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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Gerrard's Everton rivalry ends in goalless stalemate

PHOTOS: Gerrard's Everton rivalry ends in goalless stalemate

February 08, 2015 12:24 IST

Steven Gerrard of Liverpool has a shot at the Everton goal during their English Premier League match at Goodison Park on Saturday

Steven Gerrard of Liverpool has a shot at the Everton goal during their English Premier League match at Goodison Park on Saturday. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

In the Steven Gerrard scrapbook of Merseyside Derby memories, he is unlikely to reserve a page for what is probably his last local hurrah.

A 0-0 Premier League draw against old foes Everton at Goodison Park is not how the Liverpool captain would have dreamt about signing off from the rivals' habitual battle for superiority.

Having terrorised Everton for the best part of 16 years, Saturday’s clash was a rare occasion when Gerrard, fresh from making his 700th club appearance, had little or no impact.

An overhead kick that was deflected over the bar was as near as he came to making a mark in a game that will be swiftly forgotten by all who watched it.

Muhamed Besic of Everton and Jordan Ibe of Liverpool are involved in a challenge

Muhamed Besic of Everton and Jordan Ibe of Liverpool are involved in a challenge. Photograph: Phil Noble

If anything, the Liverpool skipper was upstaged by 19-year-old wide player Jordon Ibe.

He was making his first start since returning from a loan spell at second tier Derby County and came as close as anyone to making an impact when he rattled the post with a 25-metre effort in the first half of a man-of-the-match performance.

"He did fantastic," Gerrard told Sky Sports.

"He only found out he was playing yesterday so to have 24 hours to prepare for a big game like this. He was man of the match.

"A sensational performance and unlucky not to get the winner. Credit to him, he's got a big future and he's going to be a terrific player."

The result was a dent in Liverpool’s hopes of a top-four finish and Champions League qualification. They are now four points off fourth place, which could become six if Manchester United win at West Ham United on Sunday.

Liverpool and Everton players get into a scuffle

Liverpool and Everton players get into a scuffle. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool's next three league fixtures are against Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton and Manchester City, with little room for slip-ups as the season enters its final 14 games.

Brendan Rodgers's side are now unbeaten in eight games and part of the reason for their resurgence after a terrible start to the campaign has been the form of defensive midfielder Lucas Leiva.

He was forced off with a groin injury early in Saturday's match, however, and could be set for a spell on the sidelines.

"We'll just have to assess it," Rodgers told reporters.

"He had a slight problem with his adductor -- that's why he missed the last game (at Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup).

"He felt it again there, so we'll see what the scan says on that."

Source:
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