against Everton, who he will not line up
against again unless the two sides meet in the Europa League.
an 18th victory proved beyond him as Liverpool's climb towards the top
four was slowed on a lacklustre evening at Goodison Park.
Rodgers's team had won their previous three league games, but Everton,
without a victory in this fixture since October 2010, proved unyielding
opponents to leave Liverpool four points below the Champions League
In contrast to Gerrard, 19-year-old winger Jordon Ibe made
just his second Premier League start for Liverpool after being recalled
last month from a loan spell at Championship club Derby County.
Almost inevitably, though, it was Gerrard who had the first effort on goal with nine minutes gone.
former England captain -- second only to Ian Rush as his club's highest
scorer in derby matches with 10 goals -- saw a 25-yard free-kick
touched over the bar by Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles.
to be alert moments later to deny Ibe his big moment as he saved at the
youngster's feet after Raheem Sterling had found room to direct the
ball across goal from the left.
But Robles was nowhere near a
stinging long-range effort from Ibe in the 27th minute that crashed
against the post following a surging run forward as Everton felt the
absence of injured left-back Leighton Baines.
The home side did
have James McCarthy back for the first time since Christmas following
hamstring trouble and the midfielder was instrumental in trying to drive
Everton forward in response.
Seamus Coleman and Kevin Mirallas
were also productive down Everton's right flank and from one Coleman
cross, Steven Naismith should have done better than head the ball tamely
into the ground.- Tempers flare -
More of the threat came from Liverpool, though, and they turned up the pressure at the start of the second half.
Coutinho twice slipped in Sterling for efforts that were saved by
Robles and Gerrard saw a spectacular volley deflected just over his own
bar by Naismith.
Rodgers looked to press home that advantage as
just 10 minutes after the break he sent on striker Daniel Sturridge, who
netted a late equaliser at Goodison last season in a 3-3 draw.
manager Roberto Martinez countered by replacing Mirallas with new loan
signing Aaron Lennon in a bid to take the initiative away from the
The England international, recruited on loan from
Tottenham Hotspur on transfer deadline day, did help stem the tide with
some positive early touches.
Decent chances remained elusive,
however, as Everton looked for a first home win in four games and only a
second league victory in eight after stopping the rot with three points
at Crystal Palace a week ago.
Top scorer Romelu Lukaku looked an
isolated figure, but Liverpool could not force a breakthrough themselves
as Phil Jagielka blocked an effort from Sturridge.
surfaced in the 77th minute in a flare-up that yielded bookings for
Naismith and Muhamed Besic and Liverpool's Jordan Henderson.
made way for Ross Barkley moments later and the substitute almost
created a late winner for Everton as he helped the home side finish
The England playmaker perfectly teed up the rampaging
Coleman, but the Irishman's angled drive was well saved by Simon
Mignolet to leave the honours even for the fifth time in six meetings.