Liverpool has missed the chance to climb up to third in the Premier League table having been held to a 1-1 draw by Everton in the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Sunday.
The Reds dominated the contest from the very first whistle and finally broke the deadlock against an obdurate defensive display through Mohamed Salah in the closing stages of the first half.
However, the hosts failed to build on that lead despite seeing the lion’s share of possession, and Everton eventually rescued a point against the run of play when Wayne Rooney fired a penalty down the middle with just 13 minutes remaining.
It looked as though it might take something special to break Sam Allardyce’s defensive tactics down, and Salah provided that with only three minutes remaining of the first half when he shrugged off Cuco Martina, dribbled past Idrissa Gueye and then curled an unstoppable effort into the top corner for his 19th of the season.
It was Liverpool that made the brighter start to the half again, though, with Salah coming agonisingly close to a second within five minutes of the restart when his header bounced narrowly wide of the far post.
The hosts were left to rue their profligacy when Everton made a rare foray forward with just under 15 minutes remaining as Dominic Calvert-Lewin collected Rooney’s pass before being bundled over by Dejan Lovren inside the penalty box, leading referee Craig Pawson to point to the spot.
Rooney stepped up on his first Merseyside derby appearance for almost 14 years and slammed his penalty down the middle for his first Everton goal against Liverpool.