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Football | Barclays Premier League

Everton, Liverpool in derby stalemate



Everton remain on course to finish above Liverpool in the Premier League for the second season in a row after holding their city rivals to a 0-0 draw in a scrappy Merseyside derby at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool's best chance saw a goal-bound effort from man-of-the-match Steven Gerrard cleared by Everton defender Sylvain Distin, who had a goal contentiously disallowed at the other end.

It meant Liverpool stalwart Jamie Carragher failed to finish on the winning side in his 30th and final Merseyside derby, while Everton are still without an away win in this fixture since 1999.

The draw left Everton somewhat marooned in sixth place in the table, five points above their neighbours and five points below the European qualifying positions with two games to play.

Liverpool were unchanged from the side that routed Newcastle United 6-0 last weekend, but Everton were first to threaten, with Marouane Fellaini prodding the ball narrowly wide from a Leighton Baines free-kick in the 17th minute.

At the other end, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge failed to hit the target with a couple of pot-shots, while Phil Jagielka produced a pair of impeccably timed blocks to thwart Gerrard and Philippe Coutinho.

Liverpool had the better of the second half, Tim Howard saving from Sturridge and Distin clearing off the line from Gerrard, although Distin also had a header ruled out by referee Michael Oliver for a foul that was far from evident.

Later on Sunday, Chelsea visit champions Manchester United bidding for a victory that would allow them to reclaim third place from Arsenal.

Chelsea fell to fourth place after Arsenal won 1-0 at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday and face a crunch clash with Champions League qualification rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

United, meanwhile, will move 16 points clear of second-placed Manchester City if they win.

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